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Week Three Of My and Our Creative September

Yes, as if I could learn anymore, this third week of my, and our, creative September (#ourcreativeseptember on Instagram where others joined me !) has brought another few layers of ahas from this month-long creativity challenge. Having moved through the cloud of resistance, I am now stepping into create mode very quickly. As a given now, I don’t have to grapple with “if”.

As for the when of the creating, I try to think and not think about it. Like if you talk about going to a movie too much, you’ll talk yourself right out of going. The creativity needs to be both slightly spontaneous and slightly planned.Week three of our creative September on shalavee.com

This week I really had no plans for what I might like to be doing or trying. Last week’s mixed media attempts were so satisfying that I knew anything that I felt curious about would be just great. And on my birthday weekend, I even played with flowers to satisfy my creativity need/demand.Pastel feather on week 3 of our creative September

pastel-nouveau-poppy on week three of our creative September on Shalavee.com

Pastels are still satisfying my need to prove something to myself. A need to call myself artist. I found the vulture feather that was lost in the house and tried using the black pastel paper I’d almost forgotten I’d bought. I think that piece is really sexy. As for the flower, I’ve tried to draw flowers with the pastels but hadn’t liked the results. So I thought to overcome this loss by just copying an art nouveau poppy picture I adore. And that seemed to satisfy my ego. collage waterlilies on week three of our creative September on Shalavee.com

But what I like most was the mixed media collage and pastels that I used in recreating the lily pond picture. The first one in pastels was done when I was still feeling shaky in my use of pastels. So this feels like confidence in redoing the same picture to see how it turns out. I like it better.

Pastel bee in London on week 3 of our creative September

bed-bug-over-long-island on my third week of creativity on Shalavee.com

spider-over-londons-fleet-street on My third week of creativity on Shalavee.com

The bugs in your city series was just plain fun!! The biggest gift of all I received, one that you can see only if follow along on Instagram, is the arting snowball that began to happen in my community there. One person then another then another joined in for the challenge. And as I watch them supporting one another and others being inspired, I sigh with contentment. Because I am immensely grateful for all those who have offered up to include me in their challenges that I might challenge myself and discover a better more creative way of living. And a way to allow my inner child to come out and play more often and more easily. One last week of creating and then we’ll be slam into the beginning a month strait of posts on the blog! October is coming, remember?

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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September 2016 : A 30 Day Creativity Challenge

My recent discovery that I had truly been standing in the way of my creativity had me shoving this self-created blockage out-of-the-way. I am beginning a daily creative practice. And what better way than a month along creativity challenge for the month of September. If I can do an Instagram photo a day, I can do a 5 minute art piece. Or 15 or 30 minute art piece. I am making art a non-negotiable.September 2016 will be a 31 day creativity challenge on Shalavee.com

And so I’m announcing my 31 Days of Creativity Challenge for the month of September. It’s my way of putting it out there and being accountable to myself by telling you. You are more than welcome to join me in creating for as many or as few of the days as you’d like. Or you can cheer silently from the sidelines.

This is about creating habits Y’all. They say the easiest way to do that is to couple the new habit with one you already have. I am not at all sure what that will mean in my day except perhaps my first thing coffee drinking. I am also still living by is no housework while I’m alone in the house. And I am following the “Do your work First” guidelines. Before you web surf or get your quip out in some forgettable online conversation, get your work done.

 

September 2016 will be a 31 day creativity challenge on Shalavee.com

So starting on Thursday, September 1st, I’ll be making art daily and posting it to my Shalavee Facebook page. I’ve done these challenges before most notably with The Curious Love of Green’s blog mistress Jane Barry. Read my summary of intentions for one here. There’ll be picture round-ups thrown in with my regular blog posting on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. And I’m still doing the live Facebook chat on my Shalavee FB page at noon every Friday. If you can’t join me, you can always drop by and watch later as they go to tape afterwards !

I appreciate your support and am thinking I’ll be doing an art give away in the middle of the month to share my love. Thank you lovely people and wish me luck and stealth.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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Q & A with Creative Momma Megan Gray

I was feeling a wild exclamation streak coming on. A need to bring up the subject of mothering and creativity and take a stab at outing the innate shame of this combination. Righting the wrong of the looks of suspicion and incompetency we get when we try to be both mothers and creatives! Gasp. Impassioned, I wrote a Mother’s Manifesto and I immediately knew who I needed to talk to on this subject : Megan Gray.

I think I must have stumbled on her prolific self through Instagram and soon I was reading some of her blog posts enthralled because not only was she a highly talented and prolific artist, she also faced some seriously scary life and death challenges with her daughter simultaneously. Among many other things surely, Megan paints, blogs, promotes other creative mammas, and mothers her own children. She inspires me immensely. So I asked her if she might be amenable to an interview. She said yes and asked me if I would also do one. The link to my interview is here.

Megan Gray herself on Shalavee.com

Do you feel there’s a societal conflict between creating, success, and mothering?

Absolutely! I don’t hear anyone asking my husband how he goes to work and does all that he does while having kids. But I also believe that mothers/caregivers have the power to change this mindset, and I believe we are starting to. I think with supporting each other as parents and creatives, instead of judging our choices as parents, we can move in the right direction. I also believe we can do it all, just not all at once.

I feel I need to work twice as hard to maintain my separate creative self since motherhood. Do you find this and how have you coped? How did/do you balance or juggle, allow for and nourish your creative needs and your babies’/child’s needs simultaneously?

When they sleep I work. When they are playing without my need to hover, I work. When I am with them, I am with them. When they were babies I constantly reminded myself that they grow quickly, enjoy this time (still remind myself of this). I was in full mother mode for the most part. As they get older and more independent I can work more because they also have lives of their own. We live, learn, and create simultaneously. Sometimes it’s great! Sometimes there are major challenges when someone is sick, or the kids are just being kids. I try my hardest to stay in the moment, but I’m not perfect. I feel lost and upset at times. I wouldn’t change any of this though. No matter what. They help me to see how much I need to create for myself. They are my greatest teachers and supporters. I love that! My husband also helps me soooo much. He only gets one day off and whenever he can he takes over so I can get more painting done. I really couldn’t do as much as I do without him. Support from others is key!Another Megan Gray painting on Shalavee.com

Was there a point, after you’d worked so very hard to establish a product and presence, when you could relax a little? Or do you feel a little like I do, stuck in a creative doing vortex?

I do take time to relax, especially after any events or bursts of creativity. If I don’t my sanity can get just as crazy as if I don’t create. I work a lot at night, so if I don’t go out in nature often, I won’t feel inspired enough to work either. It’s all a balancing act.

What do you do to keep balanced your career and family goals? To keep from burning out at both ends? What are your thoughts, mantras, or practices on maintaining the balance of being a good mother and a productive creative?

Practicing mindfulness has helped me to really be aware of what my needs are at a given time. Also, helps us as a family to be mindful of all of our needs. Compromises help too. Again, I am not perfect. I have moments I am not proud of as a parent/human. The best thing though is to surround yourself with supportive people as much as possible, and have a lot of patience for yourself. I’m still working on this.

There are also times on the parenting end and the creative end where I ask myself, “Have you done enough today?” I love my kids, but I don’t need to do every single thing for them, or play with them constantly. I want them to be independent and creative on their own. Of course I am here to help them when they are hurt, sick, having trouble with figuring things out, and to help guide them with learning, but I am also here to make sure they are given the freedom to be creative humans themselves. Same goes for my art. If my kids need me more, or in that moment, it’s time for them. I will get back to the art later on.Megan Gray Painting on Shalavee.com

My Take aways:

  • “We can do it all just not all at once”
  • We need to support each other in changing the judgemental mindset.
  • Ask for help from others
  • Get outside
  • Do your thing when you can and be with your children when you are with them

 

You can find Megan’s blog at www.megangrayarts.com . Her Facebook page and her Patreon page all show her dedication to making, selling, and sometimes giving away her beautiful paintings. Her Instagram page is where we do most of our chatting and I admire her kindness and enthusiasm so much. We art inspirational when we follow our own muses. I know you are with me when I say Buy Original Art!!!

Thank you lovely Megan.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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Dig Deep For My Creative Soul

I prefer to live deep. I love thinking and pondering, considering and meditating. That deep kind of thinking that allows me to reach down into the roots of myself, into my creative soul, draw deeply from my intuition and come up quenched and real. As a mother, I get very little of that now. I live shallowly, twitching with the constant stimulus and reactions. This is parenting, and sometimes it feels like post traumatic stress disorder. Especially when there’s no good amount of time away or off.Spring plant thing on Shalavee.com

You get used to what you live. One day at a time sometimes means one minute at a time. Crisis and resolution after crisis and resolution. Living in your everyday is surface living. It’s automatic, task-oriented, short-term, keeping everyone alive kinda choice making. And that just is.

But going into creative mode is where I thrive. There you can expand and follow your thoughts out and away. You cultivate your sparks into fires. You connect with your center, your core finding out where you are and where you are going. A spark can suddenly ignite and you know what the next six months will find you doing. This what is called creative flow.Decorating flow on SHalavee.com

Fits and spurts but don’t give up I tell myself. True, our children are only small for so long and then they leave to go live their lives. It’s feast or famine, expect it. But my soul is roaring, craving the time and depth to dive and seek. Making me feel short and mean sometimes. So I attempt again to cajole my needs out of my life. Harass my husband for some away time with the kids. Say a prayer for my creativity and my children.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Creativity Bootcamp Round Two

Today is the first day of the Second Creativity Bootcamp hosted by Jane Barry and her blog That Curious Love of Green. I mentioned that I’d be participating in this on Friday’s post entitled Blogging For the Love of Me in February and I thought I’d go ahead and share with you what this intention will entail. So here’s what I shared on our private Facebook group.

“As per Jane’s request, I’m claiming my intentions for Bootcamp here and now.

Last October’s Bootcamp found me already committed to 31 days straight of posts on my blog. I figured that the creations from this endeavor would help fluff up the content for that endeavor. It did but I never felt like I reached a satisfactory level of achieving the arting I’d set out to do. And so I’m trying this again. Same line up.

Week One : Collage

Week Two : Photo Styling

Week Three : Sewing

Week Four : Pastels

Pastel from Bootcamp on Shalavee.com

I even wrote up prompts for the collage and prescriptions for the styling days. You need to have a plan of some sort going in. You can deviate but you’ll not find yourself saying “what am I doing here” if you’ve already set your tasks out ahead of time. Been there done that last time.

Know that I always write, there’s always writing to be done. Journaling and blog posting and Instagraming. So writing practice is secondary here. This is me wanting to progress on those visual art practices that will stretch me and make me happiest on the other side of my brain.”

In preparation, I have cleaned my computer desktop off! I tried doing the same with my email account holding files but didn’t do such a great job. These two places have such a glut of unfinished unsorted business it’s like having an “Undone” hangover everyday I see them. Not Anymore.

I have scheduled a week’s worth of blog posts ahead knowing that this will free me up a little until I generate pictures to blog about. I’m feeling pretty righteous.

If you commit to something that will take up valuable time in your near future, I suggest doing food prep ahead and thinking of anything else you can to do ahead. Laundry, childcare, bill paying, or even dog walking done by someone else. Because you want to feel the glee of unencumbered creativity!

Do your work first on Shalavee.comAnd I am very adamant this year about prioritizing my creations first. Before checking what anyone else has done in the Bootcamp feed, I’LL DO MY WORK FIRST. Before cleaning the bathroom, I’ll do my work. Before checking my emails, I’ll do my work.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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