Testing My Belief

Just two days ago I sorted through my underlying fear around my ability to carry out a creative idea I have for a coloring book. I stared that fear of failure down. And I came up with a working title for the coloring book, which was my action for the day, my arrow of desire. I felt good about what I learned about myself that day and about my determination to follow through on my idea. “I believe I can do this”, I said. 

Today I drew this creative activity:

Draw components for coloring book. 

“Are you kidding me?” I asked aloud.

For the first time since I began this artistic adventure, I was tempted to drop this slip of paper back into the glass pitcher and draw another one. Who would know? 

This activity seemed to arrive too soon even though I had felt ready to move forward on this project two days ago. Truthfully, when I thought about it, the timing was perfect for drawing this second action step. Here was a “strike while the iron is hot” nudge to keep my resolve firm.

Long busy day or not, sketching was what I had drawn for today’s creative activity. If I returned the action and drew another, no one would know. Except I would. The Divine would. We agreed to play with creativity this month. We agreed this was for my growth and that this month is a preview of a future possibility. I held to integrity. 

As I sketched late this evening, making quick impressions of various objects that could find their way into Beautiful Wandering: A Coloring Adventure, my mind quieted. The sketches aren’t great. I need a lot of practice. However, I know I have the ability within me, rusty with disuse, but it’s in there. I will draw every night. I will draw, and draw, and draw some more, exercising that creative muscle gently but consistently, until it is well developed again.

“Are you kidding me?” I asked this morning. 

Tonight in the stillness I heard the Divine. 

“Were YOU kidding me?” 

Ah…no. Tears filled my eyes. I wasn’t kidding. I want to open creatively in this area. I want to birth this idea, and birth it I will, with blood and sweat and tears and messy starts and stops. And I will also birth it into life, with deep love and joy. 

The labor pangs have begun. 

Day 234: Jesse McCormick Exhibit

Jesse McCormick 1e

Today’s first involved a trip to the library, and further, to the Post Memorial Art Reference Library, to view the August art exhibit. This month’s featured artist is Jesse McCormick. I wasn’t familiar with Jesse’s style or preferred medium. We had just become Facebook friends, so I looked forward to seeing his artwork.

Jesse is a Carthage artist, associated with Local Color Art Gallery & Studio, in downtown Joplin. According to the bio on Local Color’s webpage, most of Jesse’s paintings and drawings are in private collections. He has won awards for his work. He sometimes teaches art classes at Local Color and participates in the Third Thursday art walks. His vision emphasizes people, animals, rocks, trees and water. Light as color and contrast are important aspects of his work.

I enjoyed the exhibit. On display were several portraits, including a whimsical Mona Lisa, and other wonderful paintings of groups of people and fish in a bowl. I like and appreciate Jesse’s use of light. The bright, vivid colors of his paintings draw the eye. I stood before the piece titled “Luncheon of the Boating Party” and lost myself in it, studying each person captured on the canvas.

Jesse McCormick 2e

My favorite Jesse McCormick painting, today, was titled “Matt Chaimovitz in Concert at Phoenix Fired Art”. Jesse portrays the musician as he is absorbed in his performance. An audience sits with their backs to the observer. The colors of this piece were more subtle with the brightest hues surrounding Matt, making him the object of my attention. I could almost hear the music drift out over the hushed crowd as I studied this painting.

The Mona Lisa portrait was fun. And I wondered about the painting titled “Mollie Sanders”. I know a Mollie Sanders. This could be her. She is involved in Joplin Little Theater. And I know her parents. I will have to ask Jesse about this beautiful girl that he has painted.

I so appreciate the Post Memorial Art Reference Library. It truly is a hidden gem in Joplin. Each month I enjoy the featured artist’s exhibit and from viewing their work and blogging about the experience, I have made new friends. On the Local Color website, Jesse is quoted as saying, “I move my inner vision out where others may see it and it may remain for a while.  I paint people, nature, and light.  I convert what seems to be chaos into a visionary experience.  The magic of painting makes imagination visible.” I love that! I look forward to more of Jesse’s impressive work as he brings the vision in his imagination into visible form.

Jesse McCormick Mollie Sanders e

Day 198: Meet Artist Alice Lynn Greenwood

Alice Lynn Greenwood e

Tonight was July’s Third Thursday, in downtown Joplin. The light rain falling didn’t seem to dampen the enthusiasm of the people walking about, participating in this fun event. I was delighted to see a good turnout, undeterred by the weather. I always enjoy Thirds Thursdays, however tonight, I had a very specific purpose in mind as I strolled down Main Street. Artist Alice Lynn Greenwood had an exhibit set up at the Post Memorial Art Reference Library and was present at another exhibit located at RSVPaint. I had been looking forward to meeting her. For my first today, I had the opportunity to do so.

Born in Little Rock, AR, Alice Lynn earned her art degree from Hendrix College. She moved to New York, with her two children and two cats, to study at the General Theological Seminary and the Art Students League. After her children grew up and left the nest, she returned to AR to care for her aging parents. She remained in AR for 10 years, creating a studio and a life, gardening and painting, active in her community, grateful for the many changes in her life that had guided her. Alice Lynn’s journey most recently brought her to Carthage, MO, where she has set up a studio in an artist cottage beside historic Route 66.

Alice Lynn is an artist with an amazing eye for beauty and something somewhat unusual for an artist….a strong love of language and words. Her passions combine to create imaginative, bold works of art that enchant the viewer. I first encountered Alice Lynn’s work through a Joplin Globe article featuring her art and highlighting one of her exhibits downtown. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it to the show. A couple of months later, while eating lunch at Cooper’s, I admired the beautiful paintings hanging on one wall. I was particularly captivated by one that used vibrant, fall colors and contained the words, “Let the beauty of what you do be what you love.” Greg surprised me and bought the painting for me.

Alice Lynn Greewood post library e

At home, I looked up the artist online, and realized this was the same gifted woman whose exhibit I had missed. I love how opportunities have a way of coming to us again. I friended Alice Lynn on Facebook. When I posted a blog link and a picture of my vintage suitcase vignette, featuring the art piece I had picked up downtown, Alice Lynn recognized her work and commented. We have enjoyed following each other’s journeys since, via Facebook.

It was a privilege and a joy to meet Alice Lynn Greenwood this evening and chat for a few minutes about her art, our journeys and life. She graciously allowed a picture to be taken of the two of us, and wrote a lovely inscription in her recently published book, “The Beauty of Change”, which I purchased at the exhibit. Alice Lynn not only captures beauty in her artwork, she embodies it. Her book furthers her love of words and art and is an invitation to travel with her through her journey of changes. I accept that invitation and I look forward to Alice Lynn’s continuing journey, captured so brilliantly through her art.

Alice Lynn Greenwood and Cindy e

Visit Alice Lynn’s Facebook page