Posted in Alzheimers, creativity, Drawing, portraits, portraiture, Procreate art, Writing

Still Standing

My lumber spine is recovery slowly and I am standing more than ever! I feel like singing, “I’m still standing, yeah yeah yeah!” – lyrics from some song by Elton John. I never said I was a big music person, but I do love art and writing. And I love creative living.

I’m standing at the breakfast bar typing this up before I go to the osteopath to be pulled in all sorts of directions which has been helping my back to recover.

It’s been a difficult couple of weeks as I haven’t been able to do as much art but it’s given me plenty of time to lay facing the ceiling and contemplate my novel’s next steps.

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As the two weeks have gone by I’ve been able to stand more and I was able to do this portrait on procreate. I am so happy with it because it’s my first procreate drawing. It took my mind off the pain and helped me learn some of the pencil and pen tools in the app. I’m not sure I’m going to be a big user of digital art apps but I did enjoy this process.

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My best friend helped me get to the art store so I could get an easel. That adventure resulted in a messy charcoal portrait of this guy. I think I made him into a cross between a zombie and a caricature. I had a lot fun doing this one, even with his creepy eye.

Then as I have been able to sit for slightly longer periods of time, I have been reading Fiona McIntosh’s book, How to Write Your Block Buster. It’s the second time I have come to her for inspiration to get my creative writing heart beat pumping. And it works. She has such a down-to-earth approach to writing that inspires taking even the smallest action on my novel.

I’ve been jotting down the plot for The Living Death of Toddy James and editing the manuscript in 10 minute intervals as that’s about how long I can sit for.

It feels good to be living a creative life even in the smallest of moments of the day.

I feel like my novel is going to start deepening and broadening as I go now and that’s wonderful. Writing stories is a creative activity that fills me up. I need to make more time for this creative expression, and I will. As I heal my back and move through the emotions of my mother’s Alzheimer’s Disease my mind is clearing and the fog is lifting.

I’m so grateful to be writing as well as doing art again. Creative living is rich living.

Posted in Creative Writing, creativity, Journal, mindful art, mindful writing, mindfulness, Uncategorized, Writing

Mindful Creativity

I’ve been exploring mindful creativity through my art and journal writing practice. It is way of connecting with my inner creativity and continuing to learn that art and writing are tools which bring me completely into the present moment.

My portrait practice has slowed but I am continuing to make progress both in creative expression and accuracy. The images below include portraits 30 and 31 out of 100. There are also graphite drawings of eyes with glasses which I did as part of the Sktchy course with France Van Stone.

As I draw a portrait, I have found that I am looking at what is in front of me and my mind is engaged in seeing the tones and values, the contours, the various shapes and I am no longer labelling what I see. It is as if my mind enters a space of surrender to what is before me. It is a sweet space to occupy and it allows my subconscious mind the space to unravel things that need to be contemplated.

I have also been writing a daily journal with the prompt, ‘today I noticed’, and I what I have noticed is that I am more in tune with what is happening inside me but not in a self-aggrandisement way. Reflection on my inner self through this journal exercise has given me space to explore who I am in the moment and to learn to allow the thoughts that float in and out of my mind to pass through while I only catch the threads I choose to connect with. It is a mindfulness skill.

This writing exercise is also helping me to be fully present in the moment. One day in recent weeks I found myself jotting down how the swallow-like birds zoom around me as a walk to work in the morning. They race each other zooming around in ever widening circles. They movements filled with playful joy. Their inverted ‘V” tails flashing past as these tiny  blue-black birds whoosh past my legs, hovering two feet above the grass and dancing on the air currents.

Taking a moment of time to notice these gifts of nature helps my creative life to expand. I write down what I notice and my imagination expands. My vocabulary for writing expands and so does my visual vocabulary of symbols increase.

Being creatively mindful isn’t about the end result or producing something that I can sell or show off. It’s about the moment, the journey and the experience within.

I am loving this mindful creative living through art and writing. I love that I can learn and grow and play. It is refreshing and positive.

If you have read this far, then I hope what I have said here inspires you to develop your own daily mindful creative habit. And it is my hope that you will find the richness of the universe in those moments too.

Until next time, happy creating and being in the present moment.