Creativity in everyday life — Essentialism View #3

Ways to focus on your art

Go to the profile of Doris Charest

Essentialism for artists based on the book by Greg McKeown. Third in a series

Focus on what is important now and create a routine to enable it — this is a third take-away that I have gotten from Greg McKeown’s book on Essentialism. One way to focus on the important is to decide first tand foremost what you want.

Do you want to finish your current project?

Do you want to join a board?

Do you want to volunteer some time a the local shelter?

Do you want to spend more time with your family?

Do you want to have more time to learn to play the flute?

Do you want to travel?

Do you want to spend more time with your aging parents?

Make the longest list you can of all the things you want to do. Fill multiple pages if you want to. There is no limit.

Pick the top three items ONLY. Under each category write down three things you need to do to achieve this goal.

Make a second list of five items to do after you finished the first three.

All the other items go in storage for later.

Prioritizing is a main proponent of Essentialism. You have now prioritized. You have three items to work on.

One of the things I like about McKeown’s book is that he says you need courage to follow your goals. This is true. First you need the courage to pick then the courage to follow your love of art. If you do not follow your own loves, others will fill your time and you will never get to your art. Making athe decision is the hardest. Your family will get needy and your friends will suddenly really need you.

You will need to be firm. You need to say that you will do art from x time to y time. Nothing will deter you. Then, after that time, they will have your time. Complaints will arise and whining will happen but it will stop. And, you will get your art time.

Routine is the key to achieving any amount of work according to this book. You create a routine, you will get work done every time. Even if the routine is only a half an hour a day, you are half an hour closer to your goal. Make a point of showing up to your work space and work will get done.

When you have a routine, your brain kicks in that it is time to work on YOUR work. And, it does. Creativity and great ideas come with a routine. Do not answer emails, facebook or even phone calls.

When I first started working in my studio space, there was no telephone line, no internet, no access by visitors to the doors to our studio. The studio space was uniquely ours. We went there and we were guaranteed to not be disturbed. I loved it. I did not have many hours in a day but I could work solely on what I wanted during that time.

Over several years, my studio space expanded to include many artists. We now have cell phones and internet. The space, to me, is still a haven for quiet. I shut my cell phone off, I deny my opportunities to surf the net and I close my door to visitors still. I have more hours in theory but I find that the greater socialization that is happening because the group has grown leaves me with the same small amount of hours.

I work as much as I can with singular purpose. I value my time by myself where I am uninterrupted. With the practice that I have with focussing on a task because I don’t have a large amount of time, I can get a lot done.

I agree with McKeown. Focusing is important and it is possible to achieve results by showing up. Overall, I have to recommend this book: Essentialism by Greg McKeown.

I hope this helps you .

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:

All photography and artwork by Doris Charest

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

Till next time …

Doris

Creativity in everyday life — Deciding if you are an artist

Decide then act like an artist.

Artist or not an artist? That is the question.

Deciding if you are an artist is a difficult choice. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you like creating new items (paintings, sculpture, designs, printmaking, etc…)?
  • Do you create without any prompting? Without taking a class or someone else asking you to do this activity?
  • Do you sometimes daydream ideas while waiting for a friend, at the doctor’s office, while sitting there with your best friend or boyfriend who is watching hockey or some show you can’t quite relate to?
  • Do you move around the vegetables you are chopping for supper so that the colours look good together?
  • Do friends or family check with you when deciding how to put together some patterns or colours in their outfit or home?
  • Do you get told you dress in a unique style? or some other comment that is similar?
  • Do you love going to galleries or fabric stores just because you like the colours or patterns?

If you answer yes to a lot of these questions, you have the potential to be an artist. The focus word is potential. Not everyone wants to become an artist but if you do, there are still a few steps to take to get there. Talent helps but there are still ways to become an artist with only a bit of talent.

www.dorischarest.ca

My firm belief is that if you want to do something, it counts more than talent. The desire to put in the hours is essential. There is an author and psychologist that says it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill. The 10,000 hour rule — first proposed by a Swedish psychologist and later made famous in Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers — states that exceptional expertise requires at least 10,000 hours of practice. Are you willing to put in those kind of hours?

For more information about Gladwell, go to:

Gladwell says that deliberate practice is essential to learning any skill. When psychologists talk about deliberate practice, they mean practicing in a way that pushes your skill set as much as possible. Like all popular theories, there are people that jump to find ways of disputing the theories. Check out this article :

New Study Destroys Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 Hour Rule
The 10,000 Hour Rule – closely associated with pop psych writer Malcolm Gladwell – may not be much of a rule at all…www.businessinsider.com

Regardless of the criticism, practice makes perfect. There is a need to perfect your skills before you can actually say that you are an expert at a x skill. Are you willing to put in the hours?

People tend to think that artists are born and not made. This is a falsehood that continues to endure. Sure, you may have a tendency to pick up artistic skills easily on the surface but I have found that those surface skills are just that ‘surface’. It is almost like beginners luck. You have a natural skill just like some sportsy types have. Do you want to continue learning that skill? To deeply understand what you are doing, practice and development of skills is needed.

Do you really like the whole process and are you willing to put in the hours? Do you love creating? Do you love the ‘magic’ of creating something out of nothing? What is it you love the most? Are you willing to put in the hours needed? If you say yes to this, you have the makings of an artist.

Life as an artist is not easy. Keep that in mind before you say yes. Personally, I said yes before realizing that a career as an artist was harder than a career as a doctor. As a doctor, you have the benefits of being paid well and a certain amount of status. An artistic career does not guarantee this.

People will not realize the skill you need to be an artist. You need to be independent and say you love it regardless. Do I regret an artistic career? No but I wish someone had told me what I was facing. I might have prepared myself better. I still love art after years of working in it. There is a joy there that I have found rarely elsewhere. In fact, raising my children is the only other place I found this ‘joy’.

There are a few factors to keep in mind. Keep in mind that not everyone that plays piano will become Władziu Valentino Liberace or not everyone that plays a sport will become a million dollar player/earner. You may or may not become a famous/well known artist/internationally known artist in the process but you may become the local ‘go-to artist’. Is that good enough for you? You will be able to make a living but you will not be able to own your own plane on an artist income. Can you accept this?

The best advice that I can give is that you should find your ‘niche’. Find a spot you excel at and become an expert. Become the ‘go-to person’ in your area. No matter, if you love art, you will drawn to it and keep going back to it whenever you can. You will be drawn to artistic endeavours over and over again until you get the hint and make it your career. This is a prediction….

I hope this helps you .

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:

All photography and artwork by Doris Charest

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

Till next time …

Creativitiy 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?

Here is 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 — Take time off

Doris Charest

Taking time off is as important as working. That is what all the literature research says. I did not believe this in my early days. I kept working when I had two minutes here and five minutes there. I ended up getting work done this way, but I could not find the main goal in my minutes. I could make work; in this case, paintings. They were good and they sold but I felt like I was missing something. I could never find time to make the one year or five year plan. I wanted to have a main purpose to this creating that I loved to do. The purpose or main goal to my work did not exist. I did not have the time for it.

One day, the kids were at the pool with friends, my husband was away and there I was, sitting with nothing to do. The laundry was done. Supper was in the crock pot. There was no precedent for this in my life and I did not know what to do with myself. I could have rushed to my painting table but for some reason, I did not. I sat there. I started thinking about my artwork and what I loved about it. What I did not love about it. What did I want to do with it? I had a gallery that liked it. I was selling. My friends loved it. My husband put up with it. I had a lot of good elements going. But and this was a big BUT, I was not happy. Creating the product gave me joy but I wanted more. I wanted a longterm purpose.

So, sitting there, I picked up a piece of paper and a pencil. I wrote down what I thought would be the best longterm goals. I came up with creating awareness about art and creating the best product that nobody could resist. Then I stopped. This sounded like something I was doing for others. What did art do for me? Why did I like it?

I loved creating something out of a blank piece of paper, a pencil and a bit of paint. It was a bit like magic. I found it hard to believe that this magic came out of me. The creating also made me feel good. I did want that. What could I keep doing that would make me happy and provide something more to society. What did I want to provide? I was stumped here. I sat there and thought.

My list grew but I kept rejecting everything almost as I wrote it down. I did learn that brainstorming meant writing down absolutely everything that came to my head so I kept writing down. I was still writing down items when my kids came home. I had to stop. I knew that I was not done so I grabbed another piece of paper and tucked it in with my ideas. I had to keep writing.

Several days later, I was still writing down ideas in my minutes that I had to myself. I even volunteered to babysit some kids I found badly behaved in my babysitting coop because I wanted more time off. Their mom agreed to trade with me eagerly because no one liked babysitting her kids. They turned out to be well behaved because when they first came into the house, I told them the house rules.

I had learned this trick to babysitting from my mom when she had come to visit once and I had some of the kid’s friends over. They started not listening when they realized that the two adults were busy having a chat.

She stopped all the playing, sat them on the sofa and sternly told them the house rules in THIS house, right now and forever. The consequences of bad behaviour were included. I adopted this technique in my repertoire and it has worked ever since.

The time came for my children to go to her house. I took out my list and scanned it. None of the ideas of why I was doing art spoke to me. I did not know what to do. Did I need to stop doing art? My gut said no. Persevere! I started adding to my list. By the time the kids came home, I had decided.

In my art career, I had done portraits, still life, animals, landscape and designed logos. I liked it all up to a point. I could do portraits if I put my mind to it but I did not love it. The same was true of still life. I liked the arrangement of shapes to create a pleasing effect but again, up to a point. What I did really like was landscape.

There were all sorts of reasons not to pick landscape. Landscape was ‘out’ in the contemporary art world. Issues like abuse, poverty or politics were in. Again, I did not love ‘issues’. They just made me sad that the world was out of sorts. I loved texture, colour and light. I could find all of that in landscape. Landscape had enough variety to keep me interested. I could do different themes; trees, water, skies or even erosion.

Those were all the good reasons to say yes to landscape. What I needed to do now is decide how I wanted to treat the theme but that would have to wait for another long thinking moment in time. I felt happy. I had decided my purpose.

The kids came home and life started again. I wonder now what would have happened if I had not had that period of time to think about my work. Would I have gone on creating without a goal? This period of time changed my art life.

To come back to the beginning, take the time to think about your work. What do you really like doing. You have a limited amount of time, if you are a working parent and you need to use it wisely. I found out later that this moment of ‘aha’ is called flow. Wikepedia says:

Flow — the mental state of being completely present and fully immersed in a task — is a strong contributor to creativity. When in flow, the creator and the universe become one, outside distractions recede from consciousness and one’s mind is fully open and attuned to the act of creating. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is the king of flow. He wrote several books on the topic and I strongly recommend them. Flow is what happens when you create and when you get those wonderful ideas. Look at these videos:

These videos will help you learn how to enhance your creative side and be even more productive.

They helped me a lot. 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:

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 — Sharing your love of art


Sharing your love of art can occur in different ways. You can talk about your artwork to others. Start with the people around you. Your family. When you start tasks, they suggest that you start with your toughest challenge first. This idea comes from a book called ‘Eat that frog -21 ways to stop procrastinating’. (https://www.amazon.ca/Eat-That-Frog-Great-Procrastinating/dp/1576754227)

If you do your hardest task first, the rest is a breeze. I find family and friends the hardest task because they do not see you as the dedicated artist you are. You are ‘the wife’, ‘the mom’, ‘the friend that helps them out in time of need’ , or ‘the go-to person for help’. An artist has many hats and the artist hat is often invisible to our closest and dearest. They need our other skills. However, teaching them to love art as you do is the first task you need to put on your list.

One way is to stop to look at art and ask them their opinion is one way. Stop and look at a public sculpture, for example, and ask questions like: Is that a good spot for that sculpture? Don’t ask what do you think of that sculpture because you will only get a pat answer like hate it or love it. Ask about a different way to look at the artwork. Is that the right material for that artwork? Is there a colour that would work better? Have them look at it differently.

Show your family and friends your artwork. Don’t say ‘What do you think?’. You will be disappointed. Ask questions like is the ‘peony’ or ‘pear’ in the right place? Or the right colour? If you paint landscape, ask about the texture of the tree. I am willing to bet that most of them have never looked at the texture of a tree before. The next time they see a tree, they will notice. Then they will compare it to the tree in your painting.

Starting to teach your audience to look is the best way of creating an audience. Teach them to see what you see. The average person rarely takes the time to see the beauty of clouds or the colour of a pear. Surprizingly, there is very little information about how to see. As artists, we naturally notice details and how different details are put together but not so for the average person, I discovered. This is a talent that is learned when we become interested in artist work. One photographer discusses how he goes about seeing what is around him in this article: http://www.creativesgo.com/art_of_seeing.html

Visual literacy is not valued in our everyday life. By literacy, I mean, looking at what is around us and really seeing it. One book: The Art of Seeing: An Interpretation of the Aesthetic Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Rick E. Robinson, focuses on the psychology of the aesthetic experience and on the perception and understanding of art, suggesting ways to raise levels of visual literacy and enhance artistic enjoyment.

Both these authors insist that we need to teach people how to see and be more creative in order to have a better work force, one that can creatively solve problems because they are able to see multiple sides to a problem.

The greater the creative side in people, the better they solve problems. Wouldn’t that be wonderful in everyday life. People would not get upset or angry, they would just think ‘How do I solve this problem?’ and go about doing it. I must admit that the theory is wonderful and would love to see it at work.

Visual literacy teaches people to analyze problems and see, understand, think, create and communicate graphically. In order to do all, the student must always carefully observe. Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visual_literacy) tells us that looking at films is a good way to increase visual literacy according to Martin Scorsese.

This involves exploring how ideas and emotions are expressed and the use of lighting to create an emotional or physiological point. He explains how there is a need for children to understand these concepts.

Visual literacy is a growing field. Being able to ‘read’ media, interpret it or even analyze it is growing as a skill. What are people saying when they use a certain kind of font when writing text in an advertisement or what they are saying with colour combinations is important. Without the visual literacy, we are being manipulated by what we see. This is all the more reason for you to start teaching others about art.

When people are able to see what is in front of them, they will better see your own artwork. Starting small, so to speak, with your own family and friends will create a link between all of you that will grow. Won’t it be fun when someone in your family starts actually seeing the sunset everyday and actually notices. Or, if they start looking at posters and say, ‘That could be done better.’ There is a whole world out there that you and only you can change.

I hope this article helps you. Writing about it helped me learn that I have slacked off doing the visual training in my own circle….. time to get at it.

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:

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 — 4 Things great artists do differently

I came across some points that are bound to help any artist. If you are just starting out or have been working at art a while, these are great points to ponder.

  1. Focus on a special subject. Choose something that you can do for a long time. This doesn’t mean that you cannot do anything else. It means that you show your specialty but once in while, you work on a second subject. That topic is your ‘relaxing’ moment. You may or may not show later when you are more adept at it or have enough for a series. Again, the choice is yours. You can have it as a fun moment or a series that you are working towards in the future.

One artist I know solved her dual interests by showing her flowers in one city and her figures in a different city far from the first city. Overall, you do need to become an expert in one area. Make your speciality stronger by saying no to anything not in your line. An artist that did this well is Robert Bateman. He worked on animals with a mostly abstract background most of his career.

2. Step away when you are stumped, the answer will come. Go for a walk. All artists get blocked once in a while. Each artist needs to develop their own rituals that will help them break out of their slump. Many artists, including Claude Monet, Andy Goldsworthy and Robert Bateman choose nature as their way to relax when they are stumped. They spent and spend long periods of time outdoors. Other artists go dancing, go swimming or go to concerts. Find the element that helps you and go for it!

3. Be consistent in one element related to your topic or style. Let’s say that you work with the same three colors all the time but after a while, you are totally done with those colors. Don’t drop all three colors. Drop one and add ONE different one. Your audience will notice the change but the colors will still be typically yours. If you still want to change it up, get your audience used to your one new color then and only then change a second color. An artist that has done this well is Kandinsky. Wassily Wassilyevich Kandinsky was a Russian painter and art theorist. He is credited with painting one of the first recognized purely abstract works. For more information about him, go to: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wassily_Kandinsky

Adapt your subject when you tire of it. If you painted trees for years but now you need a change, look at something related to trees. Maybe you will do only foliage or the trunk of the tree with what is at its base as the seasons change. Make a gradual change towards something different. An artist that did this well is Mondrian. Pieter Cornelis Mondriaan, after 1906 Piet Mondrian, was a Dutch painter and theoretician who is regarded as one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. He painted his abstractions with a few colours at first then gradually changed colours and linear elements.

I hope this helps you .

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 – 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 …