Creativity in everyday life – The living room

Creative moments in the living room

Adding creative touches in your life need not take a lot of time or money.  Sometimes it is more about using what you have and rearranging all those pieces.  Take a look at your living room.  How can you alter it to suit your ‘artistic or creative’ needs?  Do you need to add cushions? Can you add a rug with the perfect match to your furniture?  What can you add?  The boldest item to add is your own work.  Put your work on the feature wall.

 If you only have small pieces, make an arrangement of your pieces.  If you only have pieces on paper and no money to pay for framing, get a big piece of metal (very cheap at a scrap metal warehouse) and put your pieces on it with magnets.  If you cannot figure out how to put up a sheet of metal, find a framed dry erase board and add your work with double sided tape. 

If you are still unsure, make a sketch of your living room. Draw in several options.  Look at magazines but remember that you do not necessarily want to have the latest fashion, you want it to feature ‘you’.  That is why I suggested putting your work in the living room. 

People will notice and slowly but surely, they will realize you are serious about being an artist.  My own family took longer than our friends.  Interest started and friends started coming to my art shows. My own family came for the food (especially the children) but with time, I realized that they (children and husband) began to have an opinion about what artwork they liked or not.  It did make my heart good when my daughter said, ‘Yours is better, mom’. In a later blog, I will write about bringing children to your art openings. In the meantime, have you set up your place to do artwork? Have you gotten the materials you need to start?  You don’t need to have absolutely everything, just enough so you can start the project.

 

Doris’ website: www.dorischarest.ca

I have creativity courses and art courses online at: https://www.udemy.com/user/dorischarest/

All photography and artwork by Doris Charest

Thanks for reading, and please do recommend, like, share, comment, etc. Thanks.

Till next time …

 

 

Creativity in everyday life Resistance or psychological blocks

Resistance or psychological blocks

Sometimes, people resist commitment.  Are you resisting?  Even in minor ways like waiting to the last minute or making your goals smaller and smaller. Reasons vary.  Did you make your goals too ambitious?  If lack of time is a factor, break down the project into segments. 

Sometimes, the odds of achieving the goals seem overwhelming.  There is a way to trick yourself into actually doing something for yourself and your goals.  Here is what you do:

  1. Make a list of what you want to change or creative element that you want to add to your life.
  2. Break down each goal into small parts. The parts should be small enough that you can do each step in 5-10 minutes.
  3. Pick only one goal (of the list you made). Rewrite the goal and the list of steps on a separate sheet of paper. Use bullet points.
  4. What is the first step in the goal? Can you do this today?

An example of one of my own goals from long ago. 

Goal: To make myself a space in the house where I could paint in watercolours.  Just to put the moment in context, we had just moved to a new city and the house was full of boxes that needed to be unpacked.  I had two small children (a needy 3 year old and a six year old that was bored because there were no friends to be had).  I worked on the house every day but I really wanted my own space in this new house.  I also wanted time to paint again.  I had just started again before we moved.  Moving had put everything on hold.  I had a doctor to find for the kids.  A school to find for my eldest. A play group for my youngest. The box with their clothes got lost in the move so clothes to buy.  No food in the fridge and dirty floors from the movers bringing the boxes because it had rained the day we arrived.  It just doesn’t rain, it pours….

I arranged the children’s rooms first so they would have a place to sleep and play.  I arranged the living room furniture and kitchen furniture.  Where could I set up a space for me?  For the first time, we had a family room and a living room.  This was a bigger house than we had before.  We only had enough furniture for the family room.  This left the living room empty and free.  My eldest kept doing gymnastics in the big space that looked like a gym so I decided that we didn’t need living room furniture yet.  I set up a small table in the far corner of the living room and separated it with a standing screen that hid (more or less) the table from view.  At least the children did not pay attention to it since they could not see the table with interesting things on it. 

My first step was to set up the table for my painting. Period.  That’s all.  I unpacked boxes again.  The next day I found my box of supplies.  I did not open it –just placed it next to the table.  I unpacked boxes again and looked up doctors.  After about 15 calls, I found one that would take patients.  The next day, I found my references (this is in the days of printed photo references) and placed them in the spot. I unpacked again.

I am sure that you get the picture now.  Now the rest is up to you…..  Ready, set, go!

Remember to break it down into small steps….

Start today towards your goal to be an artist.

Doris’ website: www.dorischarest.ca

I have creativity courses and art courses online at : https://www.udemy.com/user/dorischarest/

All photography and artwork by Doris Charest

Thanks for reading, and please do recommend, like, share, comment, etc. Thanks.

Till next time …

 

Creativity in everyday life – The front yard

Creative moments – The front yard

A few years ago, this was my front yard project.  I made a sign for the front of the house.  Our visitors repeatedly said that they had trouble finding the house.  They could not see the number.  I picked rocks from a lake where we go camping and washed them (Because it was August, many of the rocks had algae stuck to them-an Alberta problem). Thanks to my brother who works with metal, he found a circle from an old machine then made me a small circle.  He welded the three metal rods to hold the little circle inside the bigger one.  Then he added another old part to the bottom to the stand.  I am very thankful to him for helping me with this project. My husband also helped mixing cement for me and I am thankful there too.   I could not have done this project with such ease without them.  Those supports really helped make the project smoother.  Here were the steps:

  1. Get form and set it up in the spot you want. It will not be moveable after you add the rocks.
  2. Collect and wash the rocks you need
  3. Mix cement and put two layers of rocks then let that layer dry.
  4. Add a few more layers and let that dry.
  5. Repeat this process until the circle is full.
  6. Find a number to put in the circle.
  7. Scrub all the rocks in the from to remove extra cement on the rocks. Let dry.
  8. Make some more cement and fill in the back of the piece to make sure all the rocks are secure. I made it smooth-ish.
  9. Varnish the front of the sign.
  10. Add the number and secure it in.
  11. Celebrate! You are done.

Your own project does not have to be this complex.  You can simply plant some new flowers or paint the deck.  The concept it to personalize your space. 

Think about what you would like to do.  Can you enlist some help?  Do not be afraid to ask if you need help.  That is the hardest part for me.  But, don’t be like me, be brave and ask.

In the meantime, are you carving time for your artwork?  At this point, it is time for me to start talking about taking 15 min. a day.  Get up 15 minutes earlier or stay up 15 minutes later.  Plan what you will do before you get there.  You will be surprised how much can be done in 15 minutes.  Set the timer and go!

Doris’ website: www.dorischarest.ca

I have creativity courses and art courses online at: https://www.udemy.com/user/dorischarest/

All photography and artwork by Doris Charest

Thanks for reading, and please do recommend, like, share, comment, etc. Thanks.

Till next time …

 

Creativity in everyday life – The benefits of doing laundry

The benefits of doing laundry

Making your own art takes time and fitting in that time when work and family has its own demands is challenging. In a different house from the one that I live in now, I did not have an art making space upstairs. I set up in the laundry room. I discovered that no one would bother me while I was doing laundry. From the time that I put a load in the washing machine to the time the load was ready to put in the dryer (about half an hour), I was free. My family’s fear of having to help with or do their own laundry kept them away. Is there a time like this in your own life? Sneaking in time or is it? I call it making use of the time you have.

Think hard about how to get more art time.

Another occasion to create art when I had a busy schedule was folding clothes. I set up still lifes and photographed them using my laundry and an iron. Those paintings were a very popular series. Those were the days of slides so I don’t have any digital examples to show you.

Jonathan Ely, in his article in creativity says that people need to create. It is one of those basic needs that exist in all of us. He says that creating is a learned skill and we need to practice to develop that skill. That is good news. If practice is what is needed, then you can do this. He also says that your ability to create is directly proportional to the practicing of the skill. Does that encourage you to keep creating? If you want more information, look up the article here:https://medium.com/the-mission/creating-is-the-highest-form-of-learning-96d9cd5ba8e7

When you feel that ‘creating’ is an uphill battle, keep in mind that skills can be learnt with practice. There are differing opinions on how long it takes to develop a skill. There is a TED talk that I saw once (but could not find again) that said we only need 20 hours to learn basic skills to achieve a skill competently. He emphasized that it was 20 hours of intense concentration. If you worked casually, you did not learn as much. Intense concentration is what is needed. You absorb the skills better and a retain the information needed to accomplish the skill.

So if you are trying to paint a new technique while watching the kids playing in the back yard, you will not learn the skill as well as when you sit down in a quiet spot to practice this new skill. Use the time while watching the kids play as a time to sketch, draft ideas loosely or draw the kids as they play. Practice skills you already know.

There is a lot of information that says that 10,000 hours is needed to learn a skill but if you read the fine print, it is hours you need to start a skill that you will turn into a business. Most libraries have that 10,000 hours book: Outliers by M. Gladwell. If you want to turn art into a business, consider starting in on those hours but if you just want to learn a particular skill, it is only 20 hours. Imagine how many skills you can fit into 10,000 hours.

In the meantime, how many hours are you putting in per week? Are you ‘sneaking in’ your time? Find your 15 minutes a day and see if you can expand to 20 minutes or more.

Doris’ website:www.dorischarest.ca

I have creativity courses and art courses online at :https://www.udemy.com/user/dorischarest/

This is you making it to the top of the hill.

All photography and artwork by Doris Charest

Thanks for reading, and please do recommend, like, share, comment, etc. Thanks.

Till next time …

Creativity in everyday life — What I like about camping

Creativity in everyday life — What I like about camping

What I like about camping

Waking up in the morning to the sound of birds chirping and the wind in the trees is one of the best sensations or is it feelings ever. There is something about nature’s sounds that triggers a relaxation or happy button in people.

Sally Augustine PhD, agrees with me in the article, Take a Walk! (https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/people-places-and-things/201705/take-walk). She says;

Walking in natureor where we can see it has the added benefit of restoring our mental energy. Our cognitive energy banks are depleted when we spend time concentrating — on our work or on learning something new, for example. Seeing nature helps us get back to tip top intellectual performance. Research has also shown that spending as few as five minutes walking in nature results in large improvements in self-esteemand mood. Longer periods in nature generate additional benefits, although the per-minute return decreases after the high values of those initial five minutes.

How can this benefit your creative life? Nature can not only renew your energy and relax you, the experience leads to you balancing your life with moments that add to your creativity. We shouldn’t always be working. We should spend time enjoying what is around us. We need to balance our passion or creativity with other moments in life. We need a creativity and life balance. Benjamin Hardy ( https://medium.com/@benjaminhardy/10-questions-to-know-if-youve-really-found-your-passion-and-purpose-3cb0a415e03e)says;

When you have a harmonious passion, your life continually gets better. You become better. Your health becomes better. Your relationships become better. Your finances become better. Your environment becomes better.

If camping is not your ‘joy’, how about a walk in nature? Or gardening? Or going for a canoe paddle? Find a nature moment to suit your tastes. Find a way to reconnect with nature.

I am sure that you get the picture now. Now the rest is up to you….. Ready, set, go!

Remember to break it down into small steps….

Start today towards your goal to be an artist.

Doris’ website:www.dorischarest.ca

I have creativity courses and art courses online at :https://www.udemy.com/user/dorischarest/

All photography and artwork by Doris Charest

Thanks for reading, and please do recommend, like, share, comment, etc. Thanks.

Till next time …

Creativity in everyday life – Is journalling for you?

Creativity in everyday life — the benefits of journaling

 

 

Creativity in everyday life — the benefits of journaling

Is a journal for you?

Journaling is used by many as a means of sorting out ideas, testing colour choices, filing notes and much more. There are many ways to start journaling. The first step is deciding what kind of journaling you want to do. Do you want to journal every day? You don’t have to. You can journal on a weekly basis but the key is to do this activity regularly.

The key is to decide what you want to get out of the journal exercise. Do you want to know more about what motivates you then you can start a self-exploration journal? Here you can learn about yourself and explore your life and ideas.

 
  • Learn about yourself
  • Reflect about your lifestyle
  • Unveil (mental) blocks
  • Stay connected with your Purpose
  • Change habits
  • Relax
  • Fuel your creative side
  • Let gratitude flow
  • Boost your confidence
  • Have more clarity
  • Manage stress
  • Find ways to be more successful

You can start a journal to help you on a more specific goal. For example, you want to figure out how to market your paintings. You can start a journal of ideas on how to market. Find one idea a week, for example and work on it. Make a list of ideas and work your way through it.

You can journal to find out what art medium you like the most as you work your way through different styles and mediums. For example, you can ‘explore watercolour’. Use your journal to actually try different types of techniques or styles in watercolour. Make your goal to fill a whole journal with samples. By the end you should be able to decide what you like the most and want to keep doing. That is what a journal does best….help you explore.

You can journal using art. This is what a lot of artists do. They will explore their inner selves using art as a means of exploring the topic. Say for example that you are truly happy about your new baby. Paint your happiness. Use one medium an explore the feeling. Art is about feelings thus your colour choices, designs and subjects that you choose will reflect your happiness. This works when you are sad too. This kind of exercise has been known to help people out of their ‘funky’ moods and release emotions. Some artists use journaling as a means of de-stressing themselves.

 

An art journal is a visual diary; it combines elements of writing, drawing, painting, collage, and even printmaking to express yourself in one location. Your family, your daily experiences and your friends are all subject matter for you. This includes hopes, dreams, and fears. Words and illustrations are used together to offer a look at what’s going on inside your head.

The point of art journaling is not to make every page a masterpiece. You are exploring. You are trying out mediums and ideas. You’re simply supposed to enjoy the act of creating something without worrying about who is going to see it — or if it even looks good. It’s just for you!

Want to get started? Get yourself a pencil, an eraser, watercolour paints, glue, collage materials and some pens for starters. When you have developed skills with those, you can add gouache, ink or even acrylic paint.

How do you start? Make yourself a list of questions that you may want to answer, make a list of subjects you want to explore or make a list of ideas you want to experience and experiment with. Here are some examples:

  • Introduce yourself! Draw or paint a self portrait.
  • Create a map of your favorite place, real or imagined.
  • Draw a favorite childhood memory.
  • Go for a nature walk and collect flowers or leaves. Write about your walk and why you gathered these items.
  • Paste old photos and doodle on top of them using marker.
  • Illustrate what’s in your bag.
  • Draw your favorite pet.
  • Hand letter an inspiring quote or personal mantra.

If you are working with wet media, you may want to get a journal that is specifically for art; one that has heavier paper to work on. These are available at art supply stores.

Whatever you decide you should make a point of having fun. Journals are just for you and you should be having fun.

Journaling sites for you to explore:

Doris’ website: www.dorischarest.ca

I have creativity courses and art courses online at:https://www.udemy.com/user/dorischarest/

All photography and artwork by Doris Charest

Thanks for reading, and please do recommend, like, share, comment, etc. Thanks.

Till next time …

 

Creativity in everyday life — Ideas don’t happen in a vacuum

Creativity in everyday life — Ideas don’t happen in a vacuum

Ideas don’t happen in a vacuum

Read about art, look at other people’s artwork and walk in nature. Don’t be stuck to your studio.

Prime your subconscious to receive great ideas. Read about the topic you want to paint, if that is what you want. Read about artists that create what you want to create- or close to what you want to create. Try a new search engine when you are researching, to see if it makes a difference. Here is a good article by Chuck Price on other search engines: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/alternative-search-engines/271409/

Write down your ideas without thinking. All the wild ones included….brainstorming. This is where your sketchbook comes in. You can practice your ideas this way.

Step back afterwards and find the gems. Use those ideas in your practice.

Observe people, observe what is around you, observe patterns or designs around you or just feel the air around you and the sounds. This may sound a bit extreme but it isn’t. Start with just two minutes of looking. What do you see that you didn’t notice before? The color is different at the time of day or are the shadows longer or this is the time the ladybugs come out? There is always one thing that I had not noticed before. This is a fun exercise. Don’t be afraid to try it.

Ask yourself, what if? What if I made this or that a different color? What if this had a different texture? What if I used x product to create this effect? What brush could make this effect better or faster?

What is the best ‘eye catching’ idea. Write down as many different ideas as you can then pick the best one. Not all our ideas are perfect or great. Some are just OK but with a few tweaks, get better but some are downright bad. Sometimes mixing up two ideas makes one great idea. Consider this when you look at your work.

We do not create perfect work every day and every time. That is what we have to remember. Some pieces are just practice pieces for the great ones. Here is a good article by Jeanne Oliver on Artist Network about prompts you can use to get ideas flowing.These prompts are really fun and unique. https://www.artistsnetwork.com/art-techniques/composition/42-art-prompts-to-help-you-discover-new-creative-ideas/ 

Once you have an idea, don’t overly perfect it. Just do it. Put it out there and then collect ideas to make it better.

Most of all, allow time to let the ideas you do choose to develop. Don’t rush into creating what you have. Slowly, work out the details in your sketchbook or in your head then start. Jumping in too quickly can lead to false starts, just like in sports. You will need to start again.

This is advice that I give myself whenever I start with new ideas. I hope it helps you too.

Doris’ website: www.dorischarest.ca

I have creativity courses and art courses online at: https://www.udemy.com/user/dorischarest/

For more information on mixed media by Doris Charest:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCltBfqSMAK0OOWeXaKGud6Q?view_as=subscriber

https://www.facebook.com/dorischarest

https://www.pinterest.ca/dalinec/

https://www.instagram.com/dorischarest/

https://www.udemy.com/user/edit-profile/

https://www.skillshare.com/user/dorischarest

All photography and artwork by Doris Charest

Thanks for reading, and please do recommend, like, share, comment, etc. Thanks.

Till next time …

Creativity in everyday life – blocks

Creativity in everyday life

Resistance or psychological blocks

Sometimes, people resist commitment.  Are you resisting? Even in minor ways like waiting to the last minute or making your goals smaller and smaller. Reasons vary.  Did you make your goals too ambitious? If lack of time is a factor, break down the project into segments.

Sometimes, the odds of achieving the goals seem overwhelming.  There is a way to trick yourself into actually doing something for yourself and your goals.  Here is what you do:

1. Make a list of what you want to change or creative element that you want to add to your life.

2. Break down each goal into small parts.  The parts should be small enough that you can do each step in 5-10 minutes.

3. Pick only one goal (of the list you made).  Rewrite the goal and the list of steps on a separate sheet of paper. Use bullet points.

4. What is the first step in the goal? Can you do this today?

An example of one of my own goals from long ago.

Goal: To make myself a space in the house where I could paint in watercolours.  Just to put the moment in context, we had just moved to a new city and the house was full of boxes that needed to be unpacked.  I had two small children (a needy 3 year old and a six year old that was bored because there were no friends to be had). I worked on the house every day but I really wanted my own space in this new house.  I also wanted time to paint again. I had just started again before we moved. Moving had put everything on hold. I had a doctor to find for the kids. A school to find for my eldest. A play group for my youngest. The box with their clothes got lost in the move so clothes to buy.  No food in the fridge and dirty floors from the movers bringing the boxes because it had rained the day we arrived. It just doesn’t rain, it pours….

I arranged the children’s rooms first so they would have a place to sleep and play.  I arranged the living room furniture and kitchen furniture. Where could I set up a space for me?  For the first time, we had a family room and a living room. This was a bigger house than we had before.  We only had enough furniture for the family room. This left the living room empty and free. My eldest kept doing gymnastics in the big space that looked like a gym so I decided that we didn’t need living room furniture yet.  I set up a small table in the far corner of the living room and separated it with a standing screen that hid (more or less) the table from view. At least the children did not pay attention to it since they could not see the table with interesting things on it.

My first step was to set up the table for my painting. Period.  That’s all. I unpacked boxes again. The next day I found my box of supplies.  I did not open it –just placed it next to the table. I unpacked boxes again and looked up doctors.  After about 15 calls, I found one that would take patients. The next day, I found my references (this is in the days of printed photo references) and placed them in the spot. I unpacked again.

I am sure that you get the picture now.  Now the rest is up to you….. Ready, set, go!

Remember to break it down into small steps….

Start today towards your goal to be an artist.

Doris’ website: www.dorischarest.ca

I have creativity courses and art courses online at : https://www.udemy.com/user/dorischarest/

All photography and artwork by Doris Charest

Thanks for reading, and please do recommend, like, share, comment, etc. Thanks.

Till next time …

 

Take those holidays

Creativity in everyday life

Acrylic painting. Part of “Untouched” series.


Take those holidays!

Holidays are a time to let go of working hard on your art and letting your mind shuffle around those ideas.  My best ideas have come after a holiday. Now there are different kinds of holidays; holidays where you travel somewhere interesting, holidays may be visiting local sites that you haven’t seen for a while, holidays might be going for a long walk (or run), holidays might be going to a movie you have wanted to see for a while or holidays might be staying home to have an afternoon nap.

Down time is another name for a holiday.  As artists, we focus intently on what we are doing when we work.  Day after day, we focus and work. Then suddenly, all the inspiration disappears and we panic.  We ask ourselves if have lost our creativity but mostly it is a sign of being tired or burnt out.  This is when we need to take care of ourselves.

Fawcett Lake Sunset

Holidays are a way of taking care of ourselves. So don’t be afraid of taking time to look at the sunset or take your favorite hike.  Your mind will still be working, sorting out your creative ideas while you enjoy the sites.

Another way to take a holiday is to take a painting holiday.  There are hundreds of sites out there offering ideas for you at different price points.  Check out my friend who offers tours for artists http://www.karinrichter.com/The%20Artist.htm  or newspaper articles like this one:  https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/tours/five-of-the-best-painting-holidays-/  .

Take a road trip!


Some artists take artist ‘residencies’ where they can continue creating but in a different location.  Would you like to go make art in Spain or Thailand? Some residencies offer free lodging or others charge a fee.  There are sites that offer residencies of all kinds at:
http://www.residencyunlimited.org. This is just one of many sites that you can check out.  

The whole idea is that holidays is a change of scenery that can inspire you to new and better ideas. Don’t be afraid to take those holidays.  And, most of all, they are fun!

 

Doris’ website: www.dorischarest.ca

I have creativity courses and art courses online at: https://www.udemy.com/user/dorischarest/

All photography and artwork by Doris Charest

Thanks for reading, and please do recommend, like, share, comment, etc. Thanks.

Till next time

 

Side shows

Creativity in everyday life — Side shows

Creative people love to create. That is a given. They see opportunities and ideas everywhere. We label these side shows. You have your main talent that you work regularly and then there are these little ideas that pop up out of nowhere- side shows. Do you act on these ideas or do let them go out to the universe. Practicality says you let them go because there is only so much time and these side shows use up some of that time. 

Do we let them go? NO! Many times we get caught up in these side shows. The new idea calls. It is exciting, different and a distraction when you get ‘blocked’ with your main work. Many of us, I would hasard to say, most of us, are easily convinced that these side shows will not ‘take much time’. We love the excitement of the new and an opportunity to play. That is what these ‘side shows’ are. An opportunity to play. Creatives need to play once in a while because it allows our brains time to sort out problems in our main work. 

https://www.amazon.ca/dp/153347088X/

We have a choice with side shows. Play with the idea while your brain sorts out your main problem then let it go or follow the idea through. I faced this problem lately. While my parents took turns being ill with long hospital stays over the last few years, I doodled drawings while they slept. My nervous energy needed an outlet. This led to my latest side show — a colouring book. 

I agonized for several months on wether I should do something with these drawings. I succombed to ‘don’t let the work go to waste’. I took the drawings and looked for ways to make them useful. I discovered Amazon. You can actually create a book yourself with all the resources provided by Amazon. I downloaded my drawings to their program, added text, a title and a front page. The whole process did not take much time. This surprized me. A side show that was not sucking up all my creative time. Is that possible? NO!

I conveniently forgot the MARKETING. Once created, you do have to market the item. Groan! Now, I not only have to market my own artwork but also a colouring book. Will I never learn?

However, I have to admit that I enjoyed creating the side show. I am willing to pay the price. At least, for the moment, I am. 

Doris’ website:www.dorischarest.ca

I have creativity courses and art courses online at:https://www.udemy.com/user/dorischarest/

All photography and artwork by Doris Charest

Thanks for reading, and please do recommend, like, share, comment, etc. Thanks.

Till next time …