Sacred Spaces

studio space
Home Studio of Artist Michelle Andres

Creative spaces are sacred.

Each time I enter a fellow artist’s creative space, I feel honored for the privilege of being there. Studios seem to hold concentrated energy – the very vibrations the artist, the ones he or she uses to create their work.

As I wrote poetry at the river this week, I realized the importance of the space where we create. It doesn’t have to be a high rent studio, certainly we know this because the creative energy flows through us…but there is a definite exchange…a way we use inspiration…it’s like the air we breathe.

Continue reading “Sacred Spaces”

Do You Haiku?

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Recently, I’ve been writing haiku and using the word in my artwork. Today, I’ll share a few of the poems. They focus on our interrelatedness in the world, our actions and intentions and how our small daily acts can impact humanity as a whole.

These haikus are on long, skinny paintings I call “Totems.” Because the substrate is so long, I’ve written multiple haiku “stanzas” on one piece of art. Because of this, one haiku can be multi-versed.

As I wrote these, I was emerging from a darker place, into a space of light. You can see the progression. Maybe you’re in a similar place, or you can relate more easily to one of them. I hope you enjoy.

 

The Dichotomy

The dichotomy.
Your power and strength will win.
Be fair and gentle.

Being strong or soft,
you are capable of both.
the world watches you.

Unfortunately,
whichever path you may choose
some will condemn you.

When we see the worth
Of both our strength and softness
Wisdom will prevail.

 

Garden

For full, joy-filled lives
Ten your best relationships.
They’re your heart’s garden.

 

Friends and Neighbors

They are right next door.
We share the details of life.
Our friends and neighbors.

Continue reading “Do You Haiku?”

When You Know Too Much

It’s not everyday I fall in love with a piece of art. But, I did yesterday.

Art Story www.michelleandresart.com

Scrolling through some social media pages, I saw an illustration that tugged at my heart. It was deep with meaning and very well done. I couldn’t stop envisioning it on my wall.

Poof! With a witless click, the image was gone. I scrolled, but I couldn’t find it again. The hunt was on. I spent at least an hour launching a full-force search to locate the piece so I could seize it for my collection. I couldn’t locate the artist or remember their full name. Finally, I found someone with a similar name and sent a note. No, it wasn’t this person, but they knew who it was. SCORE! I was told, “Wait until you hear the story behind this piece. You will love it even more!” Continue reading “When You Know Too Much”

It’s Been a Busy Summer

It’s been a busy summer.

There’s been traveling, art shows, and curating and installing other artist’s exhibits.

I’ll be back soon. Summer vacation is about to end. I hope you’re enjoying the close of summer. Maybe when it’s over, we can all get some rest. 🙂

Savor the magic of summer,

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Michelle Andres is a writer and artist. She writes this blog to share tips for a well-lived Writer, Artist, Coachlife and a finely run art business…just for you!
Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
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Summer Vacation

Summer Vacation - for inspiration

As you may already know, I’m on SUMMER VACATION! My creative cup wasn’t really getting empty, but I felt it was the same brew I’d been serving for a while, so decided to take time to fill my own cup and make room for some new concoctions. . Since June, I’ve been using the summer reconnect with distant family, study art with my teacher in Southern California, put together summer vacation travela two-person art exhibit, tour a few far-away places, paint, paint, paint, and steep in ideas for new writings in September! My muse really seems to be digging the break, but I thought I’d check in with you this week…just cuz.

You may have noticed, each Friday, I’ve been creating a post on social media sites with a link from a popular previous post. If you’d like to get the updates, you can join the tribe (on the left sidebar) or follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook.  For art only updates, follow me on Instagram!

Summer Vacation IdeaI’m not sure if you realize, but you can put almost any topic in the search bar at the top of the page, and if I’ve written about it, you’ll see all related articles pop up. You can find popular art business and art of life posts on those related pages of the website. Feel free to share those links with friends…while I’m on the beach. 😉

I hope you’re doing something special that fills you up for the summer. If Summer Vacation Ideasyou are, feel free to leave a note below and share! I’m still here…just brewing!!!

Enjoy the Summer!

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Writer, Artist, Coach

 

Michelle Andres is a writer and artist. She writes this blog to share tips for a well-lived life and a finely run art business…just for you!

Follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

“Join the Tribe” and subscribe to this blog (over there – in the left sidebar)

Garden Party

“We’re all mad here.”
“But, I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”
                                                             
                                                       ~Lewis Carroll – Alice in Wonderland
 

Mad, Fearless artArtists are an insecure bunch. Not all, but many seek constant reassurance and direction. Newer artists may do it incessantly. They’re liable to make a career out of “what do you think?” and lose the spirit that had them fearlessly making art in the first place.

Some time ago, I made a vow to liver fearlessly…Freudian typo.
This was not entirely possible without reconciling myself to a certain degree of madness. While the decision to live fearlessly included putting myself and my art “out there,” it did not preclude the insecurity that would accompany “spreading my wares” before the masses, showing artwork publically, and the challenges of defining and refining my artistic “voice.” I also didn’t count on the Ego voicing Her rather paranoid concerns. As the stakes got higher, Her inflated decibels were on a mission to drown out reason. My motto – Starve the Ego, feed the Muse. (click to Tweet) Continue reading “Garden Party”

The Middle

(I’m on summer vacation! These posts are re-posts. I have discovered a need to re-fill my creative cup. Looking forward to bringing you new and improved posts in the fall. I hope you enjoy these selected writings! Search topics of interest on my site for more related articles.)

“Every giant redwood was once a seedling. They don’t get to skip that part.” –  Sue Fitzmaurice  (click to Tweet)

There’s a recurring theme lately. People are in transition. Life is full of cycles and we’re sometimes called upon to reinvent Life transitionourselves. This is not necessarily a bad thing, it can lead to growth, breathe life into our dreams, be a catalyst for positive change…but let’s face it….it’s more than terrifying to be a seedling.

You. Don’t. Get. To. Skip. That. Part.

Seedlings are itty bitty small in a big, big world. Seedlings get stepped on, drowned, and their tender little stems are pickings for things like…well…wild pigs. Seedlings are vulnerable. Not all seedlings make it but they try, because  the prospect of being a giant Sequoia is quite enticing. Sequoias are strong, long-lived and have a fabulous penthouse view.

I’ve had a fairly varied and interesting past. (Notice I did NOT say “colourful.”) Every decade has brought transitions – new places, new relationships and sometimes, new careers. Interestingly, what was learned from the old situations bolted onto the new transitions quite nicely, kind of like Legos. Just because we leave a job or relationship behind doesn’t mean the skills and knowledge we have aren’t transferrable – THEY ARE!

I will tell you a secret. Often, during transition, there is a long expanse of time that is the “uncomfortable middle.” (click to Tweet) It is not the creamy, fluffy, goodness. This is the place where you lack direction, uncertainty becomes a way of life, the answer or direction often does not reveal itself as quickly as our fast-food appetites would like. This is not a happy place, but a place of exploration, possibilities and change. It is an uncomfortable crevasse. It’s the very thing that can send you running and screaming back to the comfort…back to the known. To get past the middle you need a serious dose of courage. You have to trust the process, your God and your gut. Continue reading “The Middle”

I’m Up to My Eyeballs in It

This week I’m crying “UNCLE” cuz I’m up to my eyeballs in it.

I had a great post planned for you and started to write it. Somewhere in the middle my commitments, life happened. In the last 10 days I’ve helped my husband launch a new product line, taken care of a kid who had 4 wisdom teeth extracted, attended a funeral, gone to some art classes, celebrated my birthday month and made an earnest attempt to be in the studio every day. If it sounds like I’m making excuses, your radar is working, because – I am!  I feel like I’m running behind schedule and if I don’t cry uncle, nothing will get finished! Yeah, I’m panicking, just a little.

Nothing major, just that I took Leslie Saeta’s  “30 Paintings in 30 Days” challenge and it’s (gulp) JANUARY 29th! So, I’ll fill this post with pictures of my process and throw myself on the mercy of the court.

I began the challenge with the intention to do a daily ink and watercolur piece that depicts a blog post I’ve written. It took a LOT of research and I completed 11 of them. Here’s a sample 

Crying uncleThese drawings took a long time, because I had to peruse ALL my posts to select which would be appropriate, the topic and then create an image. I wondered if I could reach my goal and then made a slight adjustment. Continue reading “I’m Up to My Eyeballs in It”

Abstract Art 101 A 1/2

Let me preface this lesson by disclosing I’m not an art historian; I’m People looking at artjust a writer and painter. I mainly paint non-objective abstracts (that means they don’t look like anything recognizable) and I’ve noticed a considerable number of people are baffled by abstract art. Some people don’t know what they’re “supposed” to think about it.

Now, this could turn into an art history lesson – but I’ll do my best to spare you. I’m not an art history teacher and have no desire to overwhelm or confuse you. Okay, I like to confuse you a bit, but overwhelm, no. My main objective is to engage your curiosity and get you to perhaps look a bit longer, think a bit more openly and try to see art with your heart. Continue reading “Abstract Art 101 A 1/2”

Rejection – For What It’s Worth

Rejection Acceptance ArtistsRejection.

It happens to everybody.

Acceptance.

That happens, too.

I have a friend who entered an art competition claiming, “I won’t get accepted.” The law of distraction heard her loud and clear and promptly fulfilled her “dreams.” She forwarded me the rejection letter with the words, “See?”

I replied to her with a rejection note of my own. I had received it minutes before, from a completely different project. Win some, lose some. Sometimes it feels mostly like “lose some.” So, what?

This time last year I was on a winning roll…or is that “role?” Either. I Rejection Acceptance Artistshad placed in a prestigious and highly competitive art competition…and it was an honor just to be accepted. I’d sold several pieces to an ideal collector, one of my images was selected for a magazine cover and I had an opportunity to show in a museum. Sweet!

I remember what the juror of the competition told me. “Just because you got in, it doesn’t mean anything. It means that juror likes your work. If you don’t get in, it doesn’t mean anything either. Lots of good artists don’t get in.” Continue reading “Rejection – For What It’s Worth”

Book Club

Art Book Recommendations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yay!!!! I’ve reclaimed my time! It’s a precious commodity you know? And, after last week’s realizations about “over-helping” others and running into a lack of time to pursue my own goals, I’m stepping into the space of taking a big breath, relishing time in my studio and developing my new painting series of ‘Love Songs.’ When they’re ready for prime time, I’ll be sure to share some photos with you!

Given my new found space and potential, I have a bit of leisure time and am ready for a good read. Well, of course, it should be an art book….or something related to creativity. So, I thought maybe you could help me with some recommendations. I’ve started a list to share with you of some of my favourites. These include:

Improving the Workings Between Your Ears

The War of Art – Steven Pressfield

Steal Like an Artist – Austin Kleon

Show Your Work – Austin Kleon

Art and Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking – David Bayles and Ted Orland

Improving the Workings in Your Studio

The Creative Edge – Mary Todd Beam

I’d Rather Be In the Studio – Alyson B. Stanfield

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain – Betty Edwards

 Voyeurism of Other ArtistsArt Book Recommendations

Inside the Painter’s Studio – Joe Fig Continue reading “Book Club”

Studio Space – A Place to Call Your Own

Studio Space
Sirima Sataman’s workspace as seen on design sponge.com

How important is studio space to creating the art you love? What impact does it have on your work? To some of us, the surroundings are vital to success…to others, the impact is minimal.

I know people who’ve made art in basements, in garages and at kitchen tables. I once made a mosaic bench on two saw horses and an old door (the table) in a falling down gazebo.  I’m sure others have created in stranger places.

It’s interesting our preferences, and the excuses we can use to NOT create. For instance, I have a friend who has been delaying art-making

Studio Space
Claire Basler at work – Buddhabrot

until she has a “proper space.” It’s going on 3 or 4 years. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not pointing any fingers…just observing.

I’ve found some spaces are more inspirational than others. I used to share a studio space that had previously been used by a very renowned artist. I expected an infusion of juju that couldn’t be beat down with a big ol’ stick, but that never happened. As a matter of fact, I practically couldn’t write in that space. The energy was all wrong – and because it was shared – it could be energetically cleared and then would soon be filthy with negative buzz again. No. Helping. It. Continue reading “Studio Space – A Place to Call Your Own”

You Can Quote Me!

Matisse Art QuoteMy friends’ studios often impress me. I love that the spirits of the artists come through in the energy of the room. It’s exciting to see their preferences, their tools and their work in their space. Have you ever noticed how art studios usually sport at least one motivational saying on the walls, often more? I’ve been to studios and teaching spaces where quotes were painted on the walls – that’s my favourite! In corporate, there were motivational posters, too, but they usually involved people in boats or cartoon characters – not as pretty or inspiring.

Art Quote

 

This week, I offer you art quotes. You can click on any of these to download them. Feel free to print them out and put them in your studio, workspace – keep them in front of you to help encourage and inspire you through your day.

Klee Art QuoteFeel free to pin or share them on social media, too. At the top right side of the image, there are buttons to all the social media sites. These quotes all involve my artwork – which can be seen it entirety here. Art Softens Edges Art Quote - Andres

Feel free to share your favourite art quote below in the comments; if I choose it for a future post I’ll be sure to contact you for a link to the site of your choice, cuz I love collaboration and giving credit where credit is due! Enjoy and….

Geroge Bernard Shaw Art Quote

 

Keep Living and Creating a Well Lived Life!

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Michelle Andres is a writer and artist. She writes this blog to share tips for a well-lived life and a finely run art business…just for you!Writer, Artist, Coach
Find her on Facebook or on Twitter

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Who’s Your Daddy?

Who’s your biggest advocate? Who champions your career, has your back, ferrets out opportunity that will benefit you?Advocate for yourself - create opportunity

I hope your answer is – ME! I don’t mean me…the coach, the artist, the advisor…I mean YOU! You probably aren’t comfortable advocating for yourself. Few of us are, but the truth is, you MUST be your own advocate, whether you’re a creative, a corporate person, a small business owner or a solo-preneur. No matter who you are, you owe it to yourself to be your own best advocate. It’s not a bloated ego thing. It’s a smart thing (click to Tweet).

Continue reading “Who’s Your Daddy?”

It’s Called ArtWORK

art is work artworkOnce, in an art class, the instructor proclaimed with conviction, “Art is NOT supposed to be fun.” She snarled sternly, “Art is WORK!” and at that moment, I decided I didn’t like her. At least one student was chastised for smiling while painting. Seriously, she was over the top.

Today, as I was thinking about blog topics and how I’m struggling with some elements in my own studio, I realized she had a point….sort of….in a much gentler way. Art is work, or perhaps more accurately, persistence. Continue reading “It’s Called ArtWORK”

Fair Weather Thinking – Part I

finding possibilities(Part 1 of a 3 part series  – “Fair Weather Thinking” is designed to help you identify more possibilities in your life by helping you clear the path of mental and physical debris that can cloud good decision-making. This series is presented in 3 distinct parts – Own Your Stuff, Set Clear Boundaries and Take Care of You.) 

“You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.”         ~Thomas Merton

When the skies are clear and the weather is fair, it’s easier to see the stars. Stars are light infused inspirations – they remind me of possibilities.

Possibilities are the embers of hope – the kindling for the fires of our lives, that ignite potential and meaning (click to Tweet)  Continue reading “Fair Weather Thinking – Part I”