Sunday, 25 May 2008

Getting Reconnected

It will come as no surprise to most of you that a good walk in the countryside is relaxing.

How about we took that one step further and actually treated a five minute meditation outside in a park or even your back garden as a way of reconnecting with our creative roots? Getting reconnected can bring us back to our inner creator and remind us of our inspirations. It is the natural world that first teaches us about colour, texture and pleasing views. We will use words like, “stunning”, “beautiful”, “calming”, and “serene,” when we sum up a fantastic view in the natural world. How easy we forget that there lies the fundamental answer to all our creative blocks and weariness. A five minute retreat into the right outside environment can really revive and re-inspire us. Once we find the right place for us we can use it to “top up” our inner creator’s reserves on a regular basis.

I am lucky to have my studio situated in a remote back garden that has trees and shrubs and most of the time all I can hear is birdsong and see greenery. (Apart from when the neighbours are strimming!) While this little haven is wonderful on a daily basis, I still crave for the open countryside or coastline and big skies. I tend to get re-connected in these places and then keep topped up in my garden. I can assure you it really works and it makes a difference to my painting.

So, find your spot today and use it wisely. Once you have frequented the place enough it will be possible to take it even further and just find a quiet spot at home and close your eyes to visualise it. This can be just as effective!

I hope you have a place near you that you can find your creative self in the open air, and I wish you all the best with this technique of getting reconnected. :)
above painting: Suffolk Summer Dusk © 2008 Deborah Eileen Burrow

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Today We Make The Clock Redundant

Wouldn’t that just be bliss?

But I hear your resistance already and I understand completely!

How can you possibly have a day without a clock when everything you do revolves around schedules and deadlines?

Well here’s a step by step way of achieving it – I promise you won’t regret it. The aim is to reset yourself back to your basic creative state – and it really works!

  1. Look through your diary and identify a day where you have no commitments. Mark it in NOW as a “clockless day”.
  2. The night before your clockless day, go around removing clocks from sight from your space.
  3. Allow yourself to wake up naturally and gently.
  4. Throughout the day, give yourself as long as you need to complete tasks.
  5. Eat when you’re hungry and rest when you’re tired.
  6. At the end of the day, reflect on how liberating it has been to take all the time you wanted and how you listened to your body’s natural rhythms.
  7. Make a date to have a clockless day again!

Remember the only limits are the ones we set ourselves...

On a personal note this week, I have had a rollercoaster of one! I confess that even though I'm a Life Coach, I am just human and I find it difficult to coach myself. So I have to read my own blogs and personal journals to remind myself how to cope! There you are, you are not alone and I am not invincible.
I feel like this One YellowLeaf painting sometimes - isolated and just floating with a loss of purpose. But trust me when I say that with some of the coaching tips I have given you on this site, the very least you can glean is that off-days are transitory and the universe always rewards a forward vision. So make that clock redundant today and feel the benefit of "you" time - you, and I, deserve it.

Have a good week,

painting above right, "One Yellow Leaf" © 2008 Deborah Eileen Burrow

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Keeping Curious

When we are children we are constantly asking questions. When we are grown-ups we listen to children asking questions and are amazed at their curiosity about everything around them. Somewhere along the line as we grow up, answers about everyday life are answered and we tend to ponder over bigger questions. Sometimes, however, we get so bogged down in our daily routine that we forget, or don’t have time for, the bigger questions. In fact, the chances are we forget how to be curious all together, especially about our creativeness and how deep it goes.

Even as working creative people we can get stuck in a rut. Are you still curious about your creative works, or are you caught in a routine with it?

Keeping yourself curious means you allow yourself to step out of your creative comfort zone and get that child-like wonder back. For each of us this will be different, but getting in touch with the reasons behind our creative choices is a good start. If I was to say that I’m curious about your art – how do you do it and why? …could you ask yourself the same question and answer it?

I’m hoping you can, and you will remember how curious you were about your chosen art when you first started out. You’ll remember how inspired you were and how easily you asked questions.

Truth is, to remain fully and deeply creative we must continue to be curious ~ it keeps our creative brain alive and functioning with an eagerness to try out new things to keep us fresh.

My last curious search led to a profound change in my attitude to my painting. I discovered something about how it worked and I discovered even more about myself. Without that intrepid step I would still be stuck. Now I am enjoying myself more and I’m still curious because new questions were stimulated and I need to find the answers to those too.

There before me lies an interesting path. Is yours greeting you in the same way?

Keep positive and assertive,

Best wishes :)

Painting above right: The Cracks Are Showing (c) 2008 Deborah Eileen Burrow

Sunday, 4 May 2008

Following the Visual Voice

What speaks to you when you see another piece of art / sculpture / craft?

For me it’s colour and texture. Obviously it’s a huge influence on my own painting. However, it doesn’t come naturally that just because I see something that takes my breath away that I can reproduce something of the same ilk!

What tends to happen is that artists, through experimenting and understanding of themselves and their work, develop a recognisable style – the visual voice. The conveyance of the artist’s meaning through inspiration, subject matter, art elements, composition and the process.

“[The visual voice] is the piece of magic inside ourselves - the amazing actuality within us.” – Cristina Acosta

Luckily for me as an intermediate discoverer, there were artists who are willing to share their experiences and advice, and since taking note of them, I am making a more focussed route to my desired approach to creating. (A quick mention is deserved here of Megan Chapman – she has been amazingly helpful through her blogspot and review.)

The resulting understanding of what was within and how to express it was the catalyst to beginning to find my visual voice. Then came the sifting out of what was working and what wasn’t. Before that I had spent most of my life looking at art and experimenting with different media and had already built up an inner connection with certain styles. I admit I'm not there yet, but I'm well on my way :)

It’s never too late get in touch with yourself again, and I suggest that a reminding of your original source of inspiration is very important to your creative path.

How to do this?

Well, keep visiting galleries / workshops / museums / art shops and the like. Make a date to visit events when they pop up. It’s too easy to get bogged down in your studio. Even a walk along the coast or nearest nature reserve can do it. I own a dog and it’s a great way to get outside and see things as they change with the seasons and light. Even if I’m not painting what I see, what I do get is a refreshing of my connection with my creative self. Stepping out for a few hours blows away cobwebs and allows new inspirations in.

So you see it’s vitally important to keep the passion alive for your art. Without it our works won’t be inspiring to others or have any authenticity to them. The spirit in your work will be evident through the response of the viewer.

Good luck with your journey – there’s always something to chase away the blues and get in touch with your visual voice.

painting above: Summer Evening at Shingle Street (c) 2008 Deborah Eileen Burrow