Making Stuff With Friends, or, One Plus One Plus One Equals Cookie

banners.DancingTheGhosts.small300ppiYesterday I was with friends, beginning a new group art project.  We are each filling a sketchbook for the Brooklyn Art Library’s Sketchbook Project 2019.

The time spent was perfect fun, relaxing, inspiring, and energizing.

Mostly I work and play alone in my studio, and I choose this.  I need and love my quiet alone time, in order to see and hear the ideas coming through, in order to draw and write.  I also need and love time with friends and fellow creators.

Here is what I love about creating with my friends.

The conversation and ideas and actions that flow are always unexpected.  We don’t create in a straight line.  Instead, our ideas are starbursts.  One of us offers a comment or question, and off we go in every direction.

We are not one plus one plus one equals three, although we can be, and have been, if needed.  No, we are one plus one plus one equals cookie.

Laughter is frequent, as is opening our hearts and learning the shape of our souls.

What always fascinates me is this.  We begin at the exact same point, but the flow from each of us is unique in theme and look and final destination.  It does not matter that we all hear the same conversation, begin with similar art materials, play together in the same room.

It is our individual histories and life experiences, our separate needs and wants and focus that shape the vision each of us sees.  This is what sparks the curiosity that arises to follow a specific path in creating.  This is also what creates such fertile ground when we are together.

Together we are a garden, wild and joyful with growth, weeds fully included.  Watered with tea (double chai yesterday) and lattes, nourished by sandwiches and soup and goodies.  Held close in the sunny heat of friendship and shared creativity.

Nothing better than one plus one plus one equals cookie.

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In this post:

The Brooklyn Art Library.   https://www.brooklynartlibrary.com/

Calling On Dorothy Alice Anne

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‘What Gives Me Joy (Anne)’

I remember.

It is late afternoon, Saturday, the end of September. I am twelve years old. Starting Grade Seven.

I’m halfway across our property, deep in the woods, being Robin Hood.

Mom is calling us for supper. “Cathy Carrie Paul!” One long name, as though my sister, brother, and I are a single child.

Half the years of my growing up, I answer to Cathy Carrie Paul. Who I really, secretly, am (besides occasionally Robin Hood) is Dorothy Alice Anne. Dorothy of the Wizard of Oz. Alice of Wonderland and the Looking Glass. Anne of Green Gables. My heroes.

Dorothy Alice Anne have adventures. Things happen, not necessarily what they want. They do not sit around and wait to be rescued. Dorothy Alice Anne get up, find allies, create friends and solutions. If the first solution does not work, they figure out a second, or third, or fourth, and get where they need to get.

In the ongoing saga of writing my first book, I am channeling Dorothy Alice Anne and their get-allies-and-get-it-done attitude.

I am not sitting around waiting to be saved. I am off my butt (again, again, and again), and doing the work (again).

I have my allies and friends, artists and writers and readers like me. We are meeting weekly. We started yesterday. Each of us has a project, a big one, big enough to be both amazing and scary. Big enough to need allies.

We have done this before. We have walked each other through getting stories written and published, and solo art exhibits proposed, created, and shown. We are doing this again, starting now.

I am playing with the fourth solution to the structure of my book, and this one feels like a keeper. My allies, both fiction and real, helped me get here to something workable.

Yay, Team!

Here is the thank you, my friends and allies in creating, for opening your hearts and minds to my creation. For opening your courage to share your creations with me.

And thank you, Lucy Maud, Lewis, and Frank, for imaging Anne, Alice, and Dorothy. For sharing your words with kids like me and my friends. For inspiring us to create our own adventures, find solutions, and save ourselves.

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In this post:

Heroes, allies, and friends are everywhere. Here is where I first found Dorothy, Alice, and Anne.

Dorothy – The Wizard of Oz, the 1939 movie by Metro Goldwin Mayer, based on L. Frank Baum’s book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz which I finally read last year.

Alice – Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, 1865, and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There, 1871, both books by Lewis Carroll aka Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. The editions I read were a boxed set published in 1946 by Random House.

Anne – Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery. The edition I repeatedly borrowed from the library was published in 1967 by Ryerson Press.

Artist AND Writer

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What Gives Me Joy Nov 3 2016 (stars)

(This post written the morning of November 4th.)  My beautiful blog, I have been putting you to the side this past month, all in the service of art rather than writing.

I am artist and writer in equal measure.  The past two years, writing has been all.  Now, my drawing is centre stage for all of November, and this makes me very happy.

I have missed my art-making.  This is not to say I don’t love my writing.  I am in love with both, switching back and forth depending on the inspiration that comes and the projects that grow.

My drawings for ‘The Joy Diary’, my solo art show, have writing in them.  I get to play, moving between my two loves, marrying them in ways that push me to further inspiration beyond the drawing I am creating.  Seeing on the paper before me how my mind connects ideas and information, the leaps it takes, surprising and delighting me.  Learning how I balance image with word, each playing off the other and suggesting something more than 1 plus 1 equals 2.  More like 2 squared or 2 cubed.

Drawing feeds my writing.  Writing feeds my drawing.  There are some feelings and knowings that I can only express through images, and others that need words to bring them alive.  I am blessed to be Artist and Writer, and to be in love with both.

The drawing heading today’s post is brand new, created yesterday in the Station House Gallery studio.  ‘What Gives Me Joy Nov. 3 2016 (stars)’.  Inspired by a birthday tea with another artist-writer-friend.  (Thank you Lynn!)  Drawing number one, with seventeen more to follow throughout November.  I am heading over to the gallery thirty minutes from now, to begin drawing number two.

Thank you thank you thank you that I get to be Artist AND Writer.

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The Joy Diary is happening at the Station House Gallery, #1 Mackenzie Avenue North, Williams Lake, BC.  The show runs to November 26th.  Gallery hours are Monday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm.  I am drawing in the gallery studio through to November 24th.  Come and join me!   https://www.facebook.com/stationhousegallery/