I’m Bored, Now What?

So I have been spending the past couple of months preparing for my first solo show of 2017, “Emergence of the Creative Soul.”  It provides a look into my creative soul and creative journey since I decided to take on this artist thing two years ago.   I am showing some of my older pieces, my Goddesses, my floral abstracts, and pastels.  But I was short work, and I needed to get my creative juices in gear to create quick large pieces to adorn the front area of the space.   I didn’t have enough work to fill the space, and I had already said: “Yes I can do this.”    So I got to painting.  I decided to focus on my landscapes in oil – better yet, painting the dusk and dawn – those two times of the day in which I am entranced by its mystery, its intense color, and aura.   Somehow I got into a serious groove and created some real solid pieces.   I was proud of this creative journey, and the show looks amazing.

But what now?

You know when you get into your groove, and everything is just flowing freely, and then after awhile it all becomes dull, uneventful and its just not working?   The feeling becomes numb.  That intense flow has been overdone, and every piece of artwork after that just doesn’t have that same intensity and spirit.    Well, that’s where I am now.   I created six amazing pieces of work, and now I am bored.

So really what now?

When my “serious” work starts getting boring and stale, I need a creative shift.  This is why when you do see my work there is several different styles.  Almost as though a different artist has emerged each time.   I find news ways to reinvigorate that vigor, that excitement within me.   So I start painting intuitively – this is where my abstract florals and my Goddesses were born – from my boredom of painting my landscapes.   Here I can let go, let loose and just be free.   There is no worrying about getting it right.  No worrying about creating a result.  Just allowing myself to create.

So really where am I going now?

So I bought a large canvas (really big)  and just started moving paint around.   I think I see a different direction in my Goddess series.   I can’t put my finger on it as of yet, but it will emerge at some point.   I will let each layer tell its story, and it will come to me, it will finally speak to me.    That energy will reemerge as I continue to add markings and layers.   I will allow this creative flow to move outward until it has run dry – then guess what?  I move on to my next adventure.

Is it ok to have multiple creative personalities in your practice?

Some artists and critics will say – this shows amateurism and your audience can’t see a solid body of work.   Yes, I get it.  If you do the same thing over and over again, you will get really good at it.  But you can also get bored.   That feeling you once had becomes mechanical and predictable.    I need spontaneity; I need to create with feeling.  If I am just running through the same old motions, what’s the point?   I am constantly renewing myself – recharging that spirit within.  I can’t have one personality/feeling without the other.  Each one feeds each other’s soul – giving all of them the nourishment to add strength and confidence in whatever series I am working on in the moment.   I will experience the peak in this next series and return to my pastels, or my oils at some point.  This could be tomorrow or next month.  I am just allowing this current ride to take me on a new journey through my creative soul.

Want to see my first show of the year?  Click here for more info

My online courses will finally come to fruition after a long fight back from complete failure – stay tuned for more info.

 

 

 

A few ways for me (and you) to Make it Happen in 2017

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Can you believe 2016 is done and over?   It seems as though this past year flew right past me.   Was I able to accomplish all of my goals?  Did I get lost a few times?  Did I stay on task 100% of the time?

The answer – NO!!!!!

As a creative staying organized and accomplishing goals can be difficult.   Your mind is running every which way but forward and ideas swirl throughout as though you on a rainbow journey through OZ.   I can’t hear myself think at times or I get in such a creative funk all creativity stops.   So how can I continue to make it happen in the new year?

 

  1.  Get Organized – I tried to organize my schedule using my smart phone but I am a visual and I like to write things down.   Needless to say, the smartphone just doesn’t work for me.  So I bought a nice fancy planner to write my plan, my schedule, my dreams and goals down.   The goal now is to open it up every AM and PM making a list of what I need to do, What I want to do and When I want to do it.

Starting today – this planner takes action

  1. Get Motivation – I love to read but it is hard to find the time.  I have tons of self-motivating books and fun books but they have collected a little bit of dust in 2016.   My goal – take a minimum of 20-30 minutes a day to stop and read.   Find motivation and guidance through others creativity.

Any good book recommendations?

  1. Get inspired – I always need to be close to the things that inspire me.  My goal – take regular creative field trips – a hike, a walk on the beach, a day trip to a scenic landscape.  One I need painting subjects and two these small trips provide constant inspiration to create.

I must make an appointment in my new 2017 planner to plan my first excursion

  1. Get Going – now that the new year has begun – it is now time to just get going and do it.  Here are a few ways to keep yourself on track:
  • check that planner every morning when you wake up and before bed.  Check off the areas that you have completed or accomplished and move those things to the next day top to this list for tomorrow
  • keep a diary/sketchbook.  Document your daily journey through your words and/or art.   Look back on occasion to see where you have been and where you are going.
  • schedule a meeting with yourself.  Keep yourself on track with your goals and “to dos”   Discuss with yourself what is and what is not getting done.
  • find a partner to keep you accountable and schedule a monthly meeting with them.   Sometimes it helps when an outsider tells you like it is.   They will ask you questions, play devil’s advocate and help keep you on track to get things done.
  • take your creative field trips.   Make sure you have fun!   Invigorate and nourish that creative soul by experience those things that make you happy and inspire you.   It could be nothing at all too.

Let me share some goals I have:

  • to blog consistently  – weekly
  • to provide weekly video instruction on my creative process and journey
  • to create, create and create more
  • to roll out and launch my online Creative Soul courses – finally
  • to sell more art
  • to give back more and share more of my passion with all of you

 

I know these are big goals that I failed to complete last year. But failed is not a bad thing – I still have today, tomorrow and the next day to keep at it.

So make it happen this year!   Set out to be amazing and remember you are where you need to be right now – trust the process as you move yourself forward in this new year.

XOXO

Christa

p.s. you notice my list is all #1 – this is not a typo because every item on my list is a priority – they are ALL important and deserve to be #1.

Give the Gift of Art and Spread Happiness this Season

 

Share Art and creates happiness!

Through December, I will be posting small affordable masterpieces for sale.  Purchase for the special friend  or give to yourself (we always seem to forget about us)   Free shipping and gift wrap is available to make your life easier.   These pieces were made with happiness and positivity and my goal is to spread this out for all to see and experience.

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Here are today’s artful additions:

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Are You Willing to Pull Out the Weeds so that the Flowers Can Grow

You need to pull out the weeds so that the flowers can grow.   This can be an arduous task in itself.  But, do you have the patience and inner strength to get through the tough stuff to realize your goal and passion?  Do you stress so much on the things that get your down during this process that the end result becomes lackluster and noneventful?

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Are you willing to be passed over and rejected?  Are you willing to fail and lose money?  Are you willing to deal with the lousy side effects of pursuing your passion?

If you said yes to all of these questions, you are well on your way to following the path to your inner passion.  It takes a lot of hardcore pressure to stay in the game.  You have to want it so badly that all of the negative stuff just doesn’t matter.   Well, it matters, but it doesn’t allow your inner self to get in the way.   Yes, you will cry, yell, scream, worry, have unlimited anxiety, but you will take a breath, brush the dirt off your shoulder and carry on.   You will shed a tear, but those tears will be your battle cry to get up and do it again until it becomes a success.

If you said no, maybe you need to revisit what got you here in the first place.  Is this passion thing what you were looking for or are you on the wrong track.   Because, if what you love so much causes such pain; when you get to the end result you feel numb; is it worth everything you put into it?

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This passion thing: leaving my safe and comfortable career to pursue my creative soul has been no easy task.  I have lost money, I have been rejected, and I have failed too many times to count.   But I truly love what I do and enjoy what happens when small pockets of happiness and success come my way.   It is worth all of the struggle when I can teach someone to find their passion and creative self.   So yes I am willing to walk through the crap to get there because if I can touch one person along the way and help them, it is all worth it.

So think clearly about your goals and dig deep inside to see how far you are willing to take yourself.  What is your risk tolerance?  Can you endure the pain of failure or will you let it consume you?  If you find yourself complaining about the very thing you love to do, think about what you think you love to do.   Are you truly willing to step through all of the crap to find success?

 

 

Create your sacred space

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Where do you go to find solace?

Where do you go to find peace? Quiet? To connect back with yourself?

What objects around you give you the inspiration to create? Find stillness?

We all need space.  Whether it’s an 11oo square foot studio space, a tiny corner of you living room, a closet or a secret alcove at the park.   We need a space to create, reconnect with ourselves, pray, meditate, and just be ourselves without the outside world’s distractions.   A place to be quiet essentially and find stillness.   We can surround this space with mementos, memories and sacred objects that give us strength and motivation.  We can keep it separate from our everyday life or open it up for all to see.

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Before you begin your creative journey whether it’s painting, writing, or whatever else your path is taking you, carve out space where you can just focus.  Take away the electronic devices or any distractions and allow yourself to just be.   It does not have to be an elaborate studio or office space, it can be a tiny little corner in your living room devoted to your craft.   Don’t worry if it gets messy.  This is your creative process – let it happen.

As your journey expands, so will your space.  My first space started in a corner of my living room and eventually grew to take over my entire house.  I lost the use of my dining room table and my closet door became my easel for large canvases.  I was lucky and blessed to finally secure a separate studio where I could spread out and have an actual home again.

Your space will become your secret garden, your sacred home where you reconnect and rewire.   Make sure it is special to you and allows you to be open and honest with your own creativity.  Try not to style it to please others.

Where do you create?  Where do you go to reconnect?  Take the time today to secure that space and start your own path towards your passion.   You will thank yourself.

The Art of Unfinished Business

 

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Why don’t we finish things?

Why do we get so excited about something and then the honeymoon is over before it starts?   It seems to happen more often than not, and our surroundings are filled with an unfinished wasteland of once exciting new projects, dreams, and desires.

You know it happens all the time.  We can’t wait to go out to eat at our favorite restaurant.  We even starve ourselves to make sure we have room in our stomachs to take in all of the goodness.   Then we take a few bits, and we just can’t finish.  We are full before we got even started.

We start a new hobby, maybe knitting.  We are motivated and excited to knit every sweater, baby blanket, and our whole winter wardrobe.  We buy all of that beautiful yarn and supplies with a list of all of our projects we plan to complete.   Then it happens we get overwhelmed, or the desire just dies down.  Several unfinished blankets, unused yarn and sweaters half way completed lay in a pile.

Our intentions are always good.  We get excited; we get really pumped to start that new project, and somehow it deflates, all of the air taken out never to return.   But why?  Where does the desire go?  Hmmm, our inner critic could be the culprit.   It saps our inspiring passion’s energy quicker than we can recover.

Let’s again revisit our restaurant experience.   Our inner critic could be telling us we shouldn’t eat ALL of that food.  We will get fat, we will get sick, this is unhealthy for you.  We may not even hear what our inner critic is saying, it could be so ingrained in our inner thoughts we are unaware of its existence.   What about our knitting journey?   Our inner critic could be saying; this is a big waste of time.  We should be doing something more productive; we should be making sure our children are being taken care of, or this doesn’t pay our rent.  Yes, our inner critic is our biggest enemy.  Preventing us from completing all of the unfinished business our passionate hearts are born to do.

I am a victim of this blame and excuse merry go round on a daily basis.  I joke all the time with my students about all of the unfinished paintings I have in my studio.  I explain and share my ever emotional roller coaster of my painting process.  It starts with an idea, I am excited, I am pumped.   I begin my underpainting; my process is beginning, taking shape.  I start building layers, and the excitement continues. And then it happens.   I begin to doubt my idea, my process.  I start disliking every new brushstroke I add to my canvas.  It’s horrible, it looks like complete crap.   I should just give up now before I just ruin it completely.  This is where most of my paintings end up in this lifeless pile of nothingness.  The world of unfinishedville.  I let my inner critic get the best of me.  Complete knockout.   I allow it to take over and what gets accomplished?  Absolutely nothing!

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How can we break free from the art of unfinished business?

I have found that breaking through the cluttered mind of disappointment and excuses is not that easy.  But breaking through puts you in a new realm of consciousness.  The concept of accomplishment.   It’s exhilarating – Yes, I have been there.

How did I break through with my creative process?

I enjoy painting landscapes, and I usually paint from the many photographs from my travels.   But many times, my oil painting process is frustrating.  I tell myself it’s not good enough; I have no idea what I am doing, etc. I beat myself up all of the time because I just can’t get there creatively. I give in to the negativity and give up.   I open a new canvas and do it again, but again it happens.   I needed to find a breakthrough, a way to fight off my inner critic.   So I opened my mind to a new and exciting creative process.   I started painting intuitively without any notion of what the finished product would be or look like.   I put on some music, let the paint slip through my hands and fingers and let loose and accepted the freedom.   The process was life changing and therapeutic.   I couldn’t believe what happened.  My inner critic didn’t have time to respond because the music was too loud and it was fooled not knowing what direction or end result it could respond to.   My confidence exploded – the end result didn’t matter – it was the process that was important.  I learned to trust the process, and the end result just magically formed. When I did return to my oil landscape paintings I returned with a new sense of excitement; I felt freer, it felt more natural.  My inner critic couldn’t regroup quick enough to respond because I was too caught up in my process.

So is our inner critic the reason for our unfinished business?

It could be one aspect – I know it’s mine.  It could just be it isn’t our path right now.  Taking a break and letting go of something that is frustrating for you could be the solution.  Don’t get too caught up in something that continues to stress you out.  But learn to listen to your inner critic – if it is berating your process and progress don’t allow it to.   Tell that inner critic to step off and leave you alone – you are trying to create something.

So about all that unfinished art

Since I have been working on silencing that inner critic I have been revisiting some of those unfinished paintings I fought with.   I know I can just pick up new paint and cover it all up.  I can close my eyes and make it new.   These paintings have now become my creative challenges where I can reinvigorate them into new and exciting pieces.  I understand some will fail – but that’s ok.  It’s all about the process.  And, about the knitting, I plan to return to that soon too.

I have a FREE course coming soon (launch date is set for September 15th)  This course showcases my life-changing process – the thing that got me out of my creative funk.  Artful Inspirations: Floral Abstracts is a new course I developed to show others how I was able to break free of my inner critic and allow my true process to emerge.

Click here to sign up and get more info!

Artful Inspirations: Floral Abstract Online Course

This course and many other online courses are in the works to share my passion and process.  I am excited to offer this new tool to all of you and hope it helps you battle that inner critic and follow your passion too!

Creative Field Trip – August 5, 2016

Sharing another amazing creative time out – this time with my husband.  We took a sunset cruise along the Long Island Sound.   This was such a meditative, heart-opening experience for me.  To embrace yourself amongst the vast sky and water – two elements that provide nourishment and inspiration to my soul.    I was in the moment.  Enjoying the show and embracing my inner self.   Take the time to connect with yourself on a regular basis.  Your inner self is important and many times we forget to pay attention to the ME.   It’s not selfish or self-centered.  It is an important part of growth and soul nourishment.

Patience, Practice, Process

WIMG_3593hat happens when we put in the work?   We can succeed at things we never thought we could accomplish actually.    However, there are always forks in the road to our paths that stall, screw up and inhibit our growth and goal to move forward.   We want results now!  We want to see the finish line before we even get started.   These road blocks keep us from our success.  We need to put in the actual work, not talk about it or dream about it but do it.

Patience

We have to get out of the “fast food” mentality and slow it down a bit.  Patience is our best friend.  Savor its existence and just enjoy the process while it happens.   I am always losing patience: driving, communicating with others, myself, my kids, my husband, my creative process and my intended success.  I get frustrated when things are not working quick enough and take it as a personal attack on me, “you are all wasting my time.”  When in actuality I am wasting my own time being impatient.  It’s no one’s fault but my own.    Practicing patience is one of those things that yes takes time.   Let it go, take a deep breathe and allow it to happen in the time it takes to happen.   You might even be surprised at your results.

Practice

Let’s visit the subject of practice.   I am not a big sports fan, but my husband is, and my favorite quote from one basketball star Allan Iverson is all about practice.  Iverson was being interviewed after a game and was being called out for not attending the required practice sessions with his team.   “We’re sitting here and I’m a franchise player, and we’re talking about practice?”   While he was an amazing athlete, the concept of questioning practice is absurd.  It doesn’t matter how good you are.  You could be Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordon, to name a few, they still put in the work every day to get better and improve.   Even the greatest athletes, CEOs, artists, movie stars, singers must practice.  If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be great at what they do.   Never question practice.   I can be certain there is someone else behind you putting in the work and through their tireless amount of practice will eventually bypass you on your goal.   If you put in the work, I guarantee you will get better and that much closer to your journey.  Patience is a part of this equation – since depending on your path, it may take tons of patience and practice to get there.   I have several “practice” paintings in my studio.  To the point, I get frustrated with myself.  So many paintings I start (practice) and never finish (my impatience).  Sometimes I return to a few and many never to return.  But I have found through time if I give it a little patience; these practice paintings begin to improve.  I can approach a new canvas with a different sense of being.  An inner confidence that emerges from my many failures of unfinished paintings.   Understanding through all of the practice what works and what doesn’t and maybe eventually creating a finished masterpiece.

Patience + Practice = Process

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This formula becomes my process.   Starting my creative process, waiting for it to emerge, accepting failure, restarting, revisiting, being patient and then visualizing success.    Without the patience to continue to put in the practice, my process cannot exist.   All three need each other to create, and all three are imperative to my journey.   What is your process?  Where do you find yourself getting yourself held up in the process of creating?  Do you find yourself completing the end result before you have taken the steps to actually get there?   I am guilty of this – building or putting together something without even referencing the manual first.

Don’t worry about the end result because this might change based on your formula.   You can’t determine your end result until you actually get to your end result.   Take the time to read the owner’s manual before you start putting it all together.   Your continued patience and ability to keep at it will get you through your process.   Trust it and it will happen – in the next hour, day, week, a year or maybe ten years.   But it will happen – just trust the process.

Allowing my Passion to Spread Outward

 

 

I truly feel like I finally have a solid path to where I need to be.   Once I decided to go forth as a full-time artist, I spent a lot of time and money trying to find myself.  I  wasn’t sure who or what I needed to be.   I would have an idea and then want to change it weekly.   As I continued to grow as both an artist and a person, I realized how much I love teaching others to be creative, sharing my story and empowering others to see their passions.   Wow!   I now know that I need to be spreading this out worldwide.

Change the way you see yourself

I have been working tirelessly on creating an online hub where people could go to be inspired, be motivated and learn the tools and techniques to using creativity as an outlet to experiencing life as it is meant to be.  The courses will be fun and filled with inspiration and motivation to get you on your journey.

You have to let go to let in

In the next couple of months, Creative Souls Art will be launching these value enriched courses, sharing my process and providing the tools and techniques to seeing and living your passion.   The first course is FREE to you.  Offering out one of my mini-courses instructing on my abstract floral process I have found to be creatively life-changing.   Go check it out and see for yourself.  Sign up, so you can be the first to access the first course.

Click below to see what I have been working on

Creative Souls Art Online Courses

 

 

 

Take a Creative Field Trip

One of my motivational books I follow is The Artists Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julie Cameron.  Her book a fantastic guide to help you break free of your creative rut and get going.  We all find periods of creative and life slumps.  Nothing seems to be working; we can’t finish anything, or we are overwhelmed by just being overwhelmed.   I get into these moods all the time.  So many, it’s hard not to give up at times.  I would start a painting, and would find it difficult to get into the flow.  The more I mess around with it, the worse it gets.   If you could see my storage space, there are many of these paintings.   Even with life, I can get myself so overwhelmed with “things”, I break down and can’t get just one thing completed.

So how can we fight off the Creative slump?

One important task is to take a creative field trip at least once a week.  These adventures can be anything from a stroll at the beach, browsing a few hours in an old bookstore or visiting a new art gallery show.  The activity has to be motivated around nurturing your creative self, your soul.  These creative and life boosters can increase that motivational force and get you back on track.   While these simple field trips can be with friends, try to do a bunch alone.  I hear all of my introverted creatives out there!  ALONE???   Yes, go out and experience a small outing by yourself.  Spending time with yourself is essential to your creative self, but venturing outside of your creative space inspires your soul and helps keep it nourished.

To get you started, here are a bunch of Creative Soul Field Trips you can take:

  •  Get up at 6 am and watch the sunrise
  • Catch the new exhibit at your local art gallery
  • Take a trip to an art store and lose yourself in all of those supplies
  • Take a hike – pick a new spot every week
  • Go to the beach and watch the low or high tide come in
  • Find a park bench and read a new book
  • Spend an hour at your local coffee shop and bring your sketchbook
  • Take an art workshop – try a new medium or style

These are just a few, and you are free to explore any of activity outside of your safe and sacred creative space to reignite that creative spirit.   Don’t forget to journal about your experience or even bring your camera and document it.   Keep a log of all of your Creative Field Trips.  I will be on my Youtube channel.   Get inspired, really inspired.  Then go back to your creative space and see what happens.  Do I feel different?  Is the creative process is little easier?

Remember these creative trips are meant to inspire and motivate  – not stress you, so keep it simple.  Don’t spend crazy amounts of money and please don’t forget to have FUN.

I would love to hear about your Creative Field Trips.  Comment on my post or send me an email.   I would love to get more ideas for new and exciting field trips going forward.

Don’t forget to follow the journey and sign up for updates on my blog as well as some exciting new online courses that will be available in the Fall!   As a gift for signing up, I would love to give you my ebook, “30 Days of Artful Inspiration for the Creative Soul Journal,”  This is a beautifully illustrated journal of my photography and inspiring quotes to get you on your journey.   Here’s a hint – use this to jot down your field trip adventures.

Get Your Free Gift Here