Hangin’ With the Creative Ones

And what an awesome tribe it is! ;)

Seldom have I written one blog so closely on the heels of the previous one, as a follow up, but here we go….since I seem to have struck a very good nerve with yesterday’s post.

Creative people always have new insights and alternatives that no one else thought of. And we really don’t know for sure where they come from. Yet it is such a simple, basic  concept; and the most obvious way of spotting a more creative thinker. How many times have you been involved in a conversation with a person, or a group of people where someone is struggling with a decision in which some choices, some alternatives, must be weighed and considered so that the right  decision can be made – and yet that person believes the decision must be made at the exclusion of all the other viable and even desirable choices? I see that a lot – people believing that one choice must trump all others and that valuable sacrifices have to be made to achieve the major goal. Well that is just crazy.

For many years I saw myself as only an artist – I thought that my constant desire to write would dilute the art pursuit, lesson my attention to it and even diminish it. As I matured I discovered that I had a book or even a half dozen books inside me shouting for my attention, and I began to say to myself, “If not now, when?” I said to me, “What in the hell is your excuse not to write? Do you want to stifle this urge for the rest of your life?” OH! You mean that painting thing you do….well just maybe the writing would actually enhance the art and vice versa. I had to try it and it worked. The two passions in my life dovetail perfectly and have each become better for the union. The  two are so much alike, and one feeds the other in a constant loop of inspiration. Miraculously there is a little space left in my mind for other stuff too – I still have time to read, exercise, eat some food once in a while, sleep  and have some fun in addition. What a surprise. Imagine that.

You could say I had an epiphany – one of my favorite subjects. My second book, THE CREATIVE EPIPHANY – Gifted Minds, Grand Realizations is the result of my own epiphany breakthrough. I have had many life-changing epiphanies in my life, and I learned a long time ago that if you ignore the little message coming to you from your subconscious, you will regret it later. It will come back louder and more often until it is red-faced, wild-eyed and literally screaming and spitting at you to listen!! So be aware and open to inner voices. They always tell the truth and they always have your best interests at heart, because they are from the soul. Your soul. Like a pipeline of the truth, coming from where the truth really lives.

Many creative people have had such revelations. I believe we all, as human beings, have in common the potential to tap into the messages coming from our higher self, our inner voice, our soul – whatever you choose to call it – but few exercise that ability on a steady basis except the more creative ones. We often feel that we are actually channeling our creative gifts from beyond, and that our creative breakthroughs come to us from outside our own consciousness. There are many books on this subject. People call that phenomenon being in the flow. You could read the book FLOW  – the psychology of optimal experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi published by Harper for more information.

In the meantime, you can also surround yourself with creative people who think beyond the normal scope of things. Yes, everyone calls it outside the box but even that is limiting. I believe that highly creative people are in tune with the universe.

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Background Information and Announcements

 

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Mixed media Collage titled EMERGENCE, by Jo Ann Brown-Scott – copyright 2014

I would like to thank you all for visiting the blog and keeping up with the progress on the YEAR LONG CANVAS. I appreciate it very much!

I often get requests for more information about my art and requests to see a larger selection of my recent paintings.. Therefor I am offering a brief background and bio and some links. My website http://www.epiphanysfriends.com  is the best place to visit for more images and updated news.

For those of you in the Colorado area there is a show titled WATERMEDIA at the Evergreen Center for the Arts beginning this month; opening night is June 27th, 2014 from 4-7pm. You are most welcome to attend. Three of my paintings have been accepted for that event.

BRIEF UPDATE

Returning to the Denver area in mid-2013 after seven years in northern California has been motivating and renewing.  I am reconnecting with old friends, painting with a fresh, spontaneous energy and becoming active in the Denver art scene once again.

Artist’s  Statement

The art began with watercolor and developed a life of its own; it has evolved, grown wider horizons and added depth through the chapters of my life, almost without my assistance. Painting with acrylic provided new possibilities. I offer different takes or viewpoints now, while still using my same recognizable style as the common thread over time. Color, pattern and texture are my passion, the message in the art, my secret; yet there for all to interpret. I am motivated by the goodness of most people, my basic wonder at our existence, and the stunning beauty of earth.

Art Themes – Abstract Expressions Indicative of Universal Themes

Recent fascinations and preoccupations that scroll through my thoughts and spill their subtle messages from paintbrush onto canvas include the concept of times passage, ethnic cultures across the globe and the basic, primal simplicity of the days and nights we all share. In a world of chaos and random events, the spirituality of certain humble rituals common to all of our lives captures my attention. I celebrate the rituals that unite us, the hearts and minds that hold us together.

Brief Bio

I grew up in a large country home on eight acres of green hillside and dale in southern Ohio, outside of Dayton. During those early years it became apparent that art was my passion and I came west to the University of Colorado in Boulder to study art and never went back. I  emphasized painting and sculpture along with English Literature and psychology. I have been painting professionally ever since.

“I began professionally marketing my art at the suggestion of a much-admired instructor after college was over and I had begun living in Evergreen, Colorado. In 1984 I was personally invited by the Evergreen Chamber of Commerce to create an original painting – a snowy winter scene, reminiscent of Evergreen and the Christmas season – from which the very first Christmas in Evergreen Limited Edition Posters and Christmas Cards were printed and sold. That year began the tradition of the Evergreen Christmas Poster which in subsequent years became a contest open to local artists. It also became a pivotal moment in launching my own career to a higher degree.” 

In addition to painting I have taught interior design, published two books about life-changing epiphanies and taught mixed media collage to adults for three years in California and held positions in sales, marketing and gallery management, to name just a few of my other incarnations. Currently I am concentrating solely on my painting, enjoying the exhilaration of fresh inspiration, less driven by the demands of others and more in tune with my own priorities. My art is wiser in character, weathered by time, and unapologetically relaxed. The art reveals all, as it always has, and is better with some years on it.

NEWS AND LINKS

ADDITIONAL RECENT WORK can be seen at www.artspan.com – Jo is listed under ARTISTS, then MIXED MEDIA. When you find her name click on it and several of her paintings will appear -select any one of them to be taken directly to her artspan website.

THE OFFICIAL WEBSITE for author and artist Jo Ann Brown-Scott is http://www.epiphanysfriends.com

JO’S CREATIVE EPIPHANY BLOG – If you would like to follow Jo’s Blog,  go to: www.thecreativeepiphany.wordpress.com

On this blog site you will find archives of all previous posts, including many posts about the noteworthy YEAR LONG CANVAS challenge – nicknamed the YLC – about working on one particular canvas for an entire year. Photos included of course.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT – Jo is proud to announce that for the second time in the past few years she has been selected to contribute a painted violin to the annual Painted Violin Fundraising Event for the Denver Youth Artists Orchestra.

For more information go to –  www.paintedviolin.com  or  www.dyao.org

Pictured below is Jo’s previous violin from the 8th Annual Fundraiser for the DYAO titled SCHEHERAZADE. There is more information about this event any my first violin in Jo’s blog archives.

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The Creative Epiphany – Your Fountain of Youth

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wave5 Watching the massive wave events on the west coast of the Big Island, Hawaii in late January, 2014

 

“Youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind; it is a matter of the will, quality of imagination, a VIGOR of the emotions; it is the freshness of the deep springs of life”. – Samuel Ullman

I believe that if you can find a geographic place – a safe and enfolding place of  contentment, magic and wonder where you can go when you need renewal – you have found your version of the fountain of youth. Some people never manage to find that unique and stirring location, but others who are young at heart and keep an open mind to the gifts of the universe search for and find their particular GPS of choice and they use it time and time again to recharge the batteries of their souls. My daughter who has traveled the world says one of her favorite places of all she has seen is Yosemite Park, practically in our own backyard.

I have not traveled the world but still I know what brings me back to the places where my heart is fulfilled and brimming up with contentment and peace. For me there are several locations – Big Sur, the big island of Hawaii, Yellowstone and Yosemite Parks and the mountains of Colorado – and when I spend time in those locations I feel sure that I am a positive force in a greater universe. I am infused with such joy at every return trip, highly energized, feeling that my life is enhanced and perhaps even prolonged by the adrenaline rush I experience. The epiphany here is that what you want to happen will happen, and so if you believe in the power of a place, you will undoubtedly reap the rewards by using it to bring quality to your days and additional time to your life. You are what you think constantly about, as they say, and so whatever brings positivity and happiness in its purest form directly into your veins – to your very being  – can only be good. If it is in your power to find your place, do find it and hold it dear. If for some reason you are unable to go where you want to go, use your powers to picture it, find it, embrace it in your soul. Do not allow the boundaries of your physical world to confine you. Go beyond and get there.

The Creative Epiphany – Yawn

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Perhaps you don’t know that from time to time we bloggers here at WordPress are given a “prompt” or an idea for a blog entry. It is up to us whether or not we take on the challenge. To tell you the truth, I have seldom done that…..and I probably ought to accept the “prompt” challenges more often, because they do inspire and it does “prompt” us to think and ponder and express ourselves on many subjects we might not choose for ourselves.

And so today the challenge is “YAWN”.

What makes me yawn, with boredom and mind fatigue? What sends me spiraling toward a deep coma-like sleep? What forces me to tune out of a conversation or a situation with utter detachment and flat-line non-reaction?

Not a lot of things do that for me, because as an artist I am constantly engaged in a dialogue of visual,  verbal and auditory stimulation with my environment. It’s in my job description. But I do admit that I experience with some degree of repetition certain recognizable scenarios and a handful of stereotypically  yawn-inducing types of people  that bore me and exasperate me. In these situations I attempt to be tolerant in spite of my mental, gargantuan, gaping, hippo-like yawn – sometimes I succeed and sometimes not. My best defense is to remove myself from the immediate suck of air that I know is coming, quickly escaping to another location which might be as easily accessible as just 10 ft away from the conversation or the primary person offender, and yet on the other hand it might require leaving houses and geographic places to escape the constant boredom. ( Constant yawning boredom and lack of sensory stimulation was not the reason for my recent move, by the way.)

So what, in general, prompts my apathy and lack of brain wave activity?

OMG – here we go.

People who see themselves as constant victims in life. They believe that everything unpleasant that happens to them is beyond their control; happening to them. Oh poor them! If it is bad and it happens, it was thrust upon them. They accept little to no responsibility for their lives, as if they have played no part whatsoever in its unfolding. They fail to see the consequences of their poor decisions. They have little self-awareness.

On the other side, people who see themselves as constantly entitled in life are also a source of boredom to me. We all know them – the shining ones who believe that life owes them everything. The ego-driven, I’m so great, give me more, and I-will-also-take-some-of-yours kind of person. They want it all and they are not crazy about the idea of working hard for it, and if it looks like they might not be getting it they will find a way. Right or wrong.

Those 2 types of people make me yawn with their oh so predictable behavior. They are in the news all the damn time – you know them when you see them – and you will of course run across them in your personal life as well. They trigger a fight or flight response in me…and since I am choosing my battles carefully these days, I will usually flee. They make me yawn with disinterest and loathing. The toxic nature of their thought processes pollutes my mind.

I like this subject – because yawning is multi-faceted and there is a lot to say. I believe it might be the flip-side of life’s epiphanies….if you have had some epiphany experiences of self-realization that changed your life then I would imagine you are the kind of person who is seldom bored. You are a student of life and always OPEN, like a neon sign blinking, to new and wondrous mental discoveries; people, places, possibilities and life lessons. How can you be bored if you are aware, awake and alert? You must be present to win.buddha

The Creative Epiphany – Sea Changes

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If I had to go back over my life and single out the biggest, most life-changing epiphanies, they would number 10 or less. Of course I’m grateful for the smaller but much appreciated epiphanies and I don’t mean to discount them, but in the overall scheme of things they were not the cause of paradigm shifts. They were not on the grand scale of the ones that rocked my world, added wisdom to my years, and affected a “sea change” type of transformation for me.

The phrase “sea change” is frequently used these days. I like this description, in large part due to its origin. A century or more ago when men went to sea for long stretches of time, their women waited. They had no idea when the ship would come back and no dependable way of finding out. A year? Maybe much longer… They climbed the stairs to the “widow’s walk” at the top of their homes and stood there for hours searching the horizon for incoming vessels. When and if the men returned, they were often deeply changed by the adversities of the journey they had endured; their eyes had a permanent vacant stare, they spoke little of the things they had seen such as starvation and brutality. Their women referred to it as a “sea change”, a profound change brought about by the time spent at sea. I believe that change can be considered a change similar to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

But now the phrase “sea change” is being frequently used again, this time to describe a major life change, a 180 degree reversal of some kind, a  transformation, a paradigm shift. When you have a gigantic epiphany the result is often a permanent “sea change” – for you it has brought about a transformation, a realization, an illuminating discovery or a light in the darkness showing you a clear path. I can only hope that you have experienced this phenomenon, because you will be a better person for it. It doesn’t make you perfect, but it does make you a more authentic human being. What greater change could you ask for than one of the sea variety?

Visit the website at http://www.epiphanysfriends.com