May is the month of what is know as Green Fire — it is the rampant flush of green that spreads across the countryside, through the parklands, even the deserts and cities tend to bloom in May. A thousand indescribable shades of green, from the tenderest shoots tentatively pushing through rich brown earth to the unfurling leaves; from the contrast of fresh bright needles against the winter weary pine boughs to the crazy tendrils of ivy, sweet pea and morning glory wrapping every fence post and rail in glorious growing green.
Green for growth, for abundance, for . . . ?
Green is glorious when . . .
If Green were a song it would be . . .
My favorite shade of green is ____________ because ________________.
When I was a very little girl, my Swedish grandfather, an immigrant farmer in Minnesota, had a yellow rose tree. He was a taciturn, unsentimental man for the most part, but two things always made him smile: drinking boiled Swedish coffee while reminiscing with his buddies at the cafe and the blossoming of his yellow rose tree. One of my favorite memories of him is of the day he picked a rose from his tree and gave it to me with the slightest bow. His eyes twinkled. I was 4 years old, with a butter-yellow ponytail. There is a black and white photo somewhere of me standing shyly under that tree, smelling that rose.
Yellow roses take me back to my 4-year old self . . . where do yellow roses take you?
There is something almost unreal about these thoroughly orange flowers. They radiate their orange essence from every petal and stamen. They seem lit by an inner brilliance and absolutely beam positive energy out into the world, even on a grey day.
Orange seems to be a color that incites strong opinions – what emotional response do YOU have to orange?
If Orange were a person, how would you describe him/her?
Imagine a world without orange . . . what would you miss?
Today I’m starting something new on the blog, which I hope will be FUN and stir your creative juices. Every Tuesday I’ll be posting a photo saturated with a particular color. I’ll primarily stick to the primary and secondary colors, but be on the lookout for other hues to wander in as they cross my viewfinder. In addition to the photo, I’ll be asking a few questions to stir things up and, I’m hoping, tip you over into the creative zone!
Journal, draw, paint, wax poetic, create a story, use the image and collage on top of it, write a song, even grab your own camera . . . and let me know what you think about Hues Day!
Rich and velvety, the hibiscus blossom is intensely RED.
Where did this single blossom come from and why is it here in the blazing sun all alone?
Imagine it huge and sculpted, where would it live and why?
What emotions and sensory responses does this image of RED evoke for you?
I’ve just returned from a 10-day write-sketch-relax journey which helped remind me how valuable it is to simply be present. I purposely took very little along on my journey — no phone, no laptop . . . a sketchbook, some pens, a small box of watercolors, a tiny journal that would fit in my pocket, and a few small sheets of hand-made paper.
It’s been a very long time since I took such a simple set of tools and even longer since I traveled alone. My goal was to be as much in the moment as possible, while allowing memories and future ideas to surface and be recognized and released. Five days into my journey I knew I had reached a place of being simply present when I was able to sit down on the small balcony of my hotel and paint the picture above.
How did I know? Because the painting flowed from the brush without any fuss or stress. I was able to let my hand and my eye work together, using the knowledge and skills accumulated over time — without interference from the critical, linear brain.
Every sketch I made in the preceding days recorded information, details, juxtapositions, color samples, visual data to be used in some future work of art, but that afternoon, I let go of every idea and simply immersed myself in the moment, the amazing Aegean light, the vibrant red flower, the cool indigo-tinged shadows, the feeling of the April sun on my skin, the faint scent of the sea. I gave myself over to the present moment and was rewarded with a painting that landed on my page like a spring butterfly.
My next task is to remember how to reach that place without taking 10 days off.
When was the last time you felt simply present? How can we invite more of those moment into our lives? I’d love to hear from you on this . . .