Archive for category Painting

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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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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Out of Sight, Out of Mind

"Out of Darkness" by Becca J. Campbell

You know that project hanging over your head? The one that’s been sitting half-finished for months, gathering dust, just waiting for you to bring it to completion? I have several. They make my skin itch when I walk past them, covering me with the debris of guilt every time I remember them.

And once a project has been sitting there for a certain length of time (I haven’t figured out what that mysterious length is yet…a week? A month?), I subconsciously accept its incomplete state as a permanent reality. It enters the “unfinished project” zone, and its chances in ever escaping alive have dwindled to near nothing. At some point in time, I consciously accept the defeat, putting said project away in the closet (read: mausoleum).

Doomed to the Grave

It all begins with procrastination, of course. Innocent infatuation with the other projects in my life. A lack of enough time to do everything. But soon I can’t use that excuse anymore. I know that by setting the work aside for too long, I’ve doomed it to rot forever.

I may surprise you when I say that this post is not about the ills of procrastination or leaving projects unfinished. (Although a worthy topic and one I’m always working on.) Instead, I want to break all the rules by telling you to grab that recently deserted project and preemptively throw it into the crypt…er, I mean closet.

I know what you’re thinking. “Abandon the project? Quit? Accept failure?” And my responses are, “Yes,” “Not exactly” and “Never.” My reason for telling you to let your W.I.P. “R.I.P.” will make sense after you hear about my serendipitous discovery of how to trick my subconscious mind. (Muhahaha….) Read the rest of this entry »

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A Heritage of Creation

Over the holidays, our immediate family went to Kansas City, Missouri to visit some of the extended family. The weekend was calmer than our typical visits and I was pleased to get to see and spend time with more people than I usually do on those whirlwind trips, and more importantly, on an individual level. Read the rest of this entry »

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The War of Art, Part 3: Invoking Your Muse

I’ve given you excerpts from Steven Pressfield’s cut-through-the-crap-and-get-busy book The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles over the past few weeks.  Today, I leave you with a final installment, and I hope that you will run your little fingers over to your favorite book-purchasing website and pick it up for yourselves.  The few bits that I have shared are only a snippet of the wealth of insight and the injection of courage that awaits you in this awesome book. Read the rest of this entry »

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