How might your creativity expand with a focus on relationship?
I'm delighted to welcome Spring. In spite of the cold weather here in Alexandria this week, it's officially Spring and I've been savoring the wonder of cherry blossoms, tulips and daffodils. A few crocus are still blooming and my favorite wild violets are just starting to populate our yard.
This Spring I am focusing on writing for my book on creative practice, the working title is "Courting Creativity" and the focus is practices and perspectives to help develop and deepen your relationship with your creativity. My upcoming newsletters will share more about this. I would also love to hear from you too. How would you characterize your relationship with creativity? What helps build and strengthen this relationship? What gets in the way of your relationship with your creativity? I'd love for you to email me your thoughts and reflections.
In February I taught a series on courting creativity for the Light House, an on-line community for contemplative women. We began with an introduction to courtship as a shift in perspective away from seeking what you might produce with your creativity and toward curiosity about developing a relationship with your creativity. We explored ways to wonder and wander with creativity, to converse with creative people, materials and places and to live in relationship to unknowns as part of the creative process. The feedback of class participants provided rich material for further research and reflection. The on-line format was new for me and I am grateful for a community of women who welcomed and celebrated this topic with me.
In March I had the joy of being back in a studio teaching Contemplative Collage Practice at Goodwin House in Alexandria. We explored mulberry paper collage over 4 weeks, creating prayer candles, mandalas, labyrinths and accordion books. The small series created for the books were a favorite and had a delightful narrative quality. Below you can see one I created, a triptych inspired by my visit to see the cherry blossoms.
Although the winter months were a bit quieter here in terms of newsletters, posting and sharing work, my own creative practice continues to sustain me. I've had this newsletter in a draft mode for over a month now; at one point I was feeling clever thinking I would catch attention with a note about love and courtship for Valentine's Day. Instead, I missed writing in February entirely and now find myself sliding in just under the wire here at the end of March. I'm finding a new rhythm as Spring and lessening pandemic restrictions
bring more opportunities to be out in the world. I find it takes additional intention to set aside time for quieter creative routines.
I am particularly grateful for the opportunities to share creativity in community again both on-line and in person. I have missed that and find the energy of teaching and creating spaces for creative work is central to energizing my own practice. The quote in the paper cut at the top of the page is one I return to frequently these days. I love the reminder that in difficult times, creativity matters, it helps shift our energy, and it helps us to connect. I also love Maxine Hong Kingston's expansive definition of what "counts" as creative. Create a poem, a parade, a place or, simply, one peaceful moment.
I was honored to have my artwork featured for the Fairfax Library Foundation. The card was for their winter fundraising mailing and encouraged patrons to reflect on ways they love their library. See below for the card created by Xande Anderer of Citizen X Design. Learn more about the Fairfax Library Foundation, their programs and ways to support them on their website.
I love my libraries and have been especially grateful for the connection to these spaces and resources during the pandemic.
A fun feature when you check out books, is to see how much money you save using your library - I saved over $6000 last year!
You can click the image to link to a pdf of the card.
For the month of April, prints of my Mother Trees Paper Cuts are 10% off with code SPRING and my children's books are half price - $7.50 each.
Thank you for reading and being a part of creative community through this newsletter.
With a grateful heart,