Just Add Colour~Playful Patterns is whimsy meets geometry meets ArtDeco . . . and the result is 20 pages of wildly assorted colouring pages from intricate Paisleys to spacious bubbles to floral fantasias. Whether you are already a fan of colouring or are simply curious about this no pressure way to relax and exercise your creative brain cells, this download and print PDF will bring you hours of fun.
There is no limit to the number of times you can print these designs and reinvent them with new colour combos, so grab a copy and start colouring!! $7.
Colouring books are all the rage. Why? Well, first of all, they are FUN!! It’s a no pressure way to be creative. After all, there is no right or wrong way to colour. Colouring is also a hobby that encourages eye-hand coordination. Colouring books are being given to the elderly to help maintain motor skills and people recovering from stroke or injury redevelop them. They are being used in therapy to help adults express their emotions.
If you have always wished you could draw, but were too afraid to try…a coloring book can actually teach you a lot about art.
Because colouring requires attention to detail, it helps you to “zone out” and forget other things going on in your life. Some people devote their full attention to colouring. Others find that they can colour while their mind wanders.
Reconnect with your inner child – start colouring today!!
Just Add Colour! is a PDF with 15 pages of wonderful
original, nature-inspired line drawings that you can print out
and colour as many times as you wish. $7~
Still Creating After All These Years
So many ideas, so little time . . . that’s how I feel most of the time, still, after all these years. Much like the geographical world I travel through, in which I find the more places I visit the longer my list gets, the mental landscape of creativity keeps both revealing new destinations and inviting me to revisit old ideas with fresh eyes and expanded experience.
There are many positives about being a creative woman who has spent 60 years on the planet. Some are obvious: I’ve had time to hone my skills, to improve my ability to translate the ideas in my head into tangible creations; I’ve had the opportunity to study with true masters of various forms and absorb at least a tiny bit of their brilliance; I’ve learned a lot about what works and what does not.
Some of the less obvious things may be even more valuable. I’ve learned how going to the studio (whether that is a dedicated space or a state of mind) can shift me into a creative place even when I think I have no ideas. I’ve learned to accept (mostly) that creating things takes as long as it takes and I don’t necessarily know (or need to know) how long that will be.
One of my most joyful realizations of the last decade was that a lot of ideas are worth revisiting. Creatively speaking, revisiting old ideas and applying new insights and inspirations has a richness that brand new ideas seem to lack. The layers of meaning and interesting juxtapositions of viewpoints creates art with depth and perhaps, if I get it just right, fascination for the viewer.
We spend so much of our lives indoors, in artificial environments, that we forget sometimes that we are PART of the web of life that is this planet, this galaxy, this universe.
The contemporary disconnect with the natural world is a part of the discomfort of modern life. I hope that my artwork helps people reestablish their own personal connections with nature.
I encourage you to tap into the cycles of the natural world to gain equilibrium and perspective. Observe the changes around you in the plants, the sea, the sky . . .
and absorb the beauty and ease with which they unfold.
Allow yourself some of that same ease. How would your story change if you are not at the center of it, keeping the wheel in motion all alone, but instead truly connected to all the other parts giving and taking energy and inspiration as needed?
The first half of 2014 has been filled with change for me. I’m not alone, many people I’ve spoken with are feeling the same surge of change coursing through their lives. For me a big part of the change has been adjusting to living a life on my own. One of the surprises that has brought is a deeper connection to intuition in my artwork.
I’ve always been a deeply intuitive person, relying on my intuition to guide me through the mystery of being human. Interestingly I’ve realized that allowing my intuition to work together with my imagination in service of creating things is creating a sort of alchemy.
I’m very excited about these new directions in my art making and the ways I am discovering to share it through Personal Compass Mandalas, illustration, and spirit/oracle art.
Stay tuned for changes to the website that will allow these new facets to shine!
You only really need the things you make, love or leave outside. ~Jim Koss
Roads not taken. Every life is full of them. Some we choose to turn away from. Some we miss the turning, intent on something off in the distance (or inside our own head) and only see the road at all when we gaze back across the valley, miles and miles along. Some roads are blocked in ways our longing to travel them simply cannot overcome.
We can only linger so long at the crossroads and, as Robert Frost observed, cannot ever be one traveler and travel both. Very occasionally our journey intersects one of those not-taken paths a bit further on and we have the chance to choose again.
Sometimes seconds chances feel like gifts; sometimes they feel like tests. It’s ever so easy to embrace the gifts, to sink into the renewed opportunity with a contented sigh.
The others, the tests, are crazy-making, panic-inducing; flight-or-fight chemicals flood our brains and we are equally likely to be paralyzed by fear (while mentally running every possible outcome in hopes of getting it right this time) as we are to flee.
The question is: can we actually get it wrong?
Short of doing irreparable harm to ourselves or others is any path really wrong? Every experience adds to the mosaic of our life. To live is to turn time into experience. We gather knowledge, memories, stories. We laugh. We cry. We endure heartache, boredom and hardship. We embrace joy, contentment and connection. And through it all, if we pay attention, we discover that we are more than the sum of our experiences. We are more than our successes and our failures, more than our mistakes, more than our plans and dreams.
It’s really okay – we’ve got this – whatever road we choose will take us somewhere, show us something, add to the mosaic. And that little piece of scarlet or chartreuse that doesn’t seem to “go” with the rest? That may be just the piece we need to provide the spark for the extraordinary masterpiece of our life.
I’m so far from perfect, I can’t even see it from here.
And that’s a good thing.
Perfection, at least the way our human brains try to define it, is an illusion.
On the other hand, everything is perfect exactly as it occurs. This paradox is at the heart of our human story.
I’m a recovering perfectionist, raised by perfectionist parents, a child born to love weeds, wildflowers, broken shells and fragmented souls, asked to strive for perfection. I tried, hard. Or a part of me did. Yet somehow, the child who sat for hours watching bugs climb the tall grasses and tiny fish schooling in the shallows, the little girl who picked wildflowers, weeds and garden flowers together into messy bouquets was never far beneath the surface.
My most precious treasures are still bits of sea glass and broken open shells, their inner lives revealed by the vagaries of life. Nature is messy and imperfect, and breathtakingly beautiful. So are we, just the way we are, right now, in this moment. Because, even though WE cannot be perfect, ever, we CAN experience perfect moments.
I’m so far from perfect, I can’t even see it from here. But I have a sea chest of memories, full of perfect moments, strung together like glowing pearls decorating my imperfect life.
They aren’t always pretty, those perfect moments; sometimes they contain exquisite sadness, bottomless pain or perfect storms of rage. What makes them perfect? That we are so completely inside the experience it is all we feel – the observer disappears. The totality of feeling connects us with the infinite, the cosmic consciousness, the living web of all that is.
It is a fitting irony that we only intellectually perceive perfect moments once they have passed, because if we perceive them they end, as soon as the observer steps in the moment vanishes.
The notion of creating a perfect life, a perfect artwork, story, meal, garden, a perfect anything is a notion that separates us from ourselves. It provides a grand illusionary goal that we can never reach, and so keeps us safe from having to put ourselves out there, while at the same time driving us mildly mad. Our quest has no end, because perfection can’t be sought or created, it must be allowed.
Part of that allowing is realizing that perfection doesn’t look like what we think it does. And it isn’t static, it can’t be pressed under glass or pinned to a board. A perfect bud, frozen in time, can never become a perfect rose, can never become a perfect rose hip, can never become a perfect cup of soothing tea.
Don’t be afraid to shake the kaleidoscope ~ the next picture will be equally beautiful.
Commit to living with a new grace.
Tell a new story
Discover ancient stories.
Begin again from a place of wholeness.
Create a life you can fall in love with. Do it because it has joy. Do it to create JOY.
Emerge from the fog and the chaos.
Embrace the simple wisdom of the earth.
Tap into the cycles of the natural world to gain equilibrium and perspective. Observe the changes and absorb the beauty and ease with which they unfold.
Allow yourself some of that same ease. How would your story change if you are not at the center of it, but truly connected to all the other parts?
What if, like the wildflowers, you are exactly where you can thrive, exactly at the right time, part of the wholeness?
I often encounter people who wear their wild on the outside, warrior-poets, story sorceresses, dancing spirits, punk-hippie goddesses, rowdy raconteurs . . . people who wake you and shake you and leave you a bit more alive for encountering them.
That wildness? It does not just belong to them. It also belongs to YOU. Yes, I see it behind the civilized facade you’ve adopted. Every now and then I see the wild in your gesture, your writing, your art, it sparkles in your eyes, it bubbles up in your laughter.
What would happen if you let it out more often?
What would happen if the wild truth of you was something you felt comfortable sharing with the world?
My wild wants to invite your wild out to play, will you come?
Someone recently shared 30 questions with me, designed to help you focus on what is important to you. Question 21 stayed with me long after I closed my journal, as it seemed to me to be about how to love your life. I wrote the answer quickly, without censoring myself, and then kept returning to the question — I’ve not found any way to improve on that first answer, so I’ve decided to share it here with you.
Question 21: If you were to leave the world today – what is the manifesto you would leave behind?
Be kind. Be curious. Use your imagination and intuition as much as your intellect. Travel, meet people, taste new things, listen to new music, read new authors. Do more of the things that make you smile. Share the joy and the sorrow and know that both are ephemeral.
1. Metaphors galore delight my heart and soul!
2. My icon is my own. It is the embodiment of many of the things that make me…me. When I look up from my desk and see it, another image of my past comes up and reminds me that I am more than the given moment dictates.
3. It was created from pure intuition, where Ego had no place
4. Excellent focal point for meditation
5. I keep my icon in my office–it is not something I choose to share–it’s too personal, and honestly it reminds me that there are still parts of me that are a mystery to my husband, child and extended family/friends.
6. It lights up my life each time I look at it – a reminder of all that I am, all that I could be
7. I love my icon because it is a beautiful representation of me, that Paula made come to life on canvas.
- connecting with my subject – interviewing the person I’m making the Icon for only takes about 15-20 minutes, I can do it by phone, Skype or email and it so much fun to hear the excitement and start to understand what the artwork will be about.
- doing the research – there are always some elements that I need to research, to understand more fully and to discover how those things will fit together visually with other elements; I love the excuse to be really curious and explore.
- playing with a variety of styles – Personal Icons come in infinite flavors, depending on the likes of the subject. This means I get to play with interpreting the essence of many styles as I create for different people.
- mixing media – my favorite way to work, and the nature of Personal Icons invites this creative experimentation.
- when the elements start to come together – as I’m designing the piece in my sketchbook, there is always a tipping point when 3 or more elements ‘find’ each other and create a synergy that breathes life into the idea as a whole entity.
- watching the piece take on a life of its own – as I translate the sketches onto the canvas, things shift and morph as the Personal Icon starts to truly embody the energy of the subject. This is where the magic happens.
- discovering the over-arching metaphor – as the Personal Icon takes form, more connections become clear and shine a light on the finishing touches that will make the whole thing glow with the essence of the subject
- sharing sneak peeks – all during the process of creating I’m taking photos. Sometimes I’ll send a close up of a portion I think is especially exciting. As the Icon starts to near completion I create a short Animoto video from the best of those photos and send it to the subject.
- sending it off – to be totally honest I both love and dread this part. I’ve already shared the finished artwork digitally, but seeing it in person is a different experience. I always feel I’m holding my breath until it arrives!
- knowing it is loved – getting emails, cards and phone calls from people who adore the results is a superb end to any project.