Monday, February 25, 2013

Tangling for ArtOMat

“You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”
― Maya Angelou

Zentangles on blocks in a row

Recently, I discovered a new way to open up channels to my creative process by learning how to Zentangle.  Do you know about Zentangle?  It is a doodling type process where a structured pattern is created using pencils and pens.  If the spirit moves you,  you can throw other mediums into the mix.  It's an intuitive activity where the general rule of thumb is little to no erasing in the course of creating the work.   Basically, it's a go with the flow, at least that is how I approach it.

Adrift - Digital Zentangle

Tangle in Blue - pencil, pen, watercolor
Zentangles are usually no larger then 3.5 x 2.5 the same size as an artist trading card.  The size makes it ideal for art on small wood blocks; give or take an inch.

The idea to create Zentangles for ArtOMat didn't come to me right away.  As I was exploring the technique, my daughter said to me, "Mom, those designs would look great on the art blocks!"  Walla, the inspiration was born.

The Tangle in Blue is one that is on the next batch of art blocks I'm currently preparing for shipment.  I used pencils, pens and watercolor to create it.

What I love about Zentangles is the liberating feeling I get by just sitting down and letting the lines, shapes, and circles "tell me" what it wants to be.  It's a funny way of putting it but I think its a thing many artists experience when they begin a work.   So essentially, you can say, I'm hooked  because the lack of conformity is a language I understand very well.  No boundaries - just go for it  The one exception is that repeat patterns work very well in Zentangles but that is an exception I can live with and welcome, in fact.

I just about have all the new work completed for ArtOMat.  Half the artwork has been mounted on the blocks.  Some of the recent work is shown in the image at the top of this blog post.  It's always an exciting time when new work is shipped out.  I never know where the blocks will vend.  I learned recently, that the previous batch was vending at The Cosmopolitan in Vegas - super exciting!  It's thrilling to share my work.  It feels down right good because we artists that contribute don't do it for the money.  It's more like random acts of kindness.  We do it to share our work and hopefully in the process add a ray of sunlight in a person's day.

Pebble Garden Zentangle, pencil, pen, watercolor

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Purusing What You Love

"Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony."
  ~ Mahatma Gandhi

I gain a great deal of satisfaction creating art.  It is a thing I was told when I was very young that I had an aptitude for but lacked the self confidence and belief in myself to recognize it.  Fast forward decades later and now in my mid-life, I'm doing what I love.  I don't do it with the high expectation of getting rich because if I did that, if I thought in that narrow way, it would negatively impact my creativity.  I would therefore, be trapped with the constant thought, this thing I make must be good enough so others will want to buy it.  It must be good enough for others first and foremost.  I can't do that.  It's one of the reasons why I struggle sticking to one type of genre.  For me, it's very limiting to do only landscapes or whatever.  I do whatever moves me simply because it's important to me in that space of time.

The true pursuit of happiness is following our dreams.  Doing things that motivates us from the inside out.  I've done the corporate grind in the first half of my life.  It was always a means to an end.  It made the difference of keeping food on the table and the roof over the head.  It was not something I loved doing or looked forward to with a great deal of satisfaction.  Living life in that way although very necessary for many is enslavement.   Our current economic system by design forces us into these boxes of confinement to survive.  Life shouldn't be just about surviving.   It should be about enjoying and doing so much more then just getting by.

The above video resonated with me because it is so very true in my opinion.  It states plainly and clearly how limiting life can be if our primary motivation is getting rich.  If getting rich is the main focus not the pursuit of doing a thing that enriches our soul is a death to our spirit.  Having disposal income makes living life easier in many respects but when we master what we love by pursuing it, often times the money will follow.

I am nowhere near being independently wealthy through the sales of my art works.  I am however, doing something that is fulfilling.  It is also extremely satisfying to know that my work gives joy and meaning to others.  I believe being true to my life which reflects in my work will lead to compensation that assists in my livelihood.  That my primary focus is to create art because it gives me joy and the rest will follow.

Practical Artful Gifts


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