Sunday, July 9, 2017

The State of FLOW


Tesla's studio

Flow is the buzz right now. Are you in the know about flow?

If you haven’t heard, “flow” is the term describing heightened creativity, increased performance, and accelerated problem solving. Scientists are studying just what “it” is that puts a person into flow.

When people make art, they’re often in a state of flow. For me it’s when I no longer hear things around me, or notice things going on around me, ideas come easily, and I’m completely absorbed in the creative process. Time flies and I end up with a new painting completed.

I love reading and listening to audio books while on the road, and this summer I recently began reading “Stealing Fire: How Silicon Valley, the Navy SEALS, and Maverick Scientists Are Revolutionizing the Way We Live and Work”, by StevenKotler & Jamie Wheal. There’s also an associated website called the FlowGenome Project, which details the authors’ research. With a background in science (I was formerly a genetic counselor on faculty at Emory University before I officially started my career as an artist) I’m fascinated with both the research and concept of flow.

Since my move into a new home, I’m also feeling a shift in my work and the way I work. Slight differences in approaches to creating a painting, result in slight differences in outcomes. You’ll probably start to notice this – it’s already showing up in the work.

Here’s to a summer filled with FLOW!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger


First Datenight at New Home

“There is more to life than increasing its speed.”– Mahatma Gandhi

Change is good. It sends you into new directions both physically and spiritually. I recently moved into a new home, which includes moving my home art studio. My life was packed in liquor boxes (but not a drop of booze to be found). How does one accumulate so much stuff in a lifetime? In preparation for the move, we needed to get rid of some of that stuff, so we had 3 garage sales. At one we met a young veteran and his wife and son who were moving into a small rental home but had little money and even less food. When we learned they were sleeping on the floor, my heart broke. We knew what we had to do. My husband and I loaded a queen bed, a set of sheets, blankets, and pillows, plus 4 boxes of food into the art van, and personally delivered it to them.

Two days before the close of our home that we were selling, my Dad had a cardiac cath and afterwards my Mom called to say he had to have triple by-pass surgery the next day. Thankfully we arrived at the attorneys’ office two days later with the news that my Dad’s surgery went well. He’s currently in cardiac rehab and doing fantastic.

After the close of our previous home, we next headed to an art show that ended with storms and a threat of a tornado. I don’t think we’ve broken down our booth and packed the art into the van any quicker.

Finally, we closed on our new home last Monday. I’m ready to get off the roller coaster, sleep a bit more, and settle into my new space. Even through all of the stress my head is filled with new painting ideas. Creativity has been a coping mechanism my entire life. Thank God.