Setting Up a Creative Space

I focused on my creative studio this afternoon, as the Christmas d├Ęcor gets packed away. This space, a former bedroom, currently serves as my studio. Here I work and write and draw and read and color. It is crucial that I feel inspired when I am in the room. 

Artist and author Gerald Brommer says, “The environment becomes inspiration. My response to it becomes idea. And idea becomes purpose and action through interpretation and painting.” 

With that quote in mind, I turned my attention toward making sure that my environment supports me and inspires me. 

A repurposing idea captured my imagination first. I have two trips coming up this year. My grandson Dayan has wanted to go to Italy for years. His mother and I will accompany him on this exciting first for all of us, as Dayan’s graduation gift. And in the fall, I will return to Scotland, and see Ireland and England for the first time also. This is a girls’ trip with my mom, sisters, and niece. 

I wanted a visual representation of these two trips in my studio, something to remind me of one of my big Whys…travel. Inspiration nudged me to a set of old encyclopedias that belonged to Greg and his brother when they were children. Published in 1951, the information within the volumes is out of date. However, the books are old enough now to be considered vintage. Neither Greg nor I wanted to throw the set away, thinking a creative idea for repurposing them might arise. Today, one did!

I located maps of Italy and Great Britain, the muted colors exactly what I was hoping for. 

With Greg’s permission, and help, the map pages were carefully cut from the volumes, and trimmed to fit within two document frames that I had on hand. 

I love how these turned out! The old maps hang in my studio where I can see them easily while seated at my writing desk. I will be reminded, daily, of the upcoming trips. And I like that I found a use for those old encyclopedias. There are more projects waiting for me within those dusty books, I am sure! 

After the maps were hung, I had the joy of hanging another piece of art in my studio. Greg surprised me for Christmas with a print from talented local artist, Taylor Kubicek. Taylor’s painting, featuring an old fashioned typewriter beneath an Edison bulb, could not be more perfect for me and the year ahead. I am so honored to have this work of art hanging in my studio.

I warmed up my writing table with a fabric throw. My caterpillar Absolem, made by my niece Ashley, is perched there on his mushroom, reminding me of the question “Who are you?”, that I intend to answer every day. And he reminds me as well of Alan Rickman, whose quote has so inspired my journey this year. Taylor’s print is right there, above my desk, where I can gaze at it often. 

My projects completed for the day, I savored a late afternoon tea in this inviting space. While I sipped Scottish tea, and nibbled on pears, pink oranges and medjool dates, I opened to the incredible flow of creative energy in the room. Behind me my large Edison bulb cast a soft light, illuminating the space and me. I can create here. I can write and dream and birth ideas and then carry them to maturity here.  

I am so inspired. 

Surrender 113: Artist Taylor Kubicek Exhibition

I had the privilege this evening of attending the opening reception for artist Taylor Kubicek, held downtown at the classy Infuxn Vodka Bar. This is Taylor’s Senior Exhibit, and while I have followed his work online, I looked forward to seeing new pieces on display for the first time. 

I’ve known Taylor for nine plus years. We met when he began the search for a first home. Over the years, I’ve worked with this bright young man as he’s bought and sold homes, moving often as he married and then welcomed two sons to his growing family. 


Taylor has always demonstrated creativity as he fixed up the homes that he purchased. I admired his ability to transform a house, doing the work himself. He created fresh interiors with clean, modern lines that were pleasing to the eye and homey. 

 It was no surprise when, just a few years ago, Taylor explored his artistic side more deeply as a student at Missouri Southern State University. What did surprise me was the high quality of Taylor’s art work. 


Described as a contemporary realist style, Taylor’s art lends itself to contemplative symbolism by exploring the subtle emotional qualities of familiar objects. I observed Taylor’s early work with wonder and appreciation. He wasn’t just good. He was phenomenal, painting pieces that mixed technology with common objects. 


And he wasn’t timid about what he painted, creating portraits showcasing thought provoking subjects interacting with older forms of technology. It’s one thing to render a pastoral landscape and quite another to paint people in such a way that their likenesses are captured along with their emotions. 


The reception was well attended, Infuxn’s interior full of people studying the paintings on display, and seeking out Taylor to discuss his work. I was thrilled for him and spoke to him briefly, asking permission to take pictures and feature him in today’s blog. Taylor’s sweet wife Lindsay was present too, on her birthday no less, beaming with pride. 


I’m proud of Taylor as well. He followed his heart, willing to explore a new area of creativity. I love to see people express fully who they are, discovering what their gifts are and then offering their magic to the world. And the world is receptive, paying attention to Taylor Kubicek. What fun for him to see where this journey takes him. I’ll be watching too. 

Learn more about Taylor’s art HERE