Monday, March 15, 2010

New project: the Artistic Mother

(Warning: Long post ahead. Gather necessary provision (coffee, tea, water) and take bathroom break if necessary ...)

Excuse me while I multitask here ...

I had an incredibly revitalizing, fertile, and nurturing day on Sunday. A reminder that rich gifts come in those moments in between the this's and the that's of the day. I had an art journaling workshop to teach Sunday afternoon and for some reason, I scheduled it 2 and a half hours after I finish teaching my regular yoga class. Armed with my Goddess Planner sheets, To Do Notebook and a new treat - a book by Shona Cole called The Artistic Mother - I headed next door to the coffee shop for a little me time.

It was the perfect day for some internal sifting and examining: cold, cloudy and quiet! I finished up the pages to my planner (dreams for my creative life, home life, career and finances and 10 things I want to celebrate about myself in 2010) and then wrote out a list of things to tackle in the coming week. It all seems so commonsensical to take time to verbalize what I want my life to be, but do I do it? Words, dreams spilled onto the pages and I found myself flipping between pages listing new ideas and projects and then adding steps to existing plans and back over to another page for snippets of poetry. Yes my friends, it felt pretty sweet.

And then ... I opened up The Artistic Mother and discovered a dear friend and mentor residing in those pages. The day before I somewhat cavalierly tossed my hat into the ring with a group that is working together through the projects in this book. Check out the button on the right hand side bar - they just got started and the more the merrier! What I am finding in all of my obsessive online challenges is an accountability for my goals and my growth. Left on my own, I know I would not do all of the projects in the book, but knowing I will be supported and inspired by others with practical and creative advice, well I am jumping up and down like a kid with a new pencil case, freshly covered school book and 3 subject binder! I am ready to go!

I have to admit, I had glanced at this book through the preview feature on Amazon and decided it looked a little "basic" for my needs. What I have discovered after devouring the first 4 chapters in one night is how richly packed each sentence and every segment is in this book. The introduction itself is a manifesto for the power and the need to create. Shona Cole writes "Creating art leads to a glorious sense of personal fulfillment. When we have a project germinating in our minds ... we experience a surge of motivation, anticipation and excitement." This is the love affair I experienced in Art Journal Love Letters! And for anyone questioning the time taken out of an already busy schedule for one's art, here is the truth I've incoherently babbled about on this blog and which Shona so succinctly states: "The sense of well-being and fulfillment our creativity generates often spills over into other areas of life, including our mothering."

Yesterday I started in earnest working through the book. I cluttered every available flat surface with painted papers that will be used as background pages for future projects. Amid all the chaos, I created yesterday's "Mistakes" journal spread and decided if the sun was not going to cooperate, well then, we will have our own sunshine!

I also want to introduce the newest members of our household, our Flower Fairies inspired by McCabe's Mermaid Warriors workshop that Cowgirl and I are currently taking. And I am declaring this another one of my 52 Projects as it entailed the purchase of a glue gun and oh, lord-have-mercy am I in need of glue gun mentoring!

Doesn't our Gnome Fred look happy with his new lady friends? (And yes, the husband is nervously looking about as he sees the home swelling with more and more decorations ... they have yet to wage an assault upon his inner sanctum, his office, but they are rallying the troops!)

Did I mention this was a bit of a housecleaning post? Phew!

But wait - there's more!

Reaffirming my commitment to getting my photographs out there, here is my entry for Best Shot Monday which asks for my favorite face. You guessed it:

Cowgirl napped through all of the chaos and awoke in time to check out our sun.

And because I tend to do things in splurges, here is a project I wish to share from The Artistic Mother - my Artistic Vision statement. Even though there is talk of additional snow on the first day of Spring, I am feeling my pulse strengthen, a sense of ripeness in the air and a strong desire to declare my commitment to this path of creativity that has dovetailed beautifully with my spiritual/yoga practice (can you sense another topic in the making?) The task of defining my vision, stating my intentions and aspirations is incredibly empowering and energizing. I would love to see your artistic manifestoes publicly declared for all of our support and inspiration.

My Artistic Vision Statement

I am a creative being who requires a regular outlet for expression. Art is my way of replenishing my energy levels, nurturing my soul and giving voice to the truths of my life.

Art is the means by which I explore and express my love for my life, my world and most of all, for the complex and lovely messiness that is me. Every day I choose to create in some form as my way of showing up for my life.

I am a loving person who chooses to shine love out through artistic expression. Art is my way of expressing my truths and I share my work in the hope that it will encourage others to come to know and embrace their experience and their voice.

Every act of creation - be it writing, painting, photography, cooking or nurturing engagement with my family and friends - is a declaration of who I am and of my right to be.

I use photography, poetry, painting and journaling to celebrate my life and all of the gifts that the Universe so lovingly offers to me in any given moment. My art is a path for self discovery and an expression of celebration for all of the gifts and lessons I have received.

Art is my practice. I commit to showing up every day and accepting the teachings that come my way. Even when I am besieged by doubts, negative comparison, frustration or feelings of lack, I continue on. My practice is to embrace learning and growth. I believe in art's power to heal and to mentor me in the experience of knowing myself as complete and whole.

Do tell: how are you going to make it an art-filled day? ♥


  1. thank you for stopping by today :) It sounds like you had a dreamy Sunday! Your blog is eye candy!! I am heading over now to learn more about Artistic Mother! Thanks!

  2. Lis, what a beautiful, multi-faceted, I was right there with you all the way along post. I put the Artistic Mother on my Amazon wishlist (I placed an order earlier today and now, I am itching to just place another one!) I love my online challenges. I love having other people alongside me on my goal reaching quest. I am so grateful for what you posted to my blog today. Still processing all of that from the weekend. Phew. Intense. Glorious. Thank you.

  3. Very beautiful post Lisa! Inspiring.. well worth the temporary mess of covering surfaces with paper and paint! Did I ever thank you for the blogger award? I thanked you on my blog but fear I didn't thank you directly. THANK YOU! xoxo

  4. Wow, is this inspiring. I'm still playing mental catch-up with 52 Projects, but I'm going to check out The Artistic Mother. That quote you put up speaks straight through to my heart and gut. It's what I want for myself and what I want to model for my girl. Thanks, and your sun is almost as lovely as your daughter. Beautiful photographs of her, btw. Love the natural light and her little bandaid-ed chin.

  5. I really, really love that vision statement.

  6. My art-filled day is going to consist of finger painting with my daughter + playing with blocks for awhile + finishing a few turns in a blanket that is almost done + maybe some more doodling too! Nice entry!

  7. I love your summation of the Artistic Mother book. I too thought at first glance that the book might be too basic for my art tastes but I bought it anyway (and joined the group.) I'm loving the book so far and look forward to participating in the projects. Shona writes an enjoyable book!

  8. Lis, I just love reading your posts! Your life seems to be just overflowing with creativity, love and your personal journey and spirituality, and it's all so inspiring! I'm almost finished Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way and have been thinking through many of the issues you raise here. Plus I also went to and downloaded (free) her book The Art of Original Thinking, which again has overlaps and was a wonderful read. As for an artist vision statement - in a nutshell I'm trying to find inner peace, trying to uncover and express who I am, and trying to make the world just that little bit better because of my place in it. A few months ago I wouldn't have been able to explain it so succinctly, so obviously there has been some movement as a result of all this navel gazing! Have a lovely day! Janice.x

  9. This is beautiful. So, so beautiful.