Book Club – The Creative Habit

23 Aug

Our Book Club book for August was The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life by Twyla Tharp. For those of you who don’t know, Twyla Tharp is a dancer and choreographer as well as a writer. She lives a life of creativity and shares her experiences and knowledge with us in this book.

 

The Creative Habit

The Creative Habit

 

I enjoyed reading this book. I like her insights and ideas and how she shares things from her own life experiences to illustrate what she is talking about. It’s not just fluff and fun, but real life experiences. And even if you don’t know who she is or don’t follow dance and ballet and theater, you can still understand what she is talking about.

Our book club discussion talked about how much we loved the true-life examples of her ideas (both good and bad examples). We were happy that she used her personal stories, but we also enjoyed the stories from other artists in other mediums (writers, painters, musicians) that also illustrated her points. The ideas didn’t just relate to her own dance and choreography, but to all the various arts.

“Venturing out of your comfort zone may be dangerous, yet do it anyways because our ability to grow is directly proportional to an ability to entertain the uncomfortable.”

We loved the fact that she still did the work – every day she works out, she practices dance moves even though she is no longer the dancer, she reads and researches and studies all the time. She is always learning, always stretching, always desiring to reach farther and higher. We appreciated her authenticity of self. She definitely practices what she preaches and that is always inspiring.

“You may wonder which came first: the skill or the hard work. But that’s a moot point. The Zen master cleans his own studio. So should you.”

The book offers lots of practical advice and ideas for allowing your creativity to emerge, but also exercises that you can do to even further your creative journey. Of course with any book on creativity that includes exercises or tasks to do, the discussion then turned to how this book compares to the Julia Cameron book The Artist’s Way, which is probably the book on creativity that most people are familiar with. As is often the case, there are some people who love Julia Cameron and some who don’t. We did agree that the exercises in the Artist’s Way are probably deeper and more personal, but that both books deal with creativity in unique and inspiring ways. And the exercises in both books can provide valuable insight into your own creative process.

Twyla Tharp offers practical and grounded advice. Her book is full of interesting ideas to find your creative genius, but really, it boils down to just doing the work – the fun work, the hard work, the tedious work, the painful work, all of the work that is necessary to embrace your art.

I enjoyed her discussion about organization for projects, the ‘box’ for each project she works on. And how focused she is for each project.

“Everything is raw material. Everything is relevant. Everything is usable. Everything feeds into my creativity. But without proper preparation, I cannot see it, retain it, and use it.”

I liked her chapter on rut vs. groove, because we have all experienced both of those. We all want to know how to always be in the groove, and not in the rut!

“We get into ruts when we run with the first idea that pops into our head, not the last one.”

Each chapter offers a different point of emphasis that has both examples as well as advice and exercises to do. The book is easy to read and I know I will refer to it often. I definitely recommend it.

I’m sure I’ve said this before – I have to remember that I want a real book, not the Kindle book, for book club. It is much more difficult to participate in book club when I don’t have an actual book to thumb through and find the highlighted bits and notes in the margins. :)

 

Our book club selection for September is The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. I know we read this book before, but it is definitely one of the books we should re-read from time to time. We will be meeting on Sept 25th if you care to join us.

~Deb

Let Your Inner Artist out to Play

Blue Twig Studio – 5039 N Academy Blvd – Colorado Springs, Co 80918

719-266-1866

 

Weeks 30 and 31 of the 365 days of art challenge

18 Aug

At least I think we are on weeks 30 and 31 now. I’m a bit behind in sharing my photos on the blog, but I swear I have been doing the postcards every single day. I admit that some days I find something in my studio that is already mostly done or I color in one of the preprinted postcards, but I really do one postcard every day. You can always find the daily postcards on facebook or instagram.

Here are two more weeks of postcards. Enjoy!

Have you been doing your own 365 days of art challenge? How is that going for you? Easy? or a Struggle?

#bts365day

~deb

Let Your Inner Artist out to Play

Blue Twig Studio – 5039 N Academy Blvd – Colorado Springs, CO 80918

719-266-1866

 

my tug of war

17 Aug

I’ve been feeling this tug of war going on with myself for awhile now. On the one hand I love art and creativity and playing in my studio and making stuff. I like being alone and experimenting.  Makes me happy and keeps me calm. On the other hand I love my shop and working at the store and being a business owner. I love meeting new people and hearing about the creative journeys they have been on. I love helping those people new to art to find their place in the creative world.

 

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I am constantly having this discussion with myself about the two sides. Which side is my true passion? Which side is more important? Which side should I be devoting my time and resources towards? Where does my real strength lie?

It is a constant debate and I finally decided that I don’t really have to choose. I can embrace both sides of who I am. I can make art and I can be a successful business owner and that is OK! Of course, I may need to be reminded of this on occasion, as I’m sure this will be an ongoing debate.

~Deb

Let Your Inner Artist out to Play

Blue Twig Studio – 5039 N Academy Blvd – Colorado Springs, Co 80918

719-266-1866

 

Coloring Book Trend

5 Aug

We were part of the recent National Coloring Book Day sponsored by Dover Publications. We had a little party at Blue Twig Studio with coloring book pages and coloring pencils and markers and cookies! It was fun and relaxing (which is part of the point of coloring books).

But we also made the news! We were lucky it was a slow news day in Colorado Springs. Just click the link to see the news post.

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Have you joined the coloring book trend? Blue Twig Studio has lots of different coloring books and a variety of pens and pencils and markers that you can use. (Of course everything isn’t on the website, but you can come by the shop to see what is available or you can call or email the shop too).

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I’ve been having fun coloring and I know you will too!

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~Deb

Let Your Inner Artist out to Play

Blue Twig Studio

5039 N Academy Blvd

Colorado Springs, CO 80918

719-266-1866

 

 

Weeks 27, 28 and 29

26 Jul

Here I am sharing weeks 27, 28 and 29 of the 365 days of art challenge. I am doing postcards, which are fairly easy and quite fun to do. Perhaps I didn’t really challenge myself too much by choosing the postcards, but I’m sticking with it and doing them every day and that is what matters.

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Are you doing the challenge? What are you doing and how is it going for you?

#bts365days

~Deb

Let Your Inner Artist out to Play

Blue Twig Studio – 5039 N Academy Blvd – Colorado Springs, CO 80918

719-266-1866

 

Gallery

Easy Mixed Media Project

23 Jul

Deb Prewitt:

As part of Seth Apter’s Buried Treasure blog project, I am resharing this blog post from last year. Visit Seth’s blog Altered Page to see other buried treasure blog posts.

Originally posted on Blue Twig Studio:

We recently created a fun mixed media project for our Arty Party. The Arty Party is a monthly class that is a lot of fun. Every month we do something different and always have a good time being creative. The best part of the Arty Party is that it is a mystery. You don’t get to know what the project is ahead of time. You just show up and then we start playing and creating. Everyone always does an amazing job!

For this project we started with a painted canvas board and set it aside to dry while we worked on the painted papers. (You can also use a cradled canvas.) I used black paint because I like the contrast, but you can use any color you like.

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Then we started painting our papers. Just start layering paint. I like to use the scraping method (using an old gift card…

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Who wants to join my Design Team?

20 Jul

We just finished with a 6-month design team and I’m ready to try it again. My team did a great job and I hope you enjoyed the variety of posts from them. Everyone had their own style and I appreciated what they did.

Now I’m ready to try out a new design team. If you are interested, please let me know. I will be gathering my list of potential artists and deciding who I want to have.

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Here are some general guidelines about what is expected. Once you have let me know you are interested, we will get together and go over more details. You do not have to be local to do this, even though that makes it a lot easier for both of us.

 

1.  6 month commitment

2.  monthly guest blog posts here

3.  monthly samples and tutorials

4.  participation in all store/blog challenges or contests

5.  teach at least once if at all possible (I realize schedules don’t always fit)

6. comment, share, engage on all social media platforms (facebook, twitter, instagram, blog, etc)

 

If you are interested, leave a comment below or send me an email at dlprewitt@hotmail.com. :)

 

~Deb

Let Your Inner Artist Out To Play

Blue Twig Studio – 5039 N Academy Blvd – Colorado Springs, CO 80918

719-266-1866

Coloring is Not just for Kids

8 Jul

Coloring is a fun and relaxing activity. When we are kids, we love to color. As we get older, we start thinking that coloring is only for kids. That is SO WRONG! Coloring books are amazing! Lots of fun pictures already drawn for you and all you have to do is play with the colors.

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Of course, I have always thought coloring was fun and important to our general well-being. But apparently lots of adults have never even considered the idea that they could color just like the kids do! But I’m here to tell you that you can enjoy coloring too.

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There are lots of wonderful coloring books for adults, which tend to be more detailed and intricate, but lots of kids coloring books are pretty good too!!!! There are so many different topics and themes that it is easy to find something for everyone.  This is one of my favorites.

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And these are some of my favorite tools to use. Of course, this isn’t all of them, but a good selection.

All kinds of markers to play with.

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Colored pencils are also fun to use. Like my favorite Inktense pencils.

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Or the Tombow Irotijen pencils.

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Or gel pens. So many colors and always fun to play with.

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My new favorite Derwent Graphix line markers.

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What do you like to use when coloring? Pens, pencils, markers, paint, or good old fashioned crayons?

There is a new trend that is all about adult coloring books. I can’t keep the books in the store – as soon as they come in, then they go out – which is awesome because that means people are starting to realize that coloring is for adults too!  So many options!

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It is a great way to relieve stress and lessen anxiety. It helps you focus. You can play with all the colors and let your imagination run wild. You can try out new color combinations. You can get a little bit of art fun in even when your muse is on vacation. Plus it is just plain fun!!!!

I hope you join the coloring book fun!  You can find some coloring books and coloring tools on the website or in the shop. Stop by sometime and see what you can find!

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I’m thinking of hosting a coloring book party. What do you think? Does that sound like fun to you?

~Deb

Let Your Inner Artist out to Play

Blue Twig Studio

5039 N Academy Blvd

Colorado Springs, CO 80918

719-266-1866

Weeks 25 and 26 of the 365 days of art challenge

7 Jul

I think I am getting caught up on these blog posts. :)

Today I am sharing weeks 25 and 26 of the 365 days of art challenge. I am doing a postcard a day and having lots of fun with it. I hope you are enjoying your challenge too.

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#bts365days

~Deb

Let Your Inner Artist out to Play

Blue Twig Studio – 5039 N Academy Blvd – Colorado Springs, CO 80918

719-266-1866

 

Book Club Review

6 Jul

We finished reading our book club selection Creative is a Verb by Patti Digh. Have I said how much I enjoy her writing? She is funny, witty, clever, and insightful. What else could you want?

Creative is a Verb by Patti Digh

Creative is a Verb by Patti Digh

Our discussion centered on a few points.

  • We create our own obstacles (does that make us creative).
  • Reaching out to people we need to know.
  • Awareness of what is going on.

Creating obstacles seems to be something that we do quite well. Finding those things that distract us. Thinking we aren’t good enough. Comparing ourselves to others. Thinking we need the next best something or other in order to finish. The list goes on and on. I’m sure you recognize yourself in there somewhere. So once you know you are creating obstacles – then you can stop doing it!

The chapter about sitting down to write had great tips! Of course it applies to any endeavor you are undertaking. Whether you are painting, sewing, making jewelry, composing music, or writing short stories. Just do the work!!!

Here are Patti’s pointers:

  1. Don’t set out to write a book.
  2. Sit the hell down and write.
  3. Write to write.
  4. Long to say something.
  5. Name the direction of your intention.
  6. Ignore everybody.
  7. The writing is everything.
  8. Shut up about ideal conditions.
  9. Don’t believe the hype.
  10. Read more.
  11. Don’t take one more class.
  12. Make do with the pen you have.

See what I mean about creating our own obstacles? Every thing on this list can be an obstacle to actually getting the work done!

Reaching out to people we need to know. Don’t be afraid to call someone and tell them you admire them or respect them. Don’t be afraid to ask for something you need. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to give of yourself too. You have something to offer as well.

Just pay attention and be more aware of all that is going on around you. Notice what is happening in your life. Notice the little things just as much as the big things. What makes you happy? What makes your heart sing? What makes your life complete? Find those things and embrace them!

I absolutely loved the chapter about licking the art – I actually wrote about it in last week’s newsletter. The idea is that you love a piece of art (music, sculpture, painting, etc) so much that you want to get as close as you can get to it – so close that the next logical step in your experience would be to lick the painting. Amazing! What piece of art do you love so much that you might actually want to lick it?

The entire book is full of wonderful stories and great quotes and interesting exercises.

Our next book is Twyla Tharp’s The Creative Habit – Learn it & Use it For Life.  

~Deb

Let Your Inner Artist out to Play

Blue Twig Studio – 5039 N Academy Blvd – Colorado Springs, CO 80918

719-266-1866

 

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