Sunday, February 22, 2009

Spiritual Evolution: It's all About the Frame...

Ink & Pencil Mandala

The following is a golden nugget by Jim Donovan, from his blog Rhythm :: Ecstasy :: Evolution.

"The drive to grow is what keeps you progressing. If you desire progress, this drive will never stop for you, and you'll always want to share what you discover with those you love. While you can definitely have an effect on someone, you will rarely be able to put your hands on someone and twist them into what you want them to be.

A significant challenge in a relationship is to see someone you love that you know could benefit and grow from what you personally know, but the person is either uninterested or unwilling to "go there". Dealing with this kind of frustration, while unnerving, can also be viewed as a gift. It gives you one more part of yourself to come to terms with. This part has to do with just allowing life to unfold as it does.

Whenever you can reduce the emotional charge of frustration at someone else's lack of growth, you will have grown as a result. This is a way to change the frame of how you view your closest relationships. You have the choice to view them in terms of how much they aggravate you, or you can view them in terms of how much they can help you to understand yourself." - Jim Donovan

This is excellent advice, especially for a control freak like me. It makes a lot more sense than the old cliche, "taking people for what they are worth." To me, changing the frame *is* the way to better relationships, and the ultimate way to lead to your own progression.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Heart Day

Red Safari on Black Moleskine on Red Habana on get the idea

Whether or not you have a special someone to share today with, be sure to love yourself. Take a few moments just for you. :o)

Red Black Doodle

Mood (2)

Red Mandala - I like this one

Grande Red Ciak Journal

Colors of my Heart


Mandala Doodle

Fabriano Venezia Book

Red Hand*Book Doodle

Friday, February 13, 2009

Picking Your Watercolor Palette

Haven't been painting for a while - mandala

Even though I love painting with watercolors, it seems that I never make the time to do it. This time, I was determined to put brush to paper.

I pulled out my water mug, (my Uncle Buck's old coffee cup) brush, and paint palette then got to work on the piece above.

My watercolor palette.

Click on the above image to see the individual names of the colors.

After wasting money on student grade water colors such as Van Gogh and Cottman, I stepped up to the real deal - artist grade watercolors. Yes, they do cost more - but the quality is so much better. Student grade watercolors contain more "filler" and often times are impossible to mix. (The results are muddy) Artist grade paints contain more pigment and are much more vibrant. They also make mixing MUCH better.

I think a lot of people experiment with watercolor by buying the inexpensive paints and end up not using them because the results are not what they expected.

My paints are purchased by the tube, and I prefer the brands Holbein and Daniel Smith.

You don't need to start with as many colors that I have, I have a lot of what are called, "convenience colors." Convenience colors are pre-mixed colors like purple, orange and green - colors that you could mix yourself from the primary colors, but it's more convenient to have it already mixed in the tube.

There are actually two sets of primary colors - a cool, and a warm. each contain a variation of a blue, a yellow and a red. Sometimes a warm red might not play well with a cool blue. It's all about experimentation.

When buying paints, think about what you really want to be painting. I didn't do this when I started buying paints, and now I have a lot of colors that I don't really use. (Like a lot of the blues...) I do mostly all brightly colored abstracts, and I am working to simplify my palette.

Monday, February 9, 2009

I am so glad to know it's not just me....

My Stack. Of Journals.  See?  Not really as bad as I make it out to be. Click to see notes.

I know that at first glance this looks excessive.....

Ok, maybe it is, but here's the thing- I am both an artist and a writer. Good quality paper is important for me, whether I'm writing with a fountain pen, painting with watercolors, or doodling with markers. If there is one thing I've learned, it's that good paper can definitely make the creative experience much more enjoyable.

I started this blog as a way to share my experiences with certain products, and when I realized that people liked it, it made me want to try more products so I could pass along what's really "good."

I get lots of feedback - comments on the blog, direct e-mails, posts on the Fountain Pen Network, but nothing really hits home more than when I check the keyword activity through my stats program. People are constantly coming to my blog through searches like "best paper for fountain pens," "smoothest paper," "Best notebook paper." I see it every single day and it warms my heart to know that I'm not the only one that cares about the experience as a whole.

Now about this photo... Some are filled, some are not. Some are for art, and some are for writing. Some get used as journals, some as project books. And about half of them are now gone since I have tested them and moved them along for other people to test. Because seriously, I can really only use so many, and there are only so many (due to quality) that I want to use.

If you click on the image, you will see notes on the image telling what each book is.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Spritual Evolution: Accessing All That Life Has to Offer

All Access

These laminated pieces of cardboard represent a relentless pursuit of a lifelong dream. The time, effort, and energy that a single rock and roll band went through to make a name for themselves. It's almost more that I can comprehend.

I look at these and I see the countless miles traveled, thousands of shows played, and the millions of people that went to those shows who danced, smiled, and sang along to their favorite songs... I was but a single person at a single show, but these represent so much more. Think of all the synchronicity that had to take place for just one person to go to just one single show.

How often in your job, does your success depend on such grand momentum? It's almost a job that once you succeed, your continued success is turned over into the hands of everyone around you. The band's management, the promoters, the radio stations, the fans...

As with anything in life, it's a chance you take when you decide to put yourself out there. If you desire to reach a certain goal, at some point in time you have to take risks, which can mean putting yourself at someone else's mercy.

As a fan, I can look at these badges and appreciate everything involved that happened to bring them into existence. It makes me feel better each time I buy a CD or a concert ticket, to know that the efforts of a single person can make me a part of something so much bigger than myself.

These laminates were on loan from Jim Donovan. Want to read about his journey with Rusted Root and beyond? Check out his blog: Rhythm :: Ecstasy :: Evolution.
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