Archive for category Art

Rest and a 7-Eleven Slushie

White Sands, New Mexico

Trekking the Dessert

The act of creation takes a lot of energy. Whether it’s a story, a song, a painting or some other project, creating anything requires a great deal of effort (not to mention blood, sweat and tears). All that can be dehydrating for an artist. But so many of us have that undying passion, that zeal for creation, that we don’t want to take a breather in between projects. Instead, we trek onward, malnourished, onto the next project (aka desert expanse) without a moment of rest at the lush oasis in between. Read the rest of this entry »

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Inspiration from the Uninspiring

Hauptweg und Nebenwege (Main Path and Side Paths)

Greetings, Becca’s readers! Thanks for letting me share creativity with you today. And many thanks to Becca for inviting me here! Her blog is a source of weekly inspiration and thought-provoking challenge, so I feel honored that she’s asked me to share some inspiration in return.

A Creative Journey and a First Step

As some of you might already know, I grew up in Germany and attended German schools. My last two years of “high school,” I was part of an art program that required 3 hours and 45 minutes of classroom work (5 class periods) per week. It was intensive, challenging, and explosively inspiring.

Explosively? Well, in the sense that, within a few weeks after the first class met, my brain was exploding with new, creative ideas. I hope you read Becca’s recent post about left and right brains; let’s just say that these art classes pumped a gazillion watts of energy into my right brain!

A few weeks into our third semester, our teacher, Herr Ripp, took us on a day-trip to Köln (Cologne), about two hours by train from our city of Darmstadt. We got to do some sight-seeing, which was fantastic — but the main reason for our trip was to visit an art exhibit on Swiss-German painter Paul Klee. The exhibit featured several of his works but focused on his famous Hauptweg und Nebenwege (Main Path and Side Paths). This was the painting Herr Ripp really wanted us to see. Read the rest of this entry »

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Guest Writers: Courtney Cantrell

Courtney Cantrell, Photo Credit Julie V. Photography

This week I am pleased to welcome a dear fellow Creative to share some of her own inspiration. Courtney, the Vice President and Head of the Writing School within the Consortium, has a passion for creating. She has been writing since second grade and completed her first novel at age fifteen. In 1999, she graduated from Oklahoma Christian with a BA in English/Writing. To date, she has written eight novels, one of which will be published this spring. Plan to pick up a copy of Colors of Deception, available at April 2011.

Courtney’s talents transcend writing. An artist from birth, she’s been painting even longer than she’s been writing – as far back as she can remember. In college she discovered her medium of choice: oils.

On Thursday, Courtney will share how one artist’s work transformed her own method of painting, inspiring her when she least expected it. Come back to find out who that artist was – and to catch a glimpse of some of Courtney’s awesome work.

Until then, check out her blog at to whet your appetite.


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Art: Bigger Than Real Life

Powell Gardens

Check out this awesome exhibit from an an artist who was inspired by nature. According to his website bio, David Rogers first saw the potential for his wood sculptures in the form of a fallen sapling. These insects are accurate to real life — except their size, of course. You can see more of his designs here.

My cousin was able to catch this travelling exhibit at Powell Gardens, which is  located about thirty miles east of Kansas City in Missouri. Thanks to Cara Hall for the photos.

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Collecting Ideas

Memory Failure

Ideas are tricky things. If you’re anything like me, ideas pop in and out of your head all day long. But I have a short term memory. My brain doesn’t hold on to much at length unless I make a conscious effort, and even then I’m not always successful. I’m not sure if having three babies is an excuse or a reason for memory failure, but either way, I juggle way too many things on a given day to rely on memory alone. Read the rest of this entry »

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What Is Art?

Art is about passion. Where does passion live? On the inside.

Creating art is difficult, because it involves accessing that innermost place where we have to face our deepest fears. We have to pass through all of our weaknesses, faults and failures to get to that hidden recess where our creative potential lies. When we get there, we’re deep in the midst of everything we love most, but we’re also surrounded by that which we despise in ourselves.

And if you can successfully battle the monsters within, reemerging into the outside world with a handful of precious stones, glowing with promise, you’ve only mastered step one. Step two is much worse: baring your creation before the public world. Did I say creating art is difficult? Sharing your art is even more frightening. Read the rest of this entry »

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Sowing and Reaping

Walking the Tightrope

If you’re like me you probably have a long list of goals you want to accomplish…this week…this year…this lifetime. That plus keeping up with work, family life and laundry and are enough to fill up pretty much all available time, right? I don’t know too many people who have even a nanosecond to sit around and twiddle their thumbs. (I’m not sure how much thumb-twiddling could be attained in a nanosecond, but whatever percentage of one twiddle is possible is likely a feat enviable by all who are as busy as I.)

If you’re a Creative like me (or even just someone who’s project-minded), you strive to just keep your focus. And once you’ve got that golden nugget of inspiration, you put your head down and just go, go, go – cranking out the work, honing your craft or working toward your goal. And that’s a good thing…usually.

Unless the work becomes all about “me.” It’s a delicate balance, really. I have to walk that tightrope between complete inner focus and making time for the others I share this world with. I can’t give all my time away, but I can’t keep it all to myself, either. Read the rest of this entry »

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