Thursday, April 28, 2016

Kindness, the Zombie Apocalypse, and Creative Rejuvenation

If you're here, I'm assuming the blog title either amused, intrigued, or confused you.  I'll address all of three elements during the course of my story.  But a little catch up is in order, first.  My last blog entry was at the beginning of the year and focused on alignment.  (***Scroll back one entry and see the blueness of my watermedia piece featuring it.  Those that have taken my classes should note it is blue and may remember my story of FW Northlight making me take out the preponderance of green artwork for my book and replacing it with blue.) For me,  alignment is something you can ruminate on, weave throughout the cloud calendar in your head (yes, we've all have cloud calendars before they were popular tech storage) before trying to apply it in life, but I've found that sometimes life has a way of being rewoven without your approval or support.  Realignment can just happen and it can be in a quiet way that you don't notice (for me that's how it started), smacked in the head so that it's immediate and decisive, or opportunities that tantalize and band together resulting in different choices. All of those have happened.  What I am seeing during this realignment is that certain choices have popped out with that, "Look at me! Pick me" while jumping up and down in my mind.  So there we are with that wordy update. 

Art for Artiscape 2016
So, on my way to realignment I had been asked (many times) to submit classes to Artiscape, a gathering in Dublin, Ohio, put together by Lisa Ohmer, owner of European Papers.  Lisa and I have traveled in the same circles for almost twenty years so I was tickled when she contacted me in the fall about the event and it worked in my schedule for the first time.  Three classes were submitted and chosen and I decided to participate in the Artist's Marketplace. In between then and now came the holidays, the advent of diabetes changes, our trip to New Zealand, an unexpected surgery (the second in seven months) with complicationsfor Sam, and regular life, so I while I was still happy to be going, it ended up being stressful to pull it together.  Still, I create well under pressure and made it all happen, but the tank was a little empty when I arrived. 

H E R E ' S  T H E  M A G I C:

My classes had great numbers, were well-received, and went off without a hitch.  But that's not the magic.  I witnessed magic in my classes listening to table interactions as students learned new techniques, support each other's explorations, and  became excited by  color and composition choices.  Classes can quickly become "look at me and what I've done" rather than enjoyment in the process and what's going on around you, but these classes buzzed with camaraderie from the get go.  Some of those budding relationships existed from prior years or from friends taking classes together, but most of what I witnessed was happenstance or kismet.  Confidence was gained by all and laughter was heard throughout.  The magic was the lessening of ego and the conscious choice to be kind and share the journey together. Kindness produces a profound energy burst and heart swelling unequaled by any essential oil I have and I felt it towards others and towards me the four days I was there.  I was humbled by it all and that's no small feat. It was infectious and the creativity flowed because of it.  While their creativity flowed, mine was rejuvenated.  I have not taught since the fall and didn't really notice how much I had missed being in the classroom.  Luckily, I have more teaching on the horizon here in St. Louis and elsewhere already planned and several new opportunities possibly coming my way in summer and fall.  

The zombie apocalypse part of the title refers to comments I made all weekend long in classes and while selling my art of Sunday.  It started when students would ask for additional supplies, but were worried I wouldn't have enough myself.  Yes, I am prepared for the eventuality of an epic zombie apocalypse-totally prepared with enough media, substrates, doo dads, etc. that while the world is plummeting to it's lowest point ever, I will be making art.  I am not alone.  I met some kindred spirits throughout the weekend.  Oh, and I will have essential oils to last me during the dark time.  Food and water?  I haven't begun to plan for those. Priorities.

So, to recap:  the kindness of all amazed me and I was especially happy to meet some art peers that I haven't met and rekindle friendships with those I've been on a parallel course with for almost twenty years.  If you need art supplies during the #ZA (everything has hashtags these days), contact me.  I'll have them.  And finally, I 'm ready for my next art adventure in the studio.  That is, once I unpack from last week.  

Art for Artiscape 2016

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facebook:  Nancy Sanderson Curry and Nancy Curry Art
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