This week tackles another major creative block: time. You will explore the ways in which you have used your perception of time to preclude taking creative risks. You will identify immediate and practical changes you can make in your current life. You will excavate the early conditioning that may have encourage you to settle for far less than you desire creatively.
Reading this week’s synopsis, my thinking was this week will focus on time management. In fact, I led myself to believe that if that was the case, then I could perhaps ease off a bit. That was not the case. As you can see, this week’s post has been two weeks in the making and my perception of week 8’s exercises were misguided. It’s also fitting and appropriate for the current events in my life. For some time now, I’ve been considering re-entry into my previous life as a techie. I was in search of an opportunity to feed both my intellectual and spiritual creativity. I did find such an opportunity and although in this first phase of development, it takes a majority of my time; in the long run it affords me freedom to create. These two weeks, I had to look within to discover my excuses. The life dramas I create to impede my creative journey.
And that is what brought week 8’s lesson to me: taking action steps — no matter, small or big. Take action steps towards my dream and the path will make itself clear. I’ve been practicing taking small action steps since January and yet this week those small action steps seemed so distant from my end goal as a professional artist. Am I making the correct steps? Am I doing enough? I can go on and on with that questioning. It all ends with a creative block. I was reminded by friends and several life whispers “to do what I love and the rest will follow.” It’s true. Life’s pursuit of one’s joys lead to a happy full-filled life. Hence, my pursuit for intellectual creativity as well as a spiritual one. Art is my spiritual Zen dojo in which I practice unleashing my emotions & sense of purpose onto canvas. In the process of searching for that purpose, it donned on me that happiness is a choice and that choice was mine. So I jumped at the opportunity to fill both areas of my life. In the end, it is my attitude that defines what I currently am. And right now, I am happy. I continue to pursue my life as an artist and this time around I also attach to my pursuit, my life as an intellectually-driven, creatively-solving tech-head!
This past week, the snow-covered hilltop decided to stay a bit longer so opportunities for two-man sledding (on my snowboard) and small aerial feats were at hand. My friend Cory, Sarah and I decided to trek up the hill and discover fun times with a snowboard and snow shovel. Didn’t have the video camera on for the hilariously failed attempts at snow shovel sledding. Too bad! Here’s a hint: you need a scoop shovel to pull off the sledding, otherwise there are a lot of face-plants in your future. As in pursuing life’s purpose, pursuing life’s pleasures start with small steps. In this case, step after step uphill to get your moment of flight downhill.
We turn this week to the practice of right attitudes for creativity. The emphasis is on your receptive as well as active skills. The essays, exercises, and tasks aim at excavating areas of genuine creative interests as you connect with your personal dreams.
The weather provided great inspiration for week 7. A later winter snow storm dumped a foot and a half of dry powder on the hillside. It made for a beautiful scene and filled me with excitement & thoughts of adventure. I love the snow and that is one of the reasons I enjoy living where I live. In the winter, we get small blankets of powdery snow — enough to have some fun for a few days. That’s exactly what this week brought as I excavated my areas of creative interests.
Along with excavating my office to uncover my desk and workspace, I took some time to play in the snow. Beautiful sunny weather and the cold brisk air provided great times. I’m finding more and more that enjoying the day benefits my creative soul. It’s fun to engross myself in a painting and yet ignoring the possibility for play when the opportunity presents itself is also not beneficial for my overall artist health. Deadlines come and go, yet missed opportunities are that—missed! That’s why its important to clue in on my environment and not get caught up in the task. With that said, having an organized work space, not only lessens the clutter in the environment — it clears up my mind to focus.
And thus the excavating of the office. After clearing some physical and mental space, I proceeded to follow through with the week’s exercises. That meant identifying the inspirations and actions that put a smile on my face. This week I put together a collection of heroes, inspirers and outrageous imagery that combine who I am and what I want to be. I enjoy looking at that visual reminder. The “I Am Lestar” contains part of that and I share it here. The entire image is on my desktop. If anything it gives me a cause for mental pause when I need a break from my laptop or day. Afterward, it was another hike out in my backcountry and go for a little jump of fun.
This week you tackle a major creative block—money. You are asked to really look at your own ideas around God, money, and creative abundance. The essays will explore the ways in which your attitudes limit abundance and luxury in your current life. You will be introduced to counting, a block-busting tool for charity and right use of funds. This week may feel volatile.
This week raised new levels of understanding for me. Personal value and self-worth came up — not in the my world is over, kind of way — more in the manner of this is WHY I do what I do. The big WHY! One question that people ask often and may not have an answer for — What is my purpose? I create art because it brings me joy. I get a kick out of creating something from a blank canvas. The joy is in the creative process. The end result is art. As Seth Godin answered in his blog, ‘Art is what we call…, “It’s in the soul of the artist.” Yes, I whole-heartedly agree! Art is in the soul of the artist and as an artist, I unleash that onto the blank canvas. That is one belief that makes it challenging when putting a dollar value on the finished product. I’ve talked to professional artists, budding artists & closet artists during my continuing adventure in the art realm and this challenge often times is in the forefront. Seth Godin in his blog indicates that art is something risky. I’ve learned to take that risk over and over and over again with each new painting. The first time was the riskiest for myself and each time it got easier. Much easier. It’s like practicing a new martial arts scissor kick. The first time, my feet are barely off the ground. Each progression of kick after kick after kick gets me higher and higher. Each kick trains my body. Each risk trains my soul to continue forward.
Continuing in the journey is what it’s all about for me. I’ve always claimed that “Art is my passion” and to continue towards that goal is worth the risk of putting a price tag on my soul. What ever the outcome, I feel happy knowing that the canvas which was once barren is now full of life — colorful, vibrant & textured life. Stepping out in the cold mountain air onto a snow-filled morning, reminds me to take it all in stride. Life is beautiful, especially when I’m not fighting myself. I love to look at our snow-covered front yard and imagine each snowflake a brushstroke being applied onto the canopy of leaves and the surrounding ground. Life is full of natural art — creating beautiful somethings. The risk is stopping one’s self to admire it every so often.
Continuing with my moon-phase inspired series, I am painting a self-portrait. With this painting, I am hoping to express my commitment to being an artist and the release of my fears from being an artist. The past years I have been struggling with embracing this aspect of my life. Looking for answers where none were required. This painting came to me one day as I stared up into the moon as it was reaching “fullness.” I stared and stared, hoping that the moon would present an answer to me. In the stillness of evening and the glowing moonlight, I realized that no answer was coming. My answer was already here. I was afraid of being an artist – to present my work, express my gratitude for my talents and proudly exclaim, “Yes, I am an artist!” Change is quite a challenge – to break from the norm and to tread the unknown. I have been living afraid the last few years, blindly walking the path of the artist and not realizing what was in front of me. I am making strides and living my dream. It may not be what I first envisioned. Never the less, it is what it is and I am living my dream. This time with my eyes open to the opportunity.
This is the sketch with scribbles of thoughts and feelings. I hope to convey it in my painting.
Yes, I am alive! This year has been filled with many transitions for myself. Lots of changes happening in my life. It’s been an incredible year thus far and going into the half way point for 2010, I decided to make some changes to my website. Consider it a make-over. First is this blog. This is phase 1 and during this month I’ll be making additional changes to the look and feel of the blog and the website, as a whole.
Give me some feedback about the site. I would love to hear from you.
Today, I had an awesome surprise. Today was Market day at McMinnville, which Sarah and I have our works of art — her jewelry and my paintings. I’ve been painting at my space for the past two weeks for fun and to get some creativity flowing. This day a little girl, named Elizabeth, with her mother and brother & sister visited.
Her mother tells me that Elizabeth decided she will be an artist “when she grows up.”
Elizabeth said, “I wanna be an artist…, just like you!”
That was the most fantastic moment and truly made my day — my week! She was probably 4 or 5 years old and for her to proclaim her dream of being an artist is amazing. Moments like today keep me painting and living my artist dream. We had a great conversation about having fun while painting and to paint/draw whenever she possibly can. If you hear of an artist named Elizabeth from McMinnville, remember you read about her here first.
McMinnville has a new market in town — The Saturday Market. Shannon Thorson has coordinated the ongoing event for the last 3 months. It features organic produce, entertainment, visual & literary art, wine, boutique goods & fine food and provisions. There are many vendors coming from various parts of the Willamette Valley, Salem and other surrounding counties. It’s a fantastic mix of personalities and budding entrepreneurs selling their goods.
I have been participating since December and enjoy meeting, talking and hobnobbing with local citizens of McMinnville. I have been showcasing art from my Project 100, my I’Ching series and new pieces that I create weekly. It’s been a great opportunity to have a weekly venue to showcase new work during the winter.
Here’s my current new piece entitled, “Star-Gazer.”
I and Project 100 had an incredible breakthrough this week. The McMinnville local newspaper, News Register, featured Project 100 on Wednesday’s, December 23rd. The article entitled, One Hundred Days of Painting by Hannah Hoffman, was a great surprise for Christmas with two great pictures of me – one from my office studio and another from my barn studio. Thanks to Hannah Hoffman for coming out to interview me and Marcus Larson for the pictures. The write-up was more than I expected and a great blessing.
Here’s the link to the article. Read and leave me a comment.
Hello all — this is Sarah. I just wanted to give you all a little behind the scenes taste of project 100. Basically, Lester was very nervous about the video portion of his project 100- he was feeling a bit camera shy. So when day 1 finally came, I told him to do a round of practice runs that nobody would see- to get all the kinks out and get comfortable with the camera …. well, I found those video clips and put them together for a little Lester fun!!! I was laughing sooo hard- I hope you all get a little laugh today too! (Please note, as of today I have Lester’s permission to post this- he has grown in many ways, huh!!)
Day 100 — WOW! What an incredibly exciting day! Thank you for supporting this project of 100 paintings in 100 days. I have thoroughly enjoyed sharing my paintings with you during these 100 days. I loved this journey!
For today’s inspiration, I painted my friend’s dream. In his dream, he was on a boat in the middle of a storm. Lightning struck and he reached out with his right hand, harnessing the lightning bolt. He experienced his body taking in the energy. After doing so, the horizon immediately was clearing from the storm. The approaching land was illuminated by a beautiful sunrise. This dream was significant to him because at the time his health was not the best and after having the dream, his health recovered fully. He now currently has ALS and I hope that this painting reminds him of that dream to harness the energy within to full healthy recovery. This painting also is a great reminder for me to captain my soul and move towards each horizon. Truly a great inspiration for painting 100.
Enjoy “Captain of Your Own Soul.”
Stay tuned for a wrap-up of Project 100. Thank you, again. I appreciate your support of this project.