Monday, November 10, 2008

I was reminded ...

by a new friend today that taking a look back at our past lives, our past life experiences can give us insight on who we are today and who we want to be tomorrow.

Still preparing for a visit with the Muses ... after reading this (thanks DB) I felt that maybe taking a look back at some of the moments I've felt most creative, might help me to invite more creativity back in to my daily rounds.

The following was a creative moment for me ...

Rain: June 2005

Photo's are of Stephanie painting a giraffe face ... forgot to photograph the dragons.
On day 2 of the convention I decided to move away from the airbrushing and take some beginning face painting classes but first, I wanted to play Oliver Zegars Creativity Game.

Let me just say that I was so not prepared for this game. Keep in mind that although I do consider myself to be a somewhat creative person ... I have not had any paint or drawing instruction and certainly no real experience applying paint (make-up) to skin.

Luckily, I'm not easily intimidated or excessively shy, because this game was defiantly not the right place to start, especially as it happened to be filled with so many experienced painters.

Here's how we played the game ... first 2 people drew a color card, we drew medium green and burgundy. Those were the background colors along with white. Then someone drew another color card for the line color, it was yellow ... black and white lines were also allowed for highlights and shadow. The next card drawn was a shape card, it was an oval. Last card was the character card, we chose a dragon.

The following step of the game was to paint our faces respecting the guide lines chosen with the cards. Ahem ... did he say paint medium green, burgundy and white background ovals with yellow, black and white outlined ovals to make your face look like a dragon????

There was no demonstration ... just instruction to get to work creating our dragons. I felt a little better when I realized that surprise had swept the entire room and I was not the only one perplexed by the thoughts of all those colored ovals.
I was very surprised at how distracted I became by the oval thing ... yep, I was stuck on oval, but like everyone else I began applying my paint.

The more experienced in the group knew to use the white to highlight the places where a light source would naturally hit. Me, I was still stressing over all of those ovals, but kept painting.

Once most of our faces were covered in oval shapes using the assigned colors, the yellow lines started to be applied. We were making oval eyes, oval scales, oval nostrils and teeth ... we even did our best to make oval fire for our dragons to breathe. Oh my ... ovals, ovals, ovals!!!

I was doing just fine until I decided to look around at the other dragons, by the time the black and white details were being applied many of the faces would have qualified to be used in a Broadway stage production. I kept applying my ovals and soon it was time for us to put down our brushes and move on to the next part of the game.

Here's where it became important not to feel embarrassed or intimidated, for the beginners (me) as well as for the experienced (nearly everybody else). We moved to the head of the class and placed our chairs in a huge circle. Ummmm ... now it was time to discuss each individual dragon out loud.

We talked about the things that we liked, the things we wish we would have done differently and the things we would defiantly do again next time. Every single person in that room walked away knowing so much more about face painting than they did when the walked in.

Oliver and Stephanie were among my favorites. There were several raffles throughout the weekend for a hour one on one session with the instructor of your choice. I decided during that class that If I won, I would have chosen one of them because they both had such warm eyes, because Oliver spoke the language of art with such passion and because I figured that where one of them goes, the other is not far behind. I'll bet they would have both been there.

Imagine for a minute, being told in a Belgium accent that even on your worst day as a face painter you will paint so much better than the five year old. You paint his face to look like a dragon and the five year old becomes the dragon.

I was not eager to have a photo of my dragon face taken at the time, now I sort of wish I would have. I would like to have been able to compare it to the amazing green and burgundy with yellow dragon I will learn to paint by the next time we meet. Thank you Oliver and Stephanie for the inspiration.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


I've been watching Obama since he made his keynote speech at the Democratic Convention in 2004. I was at work the night he made it and once I heard clips I wasn't happy until I was able to hear it in it's entirety.

Rain: July 2004

I remember the enormous sense of hopelessness I felt after the last Election wondering how we were going to make it through the next 4 years. I also remember reflecting back on the Obama speech from time to time thinking "This is the kind of hope I would want to hear from the next President of the United States."

Rain: January 2005

Today I truly do feel hopeful.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A little more than a name ...

Picture "The Muses" from:

Since one of the few things I really know about the mythological ladies of art is their names ...

  • Calliope: the muse of epic poetry

  • Clio: the muse of history, education and knowledge

  • Erato: the muse of sensual poetry

  • Enterpe: the muse of lyric and music

  • Melpomene: the muse of tragedies and elegies

  • Polymnia: the muse of sacred song

  • Terpsichore: the muse of music and dance

  • Thalia: muse of comedy

  • Urania: the muse of astronomy and astrology

I thought I should do at least a little research on them before we meet. I found photos and just the right amount of detail about each of them in a High School Student Essay written by: Heather Clegg-Haman found here--> The 9 Greek Muses

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Mythical Girls From Ancient Greece ...

Despite GiGi's warning yesterday ...

"Ah foolish mortal ~one does not summon the muse; the muse summons you. ;)"

I am still searching for my missing Muse.

GiGi is one of the most creative people I know, so it's easy for her to say ...

"I'll bet you have had a creative idea or two; you simply haven't recognized it as such. Just start writing, or grab a camera, or pick up a brush and start something; anything will do. It doesn't have to feel inspired. This prompts the muse, once she stops laughing, to take pity our feeble efforts and guide us on our way. It's the action that summons the flow... That's my theory, anyway. ;)"

If you don't already know GiGi please visit her at Lotus Martinis a place where her creative energy seems to flow effortlessly.

As for me ... I seriously feel stuck, uninspired and I'm sure that my deepest needs and desire to be and do the things I was "born to do", are not being met.

Since I'm not sure where to look for my own Muse, (I don't even know her by name), I have decided to go back and pay a visit to the original beacons of creative inspiration. That's right ... the 9 Sister Goddesses of imagination, inspiration and the arts. These girls have long been celebrated and enticed by many cultures, and why wouldn't they be? They were the the daughters of Zeus (King of the Gods). Ancient Greeks worshiped them for inspiring their poets, musicians and painters to create.

I'll let you know what I find.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Summoning the creative muse ...

I haven't had a creative thought or idea in months.

Any suggestions on how to summon my old friend and creative muse?