Goodbye Summer 2014Thanks for the Memories

What is it about summer that makes us so happy and relaxed? Is it the sunshine? Is it the remembered sense of freedom from school? Is it the longer days that linger and make us feel lazy? It certainly is the season of summer concerts and BBQ’s with friends. Frolicking on the beach and enjoying the ocean are a must around here along with the tourist crowds and sandy flip flops.

Boards Crossing Camp

The river at Boards Crossing Camp
photo credit: Toni Bolthouse

Summer is the time when I make my annual trip to the mountains I love, surrounded by giant redwoods and the tinkling of a flowing river.  Where I go in the mountains there is no electricity, no cell phone or TV’s. In this modern high tech world it is very detoxing to float in the river looking up to the bright blue sky surrounded by a canopy of deep green trees. The stars at night are unbelievable. For some reason the food always tastes better in the mountains. It isn’t summer without my LA escape, and spending time in NorCal with my camp friends. We do our annual puzzle, play old fashioned games, share crazy stories around the camp fire and of course enjoy much laughter.

Sails Coll photo credit - Greg Rutter

Racing on “Sails Coll”
photo credit: Greg Rutter

Summer is also a time for sailing in SoCal. I did a lot of it this year on my little Martin 242 sailboat named “Sails Coll”. Some of my best memories come from being on a boat. I have forged fantastic friendships sailing and racing. Of course some of the most magical moments on the water are those you can’t even begin to plan. When a large school of dolphins decide to join the fun frolicking around the boat and drafting off the bow it is truly spiritual.

So as this barefoot season comes to an end, I am very thankful for my family and friends. The dog days of summer will fade as they always do, but the memories will warm our hearts as fall and winter descend upon us. Yes, we do have seasons in California, just not as dramatic as in other parts of the country.

As I say goodbye to summer, I say hello to my neglected glass studio and my artist friends. Although I did manage to get some work done this summer, it was very hard to stay focused with all the fun distractions. My summer inspirations are in my sketch book. I have many ideas and techniques to explore in the coming months. I can’t wait to get started…..but the week-end is not yet over so the studio will just have to wait one more day.

Taking a Creative Time OutFive Ways to Keep the Creative Juices Flowing

Life can get hectic. Busy people tend to stay busy. I fall into this category. At times I get over whelmed with my commitments and then I get angry with myself for not being a little more selfish. I am working hard to “just say no” more often.

Yesterday I was a bit grumpy and just not a happy camper. This is not my personality at all. I realized that I needed a creative “time out”. I have been so busy doing volunteer activities that I had been neglecting my creative side.

I decided to work on my website. I wanted to put up some of my new work, add my revised logo and work with changing the color scheme. Hardly highly creative work, but I was doing something for me. Getting lost in color palettes soothed my creative soul. It wasn’t long before I was envisioning glass pieces begging to be created. I quickly jumped from the computer to the sketch book.

Complimentary Colors Palette

Five Ways To Find Creative Inspiration

All artists are at some point plagued with creative lulls. Creativity needs to be nourished and exercised on a regular basis. Here are five things that I do to keep the creative juices flowing.

1. I get busy in the garden. I let my mind wonder as I pluck the pesky weeds and re-arrange my garden in my head. I make grand plans which sometimes I actually do bring to fruition. The process of planning gets me revved up and stimulates my creativity. There’s something to be said about getting your hands dirty and playing with mother earth.

2.  I take a walk by myself….preferably by the ocean. I love walking/gossiping with my friends but to let my mind wander I need solitude. I am lucky that I live so close to the beach. Walking along the shore, breathing the salt air and hearing the waves crash around me always brings a sense of peace and with it creative thoughts. There is something about being so small and insignificant in comparison to the size and power of the ocean that leaves me motivated to get creative in my studio.

3. I look though my inspirational binders. I am always tearing out tid bits from magazines and other publications that cross my path.  It could be a color grouping that I love, a piece of interesting jewelry, a cool wall treatment, funky furniture, a serene nature setting or a perky animal. Before I know it I’ve started pulling things together and the sketch book comes out.

4. I spend time on Pinterest. I love looking through my boards. My “Cool Glass Stuff” board is full of amazing art that is beyond inspirational. My other boards are also good places to let my creativity run wild. I love grabbing a glass of wine at the end of the day and searching for pins to add to my boards.

5. I grab some of my art books and start flipping through pages until I’m drawn to an image or a particular chapter. I have a varied collection of books not just ones about glass. I can always count on the impressionists to inspire me. I think that because their work is about the study of light I am drawn to them. I often work with transparent glass and like how a piece can be transformed by light as it moves through the art piece.

As an artist I find it mandatory to be a curator of creative inspiration. We all have obligations that need attending but finding a balance in life and keeping your creative soul energized is imperative to being an artist.