So anyone who follows me on twitter or is in my presence for more than 5 minutes knows, like the rest of just about everybody, I’m Hamilton obsessed. I’ve been listening to the Hamilton soundtrack pretty much Non-Stop (see what I did there?) since it come out.
That said, my friends know I’m also planner obsessed and lucky for me my writer bud, Jax Cassidy is also a super talented artist so I commissioned her to make me up these gorgeous pieces which I plan on putting on my bulletin board for inspiration and putting in my planner to keep me motivated.
You can check out more of Jax’s work here at her Etsy shop www.InspirationUnbound.etsy.com or email her at email@example.com for a custom work of your own! Thank you so much, Jax for the inspiration, the motivation and the smiles.
All the best,
The other day, while procrastinating on Twitter, as I’m often found doing, I saw a tweet go by from the amazing director of Selma, Ava DuVernay. It said that she was participating in a talk this past Wednesday for the Tribeca Film Festival. Now I was instantly intrigued and knew I wanted to be there. But me being me I had to go to my usual second guessing and I got to thinking if I really wanted to take the trip down to the city, take on driving and parking and oh who am I fooling, it all came down to if I really wanted to get dressed and put on real pants and shoes and go out.
Well, I’m so happy the pants and better sense won out. It was my dear son’s day off from classes so he was more than happy to go as my “date” and he even urged me to bring along a copy of one of my books and some postcards (I guess paying for all those business classes isn’t for nothing).
The two of us headed down to the west side of 23rd street and upon our arrival we were greeted with a long but patient and enthusiastic line of what seemed to be mostly were writers and film students. And to the horror of my poor DS I went to snapping pics as if I didn’t grow up in the city and attend college at FIT right up the street. Who knows? Maybe I’ve been in the burbs a little too long, but whatevs. They don’t put cameras on these phones for nothing.
Once we were inside there was a short delay as we waited for Ms. DuVernay to make it in from the airport and her red-eye flight. The delay was no big deal to us as we were inside and comfortable and the room was full of fans of her work.
When Ms. DuVernay arrived along with the immensely talented, Q-Tip who was her interviewer for the hour, there was little doubt that the wait was well worth it. Q-Tip was a well prepared and through interviewer asking many of the questions that we all wanted answers to and Ms. DuVernay was just wonderful. She was friendly, thoughtful and candid with her answers. As well as generous with sharing her opinions and advice.
Here are just a few of her insightful words that resonated most with me:
Her mission: “To magnify the magnificence of black people.”
Wow! I could just stop with there. Isn’t that just beautiful? I just about gasped in my seat. With all the negative images we have been bombarded with for so long and the awful injustices that have been brought to life recently thanks to social media this just makes me want to stand up and cheer.
But I’ll keep going. She also spoke about her work and her responsibility to it saying, that it’s no one else’s responsibility to make the things she wants to see. Which also spoke to me and the stories I tell. Yes, I write for my readers and my fans, but ultimately these are the stories that speak to me and the ones I want to tell. If I’m not filling my own well then this is all for nothing.
Getting to Ms. DuVernay’s process: I was only too selfishly happy to hear that a genius such as herself also struggles with writer’s block as I do. Now I know there are those that say there is no such thing as writer’s block and try as I might I’ve tried really hard to embrace that philosophy (mostly by searching out articles over the internet when I should be writing) but I just can’t. She also has accepted procrastination as part of her process and recognizes that she is fueled by the deadline crunch. Something else I can definitely get behind and see in myself.
On working and ‘making it’ in a white male dominated profession: I loved Ms. DuVernay’s strong opinion and slightly ‘what of it’ attitude to it all. It is what it is and how we should just do what we do and go for it. She spoke about women too often asking for permission for things we don’t need permission for. I’ll just leave that right here with an amen.
Lastly, she spoke about her motto which is “Stay Shooting.” Which means to work your creative muscle. Don’t take breaks and don’t get stagnant or stale by being stuck in one box. Very good advice. I think I’ll take up a version of that and tack onto my bulletin board:
Thank you, Ms. DuVernay for sharing a wonderful hour with us!
Lets not talk about my closed eyes on this pic. Ava is holding BOUNCE here and that’s all that matters.
All the best,
Howdy! I hope you’re having a lovely one. Please join me today over at fellow Crimsonista, Synithia Williams blog where she interviews me and I’m talking about a few a my favorite things: Fashion, Art & Romance. Click on over here to see what I have to say. Thanks Synithia!
Édouard Manet (French, 1832–1883)
Lady with Fans (Portrait of Nina de Callias), 1873
Oil on canvas; 44 1/2 x 65 9/16 in. (113 x 166.5 cm)
Musée d’Orsay, Paris, Bequest of M. and Mme Ernest Rouart
All the best,
image from here
Hello everyone. Today I’d like to introduce you to an artist I found via Google, Dawna Morton. I found Dawna in an unlikely way. Quite a few Sundays ago I was on the run, literally, to take the DD to 2 dance shows and had the vision of a Moody Sunrise in my head because it was a moody kind of day. So… long story, short I searched Google for a moody sunrise image and Dawna’s work came up with many others but her’s just jumped out at me. I put it up, said on my post, “image from here” and linked to her blog and ran out the door with the DD, running late as usual. The next day I hear from Dawna.. Lesson here: I should have asked before putting Dawna’s image up on ye old blog.
But Dawna’s work at DlmtleArt is gorgeous and it should be seen and talked about. She’s kindly agreed to do a blog interview here. So let’s chat with Dawna.
Hi Dawna. Thanks so much for being here today. Please tell us a little about your background.
How long have you been an artist? Is this something you’ve always done? Did you study at school?
I grew up in the inner city area of Portland, Oregon. I have 2 brothers, a sister, 5 step brothers, and 5 step sisters. My Husband and I have 5 kids and a dog, and live on a forested half-acre overlooking the Columbia River.
Although I did not seriously start trying to sell my artwork until three years ago, I have always enjoyed art. Starting with a childhood love of late night coloring, several ceramics courses and an art class in middle school, followed by some more art classes in high school, I went on to major in Fine Arts at Brigham Young University with the intention of entering the illustration program. Then after my Sophomore year of college I married my high school sweetheart, and my family became my full-time top priority–as it should be 😉 It was not until recently that I started putting more of an emphasis back on developing my talent as an artist.
You paint and do photography? Please tell us what you love about both mediums?
As a child I was shy, introspective, and quiet, so expressing myself visually was and still is easier than in conversation. I have always loved to play with color, and there is something about the creative process that is relaxing and therapeutic, causing my worries and cares to all fall away while I lose myself in the process and feel of moving the brush, pen, or pencil across the paper. Although I use many different mediums, watercolor is by far my favorite because I love its ability to capture the essence of sunlight.
Photography is great because it gives me a creative outlet when life is too hectic to paint. I also love how since I have started selling my photos as well as my art, I find myself constantly on the lookout for the beauty that surrounds me. It gives me an excuse to get out of the house and go hiking, or just poke around the yard whenever the sunlight is “just right.” Recently I’ve been having fun experimenting and learning some new photo editing techniques to come up with something new and imaginative.
Your love of nature is clear in your work. Is there a subject matter that you prefer or does it flow for you?
At first my favorite subject was people–specifically people in my life and events involving them that were nearest and dearest to my heart. Even now, hope, joy, love, spirituality, and family are often themes in my art. It is perhaps because of how sunlight, water and other nature scenes symbolically express these themes that I am so fascinated with them as subjects.
Since recently my life has been chaotic and hectically busy, lately I have been working on some less time intensive exercises to move away from photo-realism in my paintings by doing things like looking at a scene for 5 minutes, then painting it entirely from memory.
I know you are a busy mother too. How do you manage your artwork and your family? What’s a typical day or week like for you? Is any day typical?
I had a good laugh when you asked whether any day is typical. Some days I’m not sure there isany such thing. Dealing with a toddler, an infant, and three school-age children requires a lot of flexibility. I have to do a lot of playing things by ear and make the best use of my time based on whether the baby is crying, what the toddler is getting into, or if anyone is having a complete meltdown. My schedule is constantly in flux based on the kids’ developmental stages and activities–so I quite frequently have to learn to readjust my daily schedule.
Managing my family and having time for my artwork is a bit of a balancing act. I try to make the most of all the little moments during the day when there is the opportunity to get two or more things done at once–all while trying to get enough quality time in with my family. I find that things like preparing ahead, being creative in my use of leftovers, making sure the kids all have adequate age appropriate chores, and taking time for spiritual nourishment as well as family fun helps keep things on a more even keel.
I love that advice and it would help so many of us working moms!
Thanks so much for being here again. You can contact Dawna for custom pieces or prints or greeting cards at:her blog is at http://dlmtleart.wordpress.com/
see Dawna’s art at http://dlmtleArt.imagekind.com
For greeting cards and more visit http://www.zazzle.com/dlmtleart*
This woman hangs out on my inspiration board which is over my little desk. Sometimes she’s hidden behind seemingly prettier more well behaved pictures or sayings. Tucked away just a little corner of color, a finger, a breast or an eye peeking out. Then things get jostled, moved around and she’s back out in full view. It’s like she’s pushed her way out and won’t be hidden behind the pretty.
Woman I by Willam de Kooning.
I don’t know what made me instantly pick her up as soon as my eyed washed over her in the MoMa gift shop but my hands flew to her and it was like picking up a part of me. Wild, scattered, colorful, fierce but constrained.
I’m feeling very much like Woman I as I go into the weekend. Hope it’s not too bumpy a ride. Have a good weekend.