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Sunday, March 9, 2008

From Alberta: After a very long dry spell, I'm feeling creative again. Somewhere along the way, I lost my confidence, and along with it, my inspiration. For too many years, I've channeled all of my artistic impulses into teaching children's art classes, cooking, gardening, and scrapbooking. I've bought oil paints and returned them unopened to the art supply store, never brave enough to get out a brush. Twenty years ago I wrote two children's books and stashed them in a drawer, too timid to attempt the illustrations I envisioned. I admit it: I was a chicken. a big chicken. Once upon a time I hardly left the house without a sketchbook. I drew, I painted, I experimented with textile art. What happend to me? I think it had something to do with the feelings of inadequacy I experienced in college, as a commercial art major. There I soon discovered that I had not a commercial bone in my body, and, since, there was no other art-related major at my school, I quickly changed my field of study to education (which I've never regretted, by the way, because my students have been my biggest inspiration).

But, after visiting an opening for the Atlanta multi-media artist Kenson, I was filled with a craving to see more. So, somewhat compulsively, I began to surf the Internet and read art magazines. I discovered the publication Art, Paper, Scissors, in which I read an article: Blog for Your Soul and, consequently, I found the sites and blogs of some of my favorite artists: Anne Hathaway, Celine Navarre and Elsie Flanagan. Their blogs inspired me and led me to so many more amazing links. I found a kindred spirit in Violette, whose colorful, bold folk art just plain makes me happy, and Traci Bautista whose collages reminded me how much fun cutting and pasting could be. Now I can hardly wait to get home from work each day to go up to my "Art-Fort", as Lee Ann calls it. (By the way, she writes every day). I scarcely begin one piece before I'm overtaken with another idea. My heart and my head are so full. Colored pencils, patterned paper, textured paint, I want to try them all! Not only do I want to do all this, I want to teach my students to collage, inspire them to write, encourage them to create.

This blog is for everyone who ever had a creative fit. Just start. Don't wait any longer. Get out your paintbrush, your journal, your needle. Take a picture, write a poem, draw a sketch. And then tell me about it. Post it here or start a blog yourself. You have nothing to lose, I promise. Be like the Nike ad; Just Do it. For your soul.

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