March 31

Creating A Life Worth Living – Part 13

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I’m reading Creating A Life Worth Living by Carol Lloyd. I picked this book because I’m trying to figure out the place I want painting to play in my life.

This week, the final chapter…Chapter 12, “Swimming in the Darkness,” helps you see your new life as a balance of long-term creative projects, practical transitional situations, and regenerating daily life. The chapter also offer some parting thoughts on perseverance, faith, and curiosity.”

Creating a Life Worth Living Book

This chapter introduces a final tool called the Five-Arena Calendar, which gives you a framework for mapping out your arenas of endeavor. Although I think this is a great tool, I’m still working on mapping out my projects (Chapter 10) and finding a partner (Chapter 11), so I didn’t spend any time on this.

CLWL Part 13

The author also gives “Six Tips for Staying in the Process”:

1. Embrace Inspired Procrastination

2. Roll with the Punches

3. Accept Your Stubbornness

4. Don’t Dis Your Opportunities

5. Relish Confusion

6. Ward Off Panic with a Profane Mantra

I didn’t spend much time with this chapter because I’m still focused on completing tasks from the two previous chapters. Next week, I’ll write out my final thoughts on this book and then, what’s next? Any suggestions?

Posted by lori . Filed under Creating the Creator (Creativity) | 10 Comments

March 30

Easter

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Every Saturday, I share my weekly Artist Date.

Pink Tulips

This week, I spent some time reflecting on my faith. I drove around looking at different churches, grateful that I live in a country where we have the right to pursue God each in our own way.

New Salem UMC

I love old country churches.

New Salem UMC Close

They have a simplicity and honesty that I like. Something I seek to live out in my life and faith.

My First Bible

I recently found my first Bible.

My First Bible Inscription

Although I currently use a modern translation with jumbo print, I’m glad I grew up listening and reading the King James Version of the Bible.

My First Bible Illustration

There’s a majesty in the language of Shakepeare that makes my mind and soul sing.

Easter 2013 Cross

Holidays remind us to slow down and reflect on the important things of our lives. I’m grateful for the sacrifice of Christ, for my family, for my country, for my friends. All bless me and challenge me. I wish you all a Happy Easter.

Easter Parade 2013

I’m linking this post to Audrey Eclectic’s Easter Parade Blog Party. Hop on over to see Audrey’s awesome art and blog and to checkout other posts about celebrating Easter. Did you do a post about Easter? Feel free to join in.

Posted by lori . Filed under Artist Date | 16 Comments

March 29

Poetry & Kindness 12.0

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Every Friday, I share a poem. Friday is also the day I post a prompt of something you can do to make the world a kinder place. I call this the Kind is Kool challenge.

I offer both the poem and the kindness challenge without any obligation, so “Comments” are turned off every Friday. Enjoy.

Poetry 12

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Easter Morn

A truth that has long lain buried
At Superstition’s door,
I see, in the dawn uprising
In all its strength once more.

Hidden away in the darkness,
By Ignorance crucified,
Crushed under stones of dogmas –
Yet lo! it has not died.

It stands in the light transfigured,
It speaks from the heights above,
“EACH SOUL IS ITS OWN REDEEMER;
THERE IS NO LAW BUT LOVE.”

And the spirits of men are gladdened
As they welcome this Truth re-born
With its feet on the grave of Error
And its eyes to the Easter Morn.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

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Kind is Kool Challenge

Kind Is Kool 500x375

Week 12 Challenge – Reflect and act on this…Be kind and merciful. Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be a living expression of God’s kindness. Kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting. Mother Teresa

Posted by lori . Filed under Poetry & Kindness | No Comments

March 28

Inspiration Results – March 28

Every Monday, I’m posting a painting “inspiration.” Every Thursday, I’m posting how I interpreted the inspiration. I decided to do this to keep myself painting, to strengthen how I go from an idea to a painting, and to give myself permission to play and try new things. For the next several weeks, I’m taking my inspiration from the great ideas you sent me.

This week’s inspiration is from my friend, Susan…NATURE, THE WOODS, TRILLIUM. Here’s the girl that came out of that inspiration…

Trillium Girl

Obviously, this isn’t finished. I consider this a painting in the “middle” of my painting process. It’s the time when I start to change things I don’t like. For instance, I didn’t like her mouth, and I originally gave her a red top and then…didn’t like it. When I get to this point, I really like to stop because I lose the ability to see the painting as a whole. If I take a break and come back to it, I can see things with a fresh perspective.

How to be HAPPY!

HTBHappyBadge

Every Thursday, Jay of The Depp Effect, posts something that makes her happy, and I’m playing along. She encourages us to look around and notice the things that make us happy. I enjoy this challenge because it makes me consider the things that make me happy, but are easily overlooked. It’s a wonderful exercise in attention and gratitude. Please grab the badge and join in.

Here’s something that makes me happy…PEOPLE PULLING TOGETHER.

Mr. T Fundraiser

One of the many things I love about reading blogs and social media is making new friends and hearing about what’s close to their hearts. Sometimes, what’s close to their heart strikes a chord in my own. Whether it’s casting a vote, signing a petition, spreading the word or chipping in a little cash, it’s encouraging to see what pitching in and pulling together can do.

The story of Mr. T touched my heart recently.

Badge of Ancestry

Here’s something fun! Every week, over at Kirbys Dawg Blog, Leah does a post called Ancient Beginnings where she tells you about the history of different dog breeds. You can submit the breed you’d like her to research and she randomly selects from the comments. This week, we were picked…Greyhounds!

Posted by lori . Filed under Inspiration | 13 Comments

March 27

Books I Read – Jan-Mar 2013

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Here’s what I’ve read the last three months:

In The Garden Of Beasts

In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson

I’m a fan of Erik Larson. I’ve read two of his books, The Devil in the White City, about the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago and Isaac’s Storm, about the 1900 Galveston Hurricane. In the Garden of Beasts is primarily set in 1930’s Berlin during the early years of Hitler’s rise to power.  The focus is both on the American Ambassador to Germany, William Dodd, and his family and the many events, both large and small, that lead to Hitler’s seizing absolute power. Although Erik Larson’s books are scrupulously researched non-fiction, they read like narrative fiction. This is an insightful examination of the cumulative power of small, overlooked acts of evil.

Wow! That was a short list. Hopefully, I’ll be able to double my reading April through June.

Posted by lori . Filed under Few and Well Chosen (Books), Want to Talk About (Whatever) | 14 Comments

March 26

Remembering Naughtiness – Story 1

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Freedom, Casper and Nikki, for the most part, are extremely well-behaved…but there have been moments of naughtiness.

Story 1 Freedom

I’m quite confident I’ve never done anything wrong.

Currently, we’re not in a “digging” phase, but shortly after Freedom and Casper joined our family, they both were in full-out excavation mode. I was worried that with all the holes in the yard, we were headed for a broken leg, so my husband came home with 4 bags of top soil to fill in the holes. He hauled the 4 bags to the back deck, opened one and filled in a hole. Freedom and Casper were very interested in their filled in hole, and I could see that this was not going to work. If they started digging up that deep, rich top soil, I was going to have a big mess. So, we covered up the hole with a bucket and went back to thinking.

Story 1 Casper

Is this the face of a naughty boy?

A couple days later we had a cold, rainy day. I let Freedom and Casper out for a bathroom break, and I went and did something inside the house. When I returned to let them in, there were two black dogs, standing on my black deck, waiting to come in. It was one of those moments where what my eyes were seeing and what my brain was trying to process weren’t quite together. Then, I caught sight of a piece of white plastic and realization dawned…THEY HAD DUG UP THE BAGS OF TOP SOIL! All 3 of the remaining bags.

I have only had this feeling once, but at that moment, I wished I didn’t have any dogs. Especially those two black dogs on my deck.

There was nothing else to do but get the hose, hook it up and hose down Freedom, Casper and the deck…in the now pouring rain. Needless to say, we don’t store bags of top soil on the deck any more. Lesson well learned.

Posted by lori . Filed under Greyt Hounds (Greyhounds) | 17 Comments

March 25

In My Studio – March 25

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Here’s what’s happening in my studio…

Four Larger Canvases

I want to paint some larger paintings. This past week, I purchased four 12″ x 24″ canvases and started some new paintings.

This Week’s Inspiration

In 2013, I’m doing Inspiration Mondays and Results Thursdays. Every Monday, I’ll post a painting “inspiration” and then on Thursdays, I’ll post how I’m interpreting that inspiration.

Last week’s inspiration was from Lynne of Dip-Dip and The Bridge…SPRING FLOWERS. This is the girl that came out of that inspiration…

Spring Flowers Girl 3

This week’s inspiration comes from my boss, Susan…NATURE, THE WOODS, TRILLIUM.

Posted by lori . Filed under In My Studio | 8 Comments

March 24

Creating A Life Worth Living – Part 12

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I’m reading Creating A Life Worth Living by Carol Lloyd. I picked this book because I’m trying to figure out the place I want painting to play in my life.

This week…Chapter 11, “Building a Bridge You Can Jump On,” guides you in building an emotional and practical support system through friendships and creative alliances.

Creating a Life Worth Living Book

This chapter gives you ideas on how to set up a support system that keeps you in touch with both your dreams and the real world. Two of the ideas were of special interest to me…partnering and what the author calls, “Sweet Family of Ghosts.”

Partnering

The author identifies “partnering” as the crucial support technique. Partnering is “a formalized friendship that you set up with one other person to keep you focused on the best, most important parts of your life. The primary activity in this relationship consists of meeting with a person once a week to plan out your goals for that week and sometimes for that decade.” The author suggests meeting once a week for an hour and a half. She also gives you an agenda to follow. This is an exciting idea to me. Now, I just have to find a partner.

Sweet Family of Ghosts

Another support structure the author suggests comes under the heading, “Sweet Family of Ghosts.” She suggests deeply learning about people whose work and lives you respect.

“To develop your family of ghosts, read biographies, peruse bookstores, visit museums, write them letters–and make friends with a few dead people. Know their lives and their loves; become intimate with their creative process, their beliefs about art. Love them for what they have given you and they, in turn, will begin to live within you.”

This is intriguing to me.

This is support that I currently don’t have. I can clearly see how beneficial this support would be in keeping me on track, inspired and helping someone else to experience the same.

Posted by lori . Filed under Creating the Creator (Creativity) | 12 Comments

March 23

Metea Baptist Cemetery

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Every Saturday, I share my weekly Artist Date.

Cemetery 1

Over the last four years, as I travel south to visit my daughter at Purdue University, I’ve noticed several small cemeteries along the route I drive. I’ve always wanted to stop and wander about, and my Artist Date gave me the perfect reason to slow down, pull off the highway and take a look.

Cemetery 2

Metea Baptist Cemetery, also known as Spring Creek Baptist Cemetery, lies behind the Metea Baptist Church in Lucerne, Indiana.

Cemetery 3

The cemetery is still in active use, but it has graves dating back to the 1840’s.

Cemetery 4

It is a country cemetery, with farmland on all sides.

Cemetery 5

As I walked among the graves, I felt a mix of feelings and emotions…reverence, curiosity, sadness, regret, peace and a little of the macabre.

Cemetery 6

I felt both welcome and an intruder.

Cemetery 7

All the lives and stories, now silent.

Cemetery 8

Some remembered, some forgotten.

Cemetery 9

It was interesting walking through a cemetery for an Artist Date. It actually spoke more to the writer in me than the painter. I was intrigued, and I will do it again.

Posted by lori . Filed under Artist Date | 19 Comments

March 22

Poetry & Kindness 11.0

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Every Friday, I share a poem. Friday is also the day I post a prompt of something you can do to make the world a kinder place. I call this the Kind is Kool challenge.

I offer both the poem and the kindness challenge without any obligation, so “Comments” are turned off every Friday. Enjoy.

 Poetry 11

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Progression

To each progressive soul there comes a day
When all things that have pleased and satisfied
Grow flavourless, the springs of joy seem dried.
No more the waters of youth’s fountains play;
Yet out of reach, tiptoeing as they may,
The more mature and higher pleasures hide.
Life, like a careless nurse, fails to provide
New toys for those the soul has cast away.

Upon a strange land’s border all alone,
Awhile it stands dismayed and desolate.
Nude too, since its old garments are outgrown;
Till clothed with strength befitting its estate,
It grasps at length those raptures that are known
To souls who learn to labour, and to wait.

 Ella Wheeler Wilcox

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Kind is Kool Challenge

Kind Is Kool 500x375

Week 11 Challenge – Go above and beyond with one little thing.

Posted by lori . Filed under Poetry & Kindness | No Comments