June 22,2013
Art and Abstraction

Abstract art ... some like it; some don't. To me, art is an expression of the artist – whether he or she expresses a line, two lines, stripes, an idea, a scene, a portrait. While I may not like all art, I always respect it as the artist's expression.

Wassily Kandinsky is credited with making the first purely abstract painting in 1910. Kandinsky formed a new language in painting by attempting to match colors with moods to create a language similar to music. "Kandinsky's solution was in music, that lines and colors were to be thought of as notes on a keyboard, and not as tools for recreating the world of appearances. A successful painting should affect the emotions as directly and as powerfully as music, he believed (Counterlight, 2008)." Kandinsky also believed that art was a spiritual practice. I have long admired Kandinsky's work and his intellectual approach to his art.

In "The Creativity Book," author Eric Maisel suggests making creativity your religion. He supports his recommendation by stating, "Why choose creativity? First, because creating is soulful work. When a person loses herself in the creative act she suddenly participates in the mystery of life. Second, creativity allows a person to really manifest her potential. Rather than feeling unfulfilled, as so many of us do, when you create you get to use your overflowing heart, your billions of neurons, and your own two hands to make a little sketch or a wall-size mural, to think a little thought or bring a whole new theory into existence, to make a little change at work or re-vision work entirely (Maisel, 2000, p. 9)."

In my work, I seek to express an idea or a feeling or to solicit an emotion from the viewer. Whether my work is representational or abstract, it is about feelings.

Reference:

Counterlight. (October 19, 2008) retrieved on June 22, 2013 from http://counterlightsrantsandblather1.blogspot.ca/2008/10/beginning-of-abstract-painting.html

Maisel, Eric (2000). The Creativity Book, Jeremy P. Tarcher, New York, NY.

© Carla Weaver 2013


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June 21,2013
Using the 12 Steps

I have recently been facilitating a 12 step group as part of my doctoral program practicum. What I have realized again and again is that the 12 steps provide a valuable framework for living life whether one suffers from an addiction or not. They provide structure and guidance for living a balanced and wholesome life. Many people find it difficult to manage their lives or have no one to use as a sounding board. The 12 step programs provide the guidance, are tested, and lead to success and serenity when worked and followed. People with the most severe addictions and problems have been able to set their lives on a new and better path by working the steps. Meetings with other people who share the same issue add support to working the steps. There are groups for drug and alcohol addiction (AA and NA); groups for families and friends of people with addictions (ALANON, CODA, ACOA); groups for people with eating disorders (OA); and groups to support artists' struggles to express their creativity (ARTS). I cannot say enough good things about these groups and the support that they provide. Here are some links if you think that you could be helped by a 12 step program:

AA - http://www.aa.org
NA – http://www.na.org
Alanon - http://al-anon.alateen.org
CODA - http://www.cdrs.ca/
ACOA - http://www.adultchildren.org/
OA - http://www.overeatersanonymous.org/
ARTS - http://www.artsanonymous.org/

I am even told that there is a new step structure called the 16 steps. I have no experience with this set of steps, but a colleague has been exploring it and finding it useful:

16 steps - http://charlottekasl.com/16-step-program/

None of the above links are live. To access these websites, copy the url into your browser window.

© Carla Weaver 2013


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June 12,2013
Be Willing and Ready for Change

Sometimes, we are held back by what we have invested in the past. I am not specifically talking about financial investments, although my statement does hold true for them too. Certainly making a bad financial investment can cast a shadow on the future until we recover from the loss. But, I am referencing investments in ideas, concepts, beliefs, projects, work or lifestyles.

When we invest our time and energy in an idea or philosophy, it can be difficult to become aware that it is not working out for us and even more difficult to accept that either it was the wrong path or that it was a good path for the time, but now our needs have changed and we must change direction. And, to take action and change direction can be daunting … for example, changing careers, leaving a relationship that`s no longer working, deciding to go back to school or moving to a new city. But, if our current situation is no longer taking us along the right path to fulfill our soul`s desires, then we MUST change. Often, people think that it is easier to stay in a bad situation than to muster the perceived considerable effort required to change. But, the desired change is a necessary step, and is a matter of life and death. When we stay in a situation that no longer supports our soul`s desire, we start the death process. First, our energy depletes and the sparkle leaves our eyes, and then slowly, other physical symptoms arise. When we know that our soul desires change, it is critical to listen and take action. I do not mean that we should panic and run. But, we must pay attention to our intuition, ask for guidance, pray, meditate … be aware of the signs and seize the opportunities that the Universe presents to us. Remember that I said that it is our PERCEIVED belief that the effort to change will be considerable. In fact, when we follow our intuition, the Universe picks us up and guides us effortlessly along the right path. We need only be willing.

© Carla Weaver 2013


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June 12,2013
What a Difference a Day Makes!

In the blink of an eye, life can change. In the last few weeks, I have watched my healthy energetic dog decline because a small tick dropped onto him on a walk….a tick that carried a deadly disease. My dog`s health is now in a precarious position, and he may not survive. I have seen this happen with people, too. One day they appear to be healthy and well; the next day they are hit by a car or diagnosed with a serious illness. That is why we need to have our priorities straight, pursue our dreams, and live in the present moment. If you love to paint or write, do it now. If you dream of travelling or climbing a mountain, do it now. If you want to learn a second language, do it now. If you want to spend more time with family and friends, do it now. If you want to go back to school, do it now. If you want to tell someone you love them, do it now. If you want to forgive someone, do it now. If you want to reconnect with a lost friend, do it now. If you want to stop smoking, drinking or over eating, do it now. If you keep meaning to start exercising, do it now. Now is all we have. The future is dreaming. The past is done.

"Since ancient times, spiritual masters of all traditions have pointed to the Now as the key to the spiritual dimension. Despite this, it seems to have remained a secret. It is certainly not taught in churches and temples. If you go to a church, you may hear readings from the Gospels such as "Take no thought for the morrow; for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself" or "Nobody who puts his hands to the plow and looks back is fit for the Kingdom of God." Or you might hear the passage about the beautiful flowers that are not anxious about tomorrow but live with ease in the timeless Now and are provided for abundantly by God. The depth and radical nature of these teachings is not recognized. No one seems to realize that they are meant to be lived and so bring about a profound inner transformation (Tolle, 1997, p. 43)."

Reference:

Tolle, E. (1997). The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, Namaste Publishing Inc., Vancouver, BC Canada.

© Carla Weaver 2013


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June 11,2013
Have a Spa Day!

I must practice what I preach. I write and teach about living a creative life, yet just as it happens to all of us, I get out of synch. I get stressed and stretched for time and the noise and frenzy of the outer world drowns out that quiet and gentle inner voice to which I must pay attention. When that happens, it is time to take a day to regroup and get grounded. Today is that day. I am taking care of me. I am meditating, walking reflecting, reading, regenerating.

It's important to make time for ourselves. Whatever it is that we do to keep ourselves healthy and sane…we must do. And, when our daily routines and responsibilities override our diet, exercise, meditation and recreation plans, it's time for a spa day, a rest day, a retreat day, or a day of sleep. Give yourself permission to give yourself a day off.

© Carla Weaver 2013


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June 11,2013
Creativity is...

To the regular readers of my BLOG, thanks for coming to my site regularly and thanks for your patience. I have not been able to post as regularly lately because I have had so many commitments, but I see the number of hits on my web page and know that you're visiting.

I have been offering a number of creativity workshops lately, and it has been very rewarding to work with people who are exploring their creative processes. The participants in my weekend workshop a couple of weeks ago uncovered so many interesting ideas about what creativity is, how we block our creativity, and the obstacles that stand in our way, so I thought I'd like to share some of this information in general.

The ideas that were shared as we worked on our own personal definitions of creativity follow…

Creativity is:

Using your intuition
Taking risks and being vulnerable
A call to action
Inspiration
Moving from passive to active
A personal statement
Being impelled to paint
A language to express
Listening and adapting
Bringing an idea into reality
Recognition of a hunger and knowing what to do
Unique to each of us
From within
The power of intuition
Trust, truth and honesty
Using our intuition as a compass
Freedom of expression
Activated by the energy within and without
Energy
Being yourself
Being open to awareness of your souls' direction
Energy in motion
Unmanifest energy.

© Carla Weaver 2013


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