One of the many things I enjoy about being a member of Artistic Portland is that I get to witness what each and every member creates. I feel their spirit that is expressed in their artwork.
As I sit here in my office, I look around and see the collection of art from some of our Artistic Portland members. I would like to tell you a little bit about some of what I have collected.
First and newest to my collection are my beeswax candles by Bee Lux. These candles are molded candles from 100% local beeswax. I wish you could smell them; they smell like honey that has been mellowed by powder. I love beeswax, I use it as an emulsifier in my Gifts From the Earth skin care line.
This is art that I know will not last, after all they are candles, but they are truly magical and I will enjoy them every time I light them!
I have been in love with Denise’s pods for a very long time. Each one is unique and has its own texture and glaze combination. Here is what has been written about her pods, they are “small ceramic sculptures reminiscent of plants, seed pods, and ocean creatures. Sometimes they come out as functional objects like salt and pepper shakers and tiny jars but mostly they end up being non-functional pod forms for home decor as well as wall art. The artist feels these natural forms mimic life at the cellular level, which looks very like the shapes and forms seen in every day animal and plant life.”
Sometimes I catch myself staring at them, seeing each detail like you would when you notice things in nature.
Ben Gilbert Crayons and Cardboard
I have watched Ben’s work flourish from the start of his membership in our Co-op. He has an excellent eye and isn’t afraid to experiment with texture or color. I own a piece that I call Pigeon and Ball, it is simple but the texture brings it to life.
He also did one for me of my cat Leo that passed at the beginning of the year. It is lovely.
Sally Galore – Fricken Cute
Sally creates amazing oversized fabric wallets/mini clutch that will not only act as your wallet but as a place to carry your phone and keys. Her fabric choices are sensational! And the craftsmanship is great. I love the whimsical feeling of her work.
I would sum up my ever growing collection as colorful and delicious. It says something about what I need to be nurtured within my own home. What makes it special to me is knowing that one person sat down and poured their energy into their avenue of beauty. As a natural skincare maker I am thrilled to know that I am part of many peoples’ rituals and daily lives. I hope each and every artist knows how special their gifts are to me. Watch out artists! Time to add to the collection…
Marianne Wilson Stein – Creator of Luscious Beauty and owner of Gifts From the Earth.
This week's blog post was written by mosaic artist Colleen Patricia Willams.
This weeks’ post is about not just art, but the creative process and what aids that process. Modern American society is a busy place; work, family and other social commitments tend to take up our time, leaving us little time for leisure activities. This busyness cuts into our sleep, our meals and deprives us of a lot of necessary relaxation.
Neuroscience suggests that this trend has not been a good thing for Americans; it comes at the expense of creative enterprises, which tend to raise our life satisfaction as well as help us to live longer. Those moments when one becomes unaware of the passage of time, when the brain focuses on the project at hand, those moments are called “flow” and those moments are very good for us, not just as artists, but in other areas.
Flow is when we are relaxed, when time slips away, much like when one is driving, deep in thought; we find ourselves surprised when we pull into the driveway, listening to the music, it seemed like the drive took no time at all. This phenomenon generalizes out to the rest of our lives; at work, and especially at play, flow allows us to become one with the project, the concepts, that we are trying to express. It’s a good thing to take the time to experience flow; coloring can do this, which is what is behind the rise of the adult coloring book.
Another crucial area that needs to be considered is the role of sleep in the creative process; sleep not only cleans detritus out of our brains, but sleep allows new information learned during the waking period, to become better embedded in the brain. Sleep aids in healing and growth; growth of neuronal connections is vital to the creative process as is the pruning of unneeded neuronal connections. Sleep allows the brain to reorganize all of the input that has come into the brain during the waking period; this sleep period also allows weaker subsystems in the brain that are overwhelmed during the day, to emerge as the stronger systems are on hold. This is the origin of the A HA! moment. There are many documented instances of the answer to a critical question to a problem that come in dreams, like the invention of the sewing machine.
The inventor of the sewing machine was having a difficult time getting the thread to work; one night, during a dream, he saw the answer in the spear points that he dreamed of that night. They had holes in the tips, which when he applied this to the needles, it allowed the thread to properly loop, solving the problem he was having with his invention, that has changed the world.
The point that I hope to make for all people, artists and those who are not artists, is that we can all be creative, we can all do things to enhance our creativity, with sleep being the number one thing that we can all do, for free.
Stop by Artistic Portland to see and purchase Colleen's illuminated mosaics and hand-drawn coloring books!
This week's blog post is written by local artist Colleen Patricia Williams.
Coloring books are no longer reserved for children. They are a great way for adults to relax and ease away the stress of the day. Research shows that coloring can be beneficial to the health of the colorer, that it can be as beneficial as meditation, as well as being a way to engage in the creative process.
Coloring books come in many different choices; there are small pocket-sized coloring books, there are large coloring books and there are coloring books that tell a story as the book goes on. These books can be colored with pencils, crayon, watercolor and markers.
The designs also range from animals and flowers to mandalas, the Tibetan designs that assist in meditation. There is an interesting side note regarding the mandalas; there is a certain religious belief amongst fringe Christians that coloring mandalas will call up demons. The mandala is a beautiful repeating circular design that most of us love and that has a long tradition in Tibetan Buddhism.
In Tibet, mandalas are often drawn with colored sands, in painstaking details. But the beauty is ephemeral; when the mandala is done, the monks then sweep it away, to demonstrate the fleeting nature of life and beauty. To watch one of these being created is a joy; the monks use their hands to dribble out the colored sands to create these intricate works of art. The colored sands on the bare floor of the temples seem to glow before they are brushed away.
While we can’t recreate that special glow, we can use the coloring book to create our own mandalas, but lasting images that can be framed or left in the book to look at later. The act of creating that mandala is the fun part!
The other designs that these coloring books come in are abstract designs, as well as designs that include flowers, birds and other animals. Coloring books make great gifts for kids, teens and adults that are hard to buy for. Include a set of watercolor pencils and the gift has the best of both dry and wet media! Watercolor pencils allow the coloring of fine details and then later, a brush with a damp paint brush to create watercolor blending and other watercolor effects.
Here at Artistic Portland, we have coloring books as well as individual coloring sheets that come with a marker for that ride home on the Max. We have different designs with more to come!