Tag Archives: creativity

Seth Apter

23 Jun

 

We are so lucky to have Seth Apter visiting Blue Twig Studio to teach for a few days. Seth is a wonderful mixed media artist with a fun style that I absolutely love. He graciously agreed to teach here, even before meeting me or visiting my shop (we have since met a couple times). I am very grateful to him and I know that everyone will make him feel very welcome when he is here.
me and Seth
Here we are at CHA. 🙂
Here are a few questions and answers to help you get to know Seth a little bit better.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.  I am a mixed media artist from New York City. When I am not making art, you might find me teaching, designing products or writing. And you will often find me online, managing all of my social media sites that go hand-and-hand with being an artist these days.

Have you always made art? When did you start? What made you start? I came to art later in life. Although I always loved art, I had no interest in being a maker until a random and serendipitous meeting with an artist in 2000 introduced me a whole new world.
What is your earliest art related memory? My earliest art memories relate back to the art projects that I made in grade school, including what was my first collaboration in 4th grade when I made a poster with a classmate for a reading program.
Do you have an art degree or art credentials? I do not have an art degree and my “training” has been limited to individual workshops with artists I admire and a series of courses at the Center for Book Arts in NYC.
How long have you been teaching?  I have been teaching just over 4 years, having taught my first workshop in NYC.
What is your favorite class to teach? Don’t tell the other workshops, but my favorite class to teach is 52 Card Pickup. It is a fun, free-spirited workshop and one which always seems to bring smiles to the faces of the students.
Do you have a favorite art quote or words of advice? My mantra these days is “You’re only one layer away from magic.” That is the beauty of mixed media!
Where can people find you?
      Website: sethapter.com
      Twitter: twitter.com/alteredpage
      Instagram: instagram.com/sethapter/
Thanks so much for sharing a bit about yourself.
Seth Apter is teaching 4 different classes at Blue Twig Studio. Here are the links (shown below each class sample photo) to the classes on the website so you can find out more details. There is still room for a few more people in the classes – but don’t wait too long to get registered!
Photo Op 1
Photo Op – Sept 16th 10-1
SethApter.BackgroundNoise.One
Background Noise – Sept 16th 3-6
SethApter.52CardPickup.One
52 Card Pickup – Sept 17th 10-5
SethApter.MixedMediaDossier.One
Mixed Media Dossier – Sept 18th 10-5
These classes all look fabulous and I can’t wait to see what all the students create!!!
~Deb
Let Your Inner Artist out to Play
5039 N Academy Blvd
Colorado Springs, CO 80918
719-266-1866

Bringing you Mindy Lacefield

7 Jun
I am so happy to be able to bring in Mindy Lacefield to teach at Blue Twig Studio this summer. I hope you can make the time to take a class from her. We are so lucky that she has agreed to travel to Colorado and teach here. It is an opportunity that doesn’t come around very often.
She is super sweet and you will absolutely adore her. This interview will help you get to know her better.
~Deb
serendipity 2011 459
Tell us a little bit about yourself, where you live, etc.
-I live in central Arkansas out in the woods with my husband, Tim and two poodles Merlin and Sammy.
 
 
Have you always made art? Or when did you start? What made you start?
-I always drew as a child and felt at ease with a paper and pencil. But I guess my priorities and interests became more focused on basketball. I played all the way through middle school to college. I never thought I could be an artist. I always thought I had to go to university and major in something practical and get a “real job”. Luckily with the internet and social media I was able to create and sell art online and begin to make a living doing it. I picked up a paint brush about 10 years ago when I saw the full moon over the Pacific ocean. I realize now it was God calling me to Him and to reach out to others through painting and teaching. The path He has laid out has become so clear and I am so grateful to connect with other kindred, creative spirits on this journey.
 
Is your family artistic?
-Yes, in fact my uncle is a wood carver and ventriloquist. He made several puppets from wood and has performed at craft shows and other area shows. I also have two cousins who are highly artistic.
How long have you been teaching?
-I have been teaching for about 5 years.
 
How did you get started teaching? 
-I went to an art retreat as a student. One day while we had some free time, a sweet girl came up to me and asked me if she could sit and watch me paint for a few minutes. As we sat there, I thought why not lead her through some of the reasons why I put different colors in the face and where to apply them to achieve depth and dimension. Afterwards, she went back to her table and created the most amazing face based on my instruction. I was floored and instantly addicted to teaching. After that, I began inquiring about teaching different places and others starting reaching out to see if I’d come be a visiting art teacher.
pixiedustlight051 - Copy - Copy
 
What is your favorite class to teach? 
-I love teaching how to paint faces and how to make discoveries along the way. Making mistakes is key in finding your voice and own joy in painting.
 
What is your favorite art medium? And why?
-I love acrylic paint. I love that it dries quickly. I also love bleeding tissue paper, watercolor pencils, and stencils.
 
What is the most unusual venue you have taught at?
-I taught last May in a huge red barn in Nebraska. So inspiring and full of nostalgic energy!
 
Who is your favorite artist? Why?
-Anne Patay. Her work is full of beautiful marks with such an incredible energy and depth.
 
Do you have a favorite art quote to share? Or some words of advice?
-Two of my favorite quotes are:
“It took me 4 years to learn to paint like Raphael and a lifetime to paint like a child” – Picasoo
“Art is not about thinking something up. It’s about getting something down.” – Julia Cameron
 
Where can people find you? 
instagram: mindy_lacefield

~Mindy Lacefield

 

divinemagic049 - Copy - Copy - Copy
Mindy will be teaching a 2-day workshop at Blue Twig Studio – Aug 19th & 20th – Inner Radiant Child. Use this link for more details about the class. It is going to be so much fun! Space is limited so be sure to get registered early.
~Deb
Let Your Inner Artist out to Play
Blue Twig Studio
5039 N Academy Blvd
Colorado Springs, CO 80918
719-266-1866

alcohol inks review

13 Apr

Guest Blog Post by Design Team Member Pat Mathes

Comments in Italics by Deb

My final journey with the Design Team is working with alcohol inks.  I love the bold look of the finished process, and am learning to refine those colors into soothing looks.  It is all in the process.  I am by no means an expert in this – I am just the opposite, a novice but willing to learn.  I will warn you right now that you need to wear gloves with this media.  I didn’t at first and ended up with yellow and green fingers.  And this is a very permanent ink.  The craft scrubbie  is a must for any mixed media artist, and it did take off a bit, but not much.  So WEAR GLOVES!  Protect your clothing and your workspace.  I used my Ranger nonstick craft sheet, also available at Blue Twig Studio, to protect my table. (I do protect my table, but rarely wear gloves myself. I kind of like the ink on my hands – makes me feel like I actually did something creative!) 

Alcohol inks are an acid-free, highly-pigmented, and fast drying medium to be used on non-porous surfaces.  You work with drops from the bottle, not a paint brush (although I do teach using the paintbrush in my Exploring Alcohol Inks Class – which will probably be on the schedule sometime in the summer, so watch for it.). There is a wide variety of colors.  The two most popular brands are Adirondack and Pinata.  The major difference between the two is the color palette.  The Adirondack line of colors is very earthy and rich.  The Pinata inks are rich, but basically primary colors.  And bright.  The Adirondacks are a bit more fluid, also.  The Adirondack inks are softer, and the Pinata quickly overpowers with its color.  Vivid primary colors.  If you mix the two on a project, and they are mixable, the Pinata will be the dominant colors because of the intensity.  Both brands of ink are very fast drying.

As I work through these examples, you will note I talk about the ink moving.  This is one of the great ways this ink works.  If you pick up the paper and tilt it, the ink moves on top of the paper.  If you put blending solution on it, the inks move.  So when I say the ink is moving, it is doing just that.  It sits on top of whatever surface you are using.

Tools needed:  (1) Surface:  Alcohol inks do not work well on paper.  The drops just sink into the paper.  I did some experimenting with a piece of gesso painted wood and got a different effect – you don’t get the bloom on the drops as much and you don’t get the flow.  The inks work great on any other surface – plastic, metal, glass, and on Yupo, my favorite, which is a plastic paper that you can purchase at Blue Twig Studio either already cut or in a large sheet you can cut to the size you want.  The Yupo  has a surface that really works well with the alcohol inks.  (2) Blending Tool (available at Blue Twig Studio).  You drop drops of the different colors on it and pounce with it, and you will get different effects.  On the pieces in this article, I will tell you when I used the blending tool

AI 1

(3) Alcohol Blending Solution – an awesome product.  If you put some on the blending tool and daub it on a finished piece, it dilutes and lightens the effect of the alcohol ink. The solution will also clean the alcohol ink off of surfaces, hands and tools.  You can also use 91% rubbing alcohol.  I have a water pen and a spray bottle filled with the rubbing alcohol.  Please note that you need 91% rubbing alcohol, not the everyday kind you probably have in your cabinet.  There are a couple of examples below where I used the pen or the spray.

First, I am going to show you some comparison studies I did with the alcohol inks, using Yupo paper and glossy photo paper.

***I have put 3 different colors on the blending tool, dropping them around randomly.  You don’t totally cover the pad on the tool – you will get the feel of how many drops to use.  (See the tool below in picture 12 of the domino) On the Yupo paper, using the blending tool, it has a much softer appearance and a slight bloom.  On the glossy paper, it is more intense and the inks don’t move.  You can pounce the tool over and over.  On the Yupo paper, the ink sits on top of the under colors and blooms a little more, not darkening.  On the glossy paper the ink just sits on top of what you already did and darkens more, not moving any.

AI 2

 

 

*** I put blending solution on the blending tool and swiped it through the first sample below.  You will note that with the Yupo paper, it smeared and spread the inks.  The effect on the glossy photo paper was that it didn’t do much to what was already down, it just smeared it a bit.  These were both dry when I used the blending solution.

AI 3 (1)

 

**When you put a drop of another color on top of a color on the Yupo paper (below left), it blooms and you get that neat ring around it – on the glossy paper, it doesn’t show a lot of effect.  It doesn’t move the bottom color at all and in fact overpowers it.

AI 4 (1)

 

 

****The next sample is another one of layering the colors.  And then I took the water pen filled with alcohol and swiped through them to see what effect I would get.  You can see with the Yupo paper, it removes the ink.  On the glossy paper, it doesn’t hardly have any effect.        AI 5

 

On the Yupo paper, you can keep layering colors, and even drop the alcohol solution in it, and each drop will bloom on top of the others.  Here are some examples of this.  In picture 1 I layered 3 colors.  You can see how they bloom on top of each other, creating those rings of intensity.  In picture 2, I dropped a drop of alcohol blending solution.  See how it lessened the intensity of the color?  In picture 3 I dropped a drop of white on top and then spritzed with rubbing alcohol.  It creates “droplets” on top.AI 6

 

 

***Next, I wanted to try some marbling.  I put a thick layer of shaving foam on a paper plate and dropped some drops of alcohol ink on top.  I then took a pallet knife and cut through it, kind of swirling the inks.  After you place the paper into the foam and pick it up, you just take a palette knife or paper towel and wipe off the foam to reveal the colors and lay it aside to dry.  The picture on the left was done using card stock and the picture on the right is the same process using Yupo paper (the three lighter ones) and on the far right are the glossy paper.  You can see that the colors are more intense on the card stock and glossy paper than on the Yupo paper.  So it would depend on the appearance you wanted. These are now ready for embellishing.  At this point you could use these as backgrounds for a greeting card – collage on them, draw on them, do Zentangle on them – any kind of art.

AI 7

Once alcohol inks are dry, you can write or draw on them with many media – remember, they are not water based so you won’t smear them with a water based media on top.

 

 

****The next sample I really enjoyed doing.  But doing this with the alcohol inks, you have to work fast because they dry so quickly.  I dropped Pinata inks (see how vivid the colors are) onto the Yupo paper, totally covering it.  I used a bit of blending solution to move the colors around a bit (this also extended the drying time a bit), and then I wrapped the paper in plastic wrap.  I left it to dry overnight.  When I released the plastic wrap the next day the effect was beautiful.  In the third picture, I did another piece using Adirondack colors which gave a more subtle effect.  (this is a great way to create special effects)

 

***And then there are dreamscapes.  This is the idea of June Rollins (she has beautiful AI work and many tutorials available).  You lay down lines of the alcohol ink across the page, add blending solution and tilt the paper to make the ink flow.  Then you add another color and do the same thing.  You take coffee stirrers and move the ink flow.  You take an old credit card and move it.  Get the picture?  Her pieces are beautiful – these are my first two attempts.  These take a lot of practice to get them to really work right.  I just love the looks of flow that you can get with these inks.

AI 10

 

 

Next one turned into kind of a hot mess.  I put down a mix of colors and then laid a stencil on top.  I dropped the blue through the stencil.  That is the outer part.  You let it sit a while and you can kind of see the stencil.  I didn’t like the way it did the inner part, so I put another stencil on top and dropped clear blending solution on it.  That created the small circles you see.  So the overall effect is okay, and I took a silver Uniball pen and a microperm pen and did a tangle on it.

 

AI 11

 

**I dropped ink on the blending tool and pounced it on a blank domino (just an inexpensive plastic domino).  These are fun to collage on, punch hole through and make necklaces.

AI 12

 

***To show a couple other effects, I did a light background, then placed the circle stencil on top of it.  I put blending solution on the blending tool and pounced through the stencil.  This took the ink off in those places.  Then I used a stamp with Ranger Archival Ink and stamped on the bottom.  On the right hand side, this is one of the earlier pieces where I showed drops on top of each other.  I inked my stamp with Ranger Archival Ink (has to be this type of ink) and then took a damp paper towel and removed the ink.  I wasn’t careful enough and did smear it a bit, but you get the general effect – it removes the color just like the blending solution does.

AI 13

 

Last but not least, here I just used drops of color on the blending tool, pounced it all over the Yupo paper, then used some blending solution on top of it and pounced some more.  I also did some drops directly on the Yupo paper. Once it dried, I did some quick art on top of it with white gel pen and black Microperm.

AI 14

 

When I step out of my comfort zone and work on something new, I am sometimes quickly frustrated. It doesn’t look the way I think it should or the way that the picture/video I am working from looks. I expect perfection from myself and it should be easy peasy. But that doesn’t happen. It takes practice, and finessing techniques my way, and coming up with a way that works for me.  That way I can start to develop my own style.  This was a really fun way to step out of my comfort zone!!  I see more playing in my future!

~Pat

Thanks Pat for a great tutorial. Alcohol Inks are fun and addictive to use. There are many more ways you can use them besides what Pat has shared here. She is right that you just need to start playing and developing your own style to use them. One of the wonders of AI is that you really have just a minimum of control and that takes some getting used to. 

Blue Twig Studio sells all the Ranger Adirondack Alcohol Inks and the Pinata Alcohol Inks, as well as the Yupo paper and various tools, including craft sheets (although everything may not be listed on the website). Watch the Class Schedule for the next Exploring Alcohol Inks class – which I try to do once or twice a year. It is a great way to play and experiment with various surfaces and tools. I love to see which techniques/surfaces/tools the students love and which ones they ignore. 

~Deb

Let Your Inner Artist out to Play

Blue Twig Studio

5039 N Academy Blvd 

Colorado Springs, CO 80918

719-266-1866

 

 

Artist Helen Shafer Garcia

15 Feb

Helen Shafer Garcia will be coming to Blue Twig Studio to teach in April. I took a class with her at Art & Soul last year and loved her style, so I figured other people would love to take a class with her as well. She has shared a little info here about who she is so we can get to know her better. And of course, if you take one of her upcoming classes you will get to know her even more.

 

Helen Shafer Garcia:  I’d like to introduce myself. I live in north San Diego area with my husband, son and 2 cats. My son and husband are both welders and engineer type minded people. Our casa is called Garciaville, which includes my cool studio, my son’s metal shop and my husband’s metal lathe shop where he makes beautiful cue sticks. My cats just sit around meowing and buzzing. I have a 1/2 acre garden that keeps me in tune with my plants and other assorted creatures.

I teach watercolor and acrylic at Palomar College, water media, Pastel, and Book Arts at 2 other locals, Escondido and Fallbrook. You can find all sorts of info at my website http://www.HelenShaferGarcia.com and my blog http://www.agavelatte.blogspot.com I also teach workshops internationally and across the USA. My art friends Laurie Mika, Jane LaFazio, Lynn Leahy and I will be returning to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico next year in October/November for a week long workshop adventure….a trip of a lifetime…. http://www.tesorocorazon.blogspot.com/

After finishing up my BA in Art I started working with clay, making vessels and slab rolled pots. I also started building up a portfolio in watercolor. My emphasis was larger than life succulents and other southwest images. Galleries in New Mexico, California, and Arizona began to show my works starting in the mid 80’s. At the same time I began working as an illustrator. I contracted with major resorts and hotels, creating watercolor images of the buildings and amenity features. I also illustrated Garden edibles for San Diego Home Garden Magazine for 8 years.

I’ve come full circle now, back to a career in teaching. Teaching is incredibly rewarding. I meet the most amazing and talented people, with new directions bouncing around in the classroom. Great energy!

~Helen

 

 

Here are Helen’s upcoming classes at Blue Twig Studio. Just click the links to get more info. I look forward to seeing you in her classes. These are going to be awesome!

 

color pencil journaling

 

Colored Pencil Mixed Media Journaling: April 17th 

Colored pencils are such good therapy. Pressing down pure color on smooth
paper leads to endless good vibes. We’ll combine watercolors, water-soluble
pens, and colored pencils while learning clever user-friendly ways to draw.
My drawing methods will ease those ever so present inhibitions about
drawing lines and shapes. Learn how to blend beautiful color layers and
create dark and light mixtures. You’ll be prompted to create small poems
that will be collaged in a clever way throughout the works.
IMG_0412
This paper quilt is loaded with colorful crinkly textures. Paint and ink will flow into
the crevices giving the papers a wonderful aged look. Explore this special
watermedia batik like technique on Masa rice paper. We’ll use an acrylic ink
technique to make marks and paint with watercolor, letting the colors blend and
fuse together naturally. We’ll also make lines with water -soluble oil pastels; add
translucent paper layers and fabric raw edges. Dive into detail with colored pencils,
ink lines, adornments, and collage elements to embellish the shapes. And to
complete the remnant look, we’ll add sari ribbons to embellish the edges, giving the
quilt a delightful aged look.
Blue bird for email
Reach into the sky and create connections between branches and earth while creating universal Tree of life themed mixed media paintings on Masa paper and canvas. A special batik technique with Masa rice paper will create wonderful textures and crevices for the paint to flow into. Draw and paint elements and symbolic icons of a tree of life, including birds, flowers and other great, joyful creatures with bold watercolor dropped -in color techniques. You’ll play with colored pencils, ink lines and collage elements to further embellish your paintings. Discover how beautiful and bright watercolors can be with this special process. The watercolor paintings will be sealed with an acrylic varnish to protect the surface. Borders and embellishments will be added with acrylics.
Just looking at the beautiful photos of her work makes me happy.
~Deb
Let Your Inner Artist out to Play
Blue Twig Studio
5039 N Academy Blvd
Colorado Springs, CO 80918
719-266-1866

Golden High Flow Acrylics review

20 Oct

Guest Blog Post by Design Team member Venisa Gallegos

Comments in italics by Deb 

So, this month, Deb gave me some Golden High Flow Acrylic paints to play with.  Included were the colors red and green and an iridescent silver. My first thought was, this will be an easy assignment and then reality set in.  What do I do with these High Flow paints? I decided to google how to use these paints and found that they have an ink-like consistency that can be used in painting, drawing, staining, glazing, inking, hand-lettering, spraying, and more. You can use them in an airbrush, dip pen or refillable marker (I loved using them in the markers).  What really caught my eye was that they come in Fluorescent colors.  Woo Hoo!  So, three colors was just not enough to play with so I went back and bought Fluorescent Yellow, Fluorescent Green and Pthalo Green (Blue Shade).  Armed with knowledge and supplies I set about my task.  (gotta love the florescent colors!)

  1. Application with Lutradur

But first I thought, why can’t I just use my regular Golden acrylics with water?  Won’t those be the same?  As it turns out, no they won’t.  Regular Golden Acrylics mixed with water get diluted.  So, that’s the big selling point with the High Flow Acrylics.  They give you concentrated color (which is extremely fluid).   I love working with Lutradur which is a non-woven, polyester fabric.  It’s basically a cross between paper and fabric.  So, I first sprayed the Lutradur with water and then started to splash the High Flow Acrylic paints onto a sheet of Lutradur.  I was immediately able to mix the colors around like finger paints to get an intense background of colors.  I was also able to easily drip and roll the paint around on the Lutradur.  The High Flow Acrylic did indeed brighten up certain areas on my sheet.  Once I had a good background I let the paint dry and once dry I stenciled on an image of a fern leaf (you know I have lots of stencils).  Since the Lutradur is polyester I used my wood burning tool with a sharp point and burned out the stenciled image.  Next, I bonded together several strips of Textiva (or Angelina film) and then put some shimmery Angelina fiber between the sheets.  I placed this between my cut out image and another piece of Lutradur that I colored.  The result is shown below.  I love how the intense colors on the Lutradur help highlight the fern leaf.

 

teamproject3

 

  1. Application with Canvas

For another application of the paints I took a sheet of canvas paper and sprayed it with water before again adding the High Flow Acrylic paints.  To see how the color compared with regular watered down acrylics I used some of my regular Golden paints to lay down a layer of blue.  Then, using the High Flow Acrylics I brightened up different areas of the canvas sheet.  I wanted to create highlighted colors that resembled water.  My thoughts on how to finish it was that once dry, I will be able to go back in and stitch around the more intense color areas and see what I get. OK, so I tried to sew through this and broke the needle.  Oh well.  But I still love how the Golden High Flow Acrylics gave me intense areas of color. (I’m sure you will find some use for this beautiful piece!)

 

teamproject1

 

  1. Application with Brusho Water Colors

Since the paints flowed like water I decided to use them with my set of Brusho Crystal Inks.  These are basically water colors.   I took some vellum paper and sprayed it with water and then added the Brusho Water Colors.  Next I dripped on some of the Iridescent Silver paint on the paper.  I really liked how the paint mixed with the water color and gave everything a shimmery look.

 

teamproject4

 

Conclusion

So, I found that what I liked best about the paints was that they produced intense colors and I could play with them like water colors.  Also, since they are acrylic, the paint can be painted over and not bleed or move around.  I’d definitely recommend trying some and seeing what you can do with them.  Now I have to go back and get some more of those magnificent fluorescent colors.

~Venisa

Thanks Venisa for a fun tutorial and review of products. Blue Twig Studio does carry the Golden High Flow Acrylics and the Brusho Crystals – however they are not currently listed on the website, so if you are interested let me know. The Lutradur and the Angelina are listed on the website. Or you can always stop by the shop to see what is available. ~Deb

Let Your Inner Artist out to Play

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

719-266-1866

 

 

Why do you Create?

30 Aug

Why Do You Create?

There are as many reasons for why people create as there are people. I think it is valuable to realize that your reasons are what is important. While it is always fun and entertaining to read about everyone else, it only matters what your own reasons are for creating. And sometimes we don’t really know why, and that is OK too.

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

Here are some typical reasons for creating.

  • to express myself
  • to share with others
  • to explore the world
  • it teaches me about who I am
  • it feeds my soul
  • it expands my awareness of the world around me
  • it helps me love more freely
  • I love experimenting
  • it is part of my journey
  • my family likes me better when I create
  • playing is important to me
  • it makes me happy
  • it helps me cope
  • it is just part of who I am
  • to connect with like-minded people
  • it helps me with my job
  • to stretch my imagination
  • to make beautiful things
  • to create gifts to share
  • it makes me a better person
  • I want to surround myself with beauty
  • I want to expand my horizons
  • it makes me feel more alive
  • it helps me survive during chaos
  • it helps me deal with the rest of life
  • I want to give my family the gift of imagination
  • I can’t help myself
  • it is how I learn
  • it completes me

Do these ideas resonate with you? Is your WHY on the list? Or perhaps you have a different WHY. Are you creating in order to find your WHY?

Have you changed your reasons over the years? I know mine have changed as I have become more in tune with what I am creating. Creating is a process, it is not the end result, and as I go through the various processes of creating, I learn more about myself and my art. As I create I find new ways to express myself and I understand more about myself. It is incredibly empowering.

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

Studies show that creativity is vital to our well-being. We need it to become more fully ourselves, but also to be happier and more well-rounded human beings. Creativity engages a different part of our brain than most of our normal daily activities, especially if we work in a very logical and ordered environment. Adding in some creative outlets completely changes our point of view and engages us in new and exciting ways. It helps to make us better at our jobs and our relationships. Besides, it makes us happy and helps us to have more fun! And I am all for that!

I believe that creativity is an integral part of our lives. We need it to function and grow as human beings. Everyone needs to add that little bit (or a lot) of creativity to their daily lives. But creativity can take many forms. It is not just about art, which is what we generally think of when talking about creativity. Creativity can be in the way you cook your family’s meals, in how you decorate your home, in the loving way you tend your garden, etc.

Find your own way to be creative and embrace it! Find your WHY!  And remember to have FUN too!

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

~Deb~

Let Your Inner Artist Out To Play

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

719-266-1866

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

 

Book Club – Creative is a Verb

24 Apr
Creative is a Verb by Patti Digh

Creative is a Verb by Patti Digh

We had our book club today to start our discussion of the book Creative is a Verb by Patti Digh. We are just starting with the first 3 chapters this month and then will continue on with 3 chapters next month and then the final 4 chapters the month after that. This way we can work through the book and do the exercises and spend some time on the creativity aspect of the book, instead of just reading it. 🙂

It was an interesting discussion today as there were several teachers here and we spent a considerable amount of time discussing the education system and how it has changed over the years. One of the issues seems to be a lack of art and creativity in the schools, which we are all opposed to. As creative people, we would like to see more encouragement of creativity across all subjects. But we also want to see more art classes and music classes and dance classes! Studies show that the arts help with learning other subjects, as well as making us more well-rounded people! Plus people are just happier when they have some creative outlet in their lives.

Patti Digh starts out the book by stating “if you are alive, you are creative”. We tend to dismiss our own creative adventures, or pretend that we aren’t good enough, or that what we are doing isn’t ‘real’ art. Blah blah blah!  We are all creative. We are all artistic. We are all inspiring to others. Every one of us has a story. Every one of us has a passion. Every one of us has a creative urge.

This book is about recognizing how creative we are and fully embracing that idea. At whatever level we are and at whatever creative endeavor we might pursue.

Don’t apologize for who you are or the art you create. ~ CJ Rider

Chapter 1 talks about who the book is for. She lists these 3 categories:

  • I don’t have a creative bone in my body.
  • I’m just a dabbler.
  • I’m an artist.

I think that covers just about everybody! So go get your copy of the book and read along with us!

Chapter 2 talks about using the book. There is no right way to read it. Skim it. Skip around. Read the last chapter first. Write in the margins. Take notes. Keep a journal. Whatever works for you – do it!!!!!!  She suggest using index cards (cheap and small) and black pens in different sizes, some scissors and glue stick and magazines to cut up, and maybe a couple of crayons to do the exercises. Her intention is to keep it simple and basic so it is easy to do, easy to carry with you, and easy to complete. However, there are no rules – so go all crazy with markers and glitter and paint and whatever else makes you happy to use. If you are not happy with what you are using, you probably won’t do much of it – and this book is all about actually doing something creative.

Chapter 3 talks about embracing the creativity killers. There are 6 of them. How many of these ‘excuses’ have you used as to why you aren’t being creative or doing more of what you love?

  • I work full time.
  • I don’t have a good space in which to work.
  • I don’t have the right materials.
  • I have no ideas.
  • I don’t have any skill.
  • They won’t like it.

These are just stories we tell ourselves. The world is full of creative and artistic people who live with each of these excuses and still manage to embrace their creativity. If you look at your life as being an either/or proposition (I can be a good mother or I can be a painter), you will constantly be placing your creative life on hold. Patti says you can choose both/and instead. I like that!

Stop making excuses and start flinging words on a page or paint on a canvas. Don’t separate “real” life from “creative” life. Pay attention to your excuses. You are always in choice.

The book is full of stories that she then uses as inspiration. You are encouraged to do the same. Use your index cards for the 10-minutes prompts after each story. It’s just a short exercise in reflection and observation and creativity. Surely you can find 10 minutes to spare! Then there is also a longer 37-day commitment to more fully explore the lessons from the story. This is a chance for you to connect on a deeper and more permanent level with what has inspired you from the stories, and make it part of your every day life.

I encourage you to join the discussion and to follow along with the exercises over the next couple of months. I know it will change your perception of your own creative self. And have fun with it!!!! Having fun is an important component of being creative, and sometimes we forget that it is OK to enjoy ourselves.

Life is pure adventure, and the sooner we realize that, the sooner we will be able to treat life as art. ~ Maya Angelou

Our next book club meeting is May 22nd. See you then!

~Deb

Let Your Inner Artist out to Play

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

719-266-1866

 

Fairy Tale ATCs

8 Apr

The Fairy Tale ATCs are wonderful, of course. I always appreciate everyone who makes one (or more) and sends them in for the monthly challenge. I’m always amazed at the talent my readers have! Lots of hand-drawn ATCs this month – very cool!!!!

Enjoy the show!

by Debbie Avery

by Debbie Avery

by Deborah Pace

by Deborah Pace

by Kristin Peterson

by Kristin Peterson

by Juli Heintz

by Juli Heintz

by Juli Heintz

by Juli Heintz

by Lynnita Knoch

by Lynnita Knoch

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

by Juli Heintz

by Juli Heintz

by Lynnita Knoch

by Lynnita Knoch

by Debbie Avery

by Debbie Avery

by Linda Logan

by Linda Logan

by Lynnita Knoch

by Lynnita Knoch

by Debbie Avery

by Debbie Avery

by Juli Heintz

by Juli Heintz

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

Sorry, the photos are not very good this month. I apologize but I hope you can still see them well enough to appreciate them.

And now to the winner of the ATCs. I use random.org to select the winner every month. Of course, if you send in more than one, you get more than one entry and that helps your odds of winning. And even though I participate every month – I am not eligible to win. And the winner is Linda Logan…….congrats and I will get your ATCs to you right away.

Here is a bonus digital ATC from a blog follower. 🙂

Thanks again everyone. For the April challenge – the theme is Architecture. I really hope you can join the fun. And invite your friends. The more the merrier. Plus with more ATCs, we have more winners.

~Deb

Let Your Inner Artist out to Play

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

719-266-1866

 

Week 13 – 365 days of art

2 Apr

Week 13 of the 365 days of art challenge is now complete. I try to keep the postcards between 4×6 and 5×7 inches, but occasionally one will be a bit bigger or smaller. I don’t think it matters. It is all fun! I will mail a few out, but most will eventually be hung in the shop classroom.

Enjoy the show.

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

#bts365days

~Deb

Let Your Inner Artist out to Play

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

719-266-1866

Royalty Free Images
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