Friday, May 27, 2016

Building Blocks of Art Video

I have the wonderful privilege of teaching art to gifted young people through Gifted Homeschoolers Forum Online. What joy I experience as these students learn new concepts and apply them to their individual expressions in the world! Their growth and enthusiasm encourage me to continue teaching and to continue my own creating.

Here's a video of my students' most recent art show, for the class Building Blocks of Art which I taught this past Spring (many thanks to Carissa Leventis-Cox for creating this video from our online slideshow presentation!):

If you have a gifted young student who is a budding artist, please check out my upcoming online art classes. This Summer I will teach Watercolor Summer Fun, and this Fall I will teach Faces and Figure Drawing. Please click on the links for more information and to register your student.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Watercolor Summer Fun Art Class

Summer. Swimming pools and beaches. Profusions of flowers. Water and color.  And summer is a perfect time for letting water and color flow together in watercolor paints. Watercolor is a refreshing medium with the ease and fluidity reflective of the season. Perfect for taking on the road, whether for a day trip or a longer vacation, watercolors give artists the opportunity to dip their brushes into water and paint and express themselves freely, vibrantly, flowingly on paper.

This summer, I have the opportunity to encourage young artists to discover the joy and freedom of painting with watercolors. Starting Monday, June 6, I will be teaching Watercolor Summer Fun, an art class through Gifted Homeschoolers Forum Online. We will explore techniques for painting in this medium as well as using it to create summer scenes. I will teach the class online on Mondays and Wednesdays at 11:15 a.m. Pacific Time from June 6 to July 20, 2016.

Do you have a gifted youngster, eight or older, who might like to explore watercolor this summer in a relaxed, fun class? If so, please click on this link to register and to find out more about the class: Watercolor Summer Fun--Summer 2016. I hope to see your student there!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Creating My Life with My Multipotentiality

School has ended, and the children have graduated, one from middle school and the other from high school. I've celebrated the graduates: the middle schooler with a family dinner and the high schooler with the blow-out party. I've hosted the relatives. I've flown to Kansas City, Missouri and back for a taekwondo tournament.

And now, summer break can begin.

This is the Summer of Transition. In this season, one of my children transitions from middle school to high school and the other from high school to college. I am experiencing a shift as well. In the perspective of Creating My Life, I'm engaging in what I call The Turn. With all of the events associated with the kids' graduations behind me, I have greater bandwidth for focusing more on this Creating My Life Creating Challenge, my quest for weaving my creative pursuits together into one career that will sustain me after my youngest birdie flies from this nest.

Though I've not blogged much about it recently, I have pondered this shift. I have yet to come to solid conclusions. Part of the reason for this is what we in the gifted realm call multipotentiality: possessing many abilities. Many of us gifted folk "suffer" from being jack of many trades but master of none. As well, we have many interests. Because we love learning, we find ourselves involved in a wide variety activities, dabbling here and dabbling there. Many of us long for one clear path, one interest we can delve into and master. Yet the siren songs of other potential learning opportunities keep us from staying on one path for long. And we may find ourselves overcommitted, involved in so many activities that we burn ourselves out and do none of them well.

I feel this. Currently, I teach taekwondo, Nia, and art. I also have artwork I want to create and sell, a book to write, a volunteer project to develop for a local private school, another pet project related to my gifted and twice-exceptional interests, and a desire to delve back into my life coaching practice to inspire others into creating.

How do I create a cohesive career from all of that?

I don't yet know. I am growing comfortable with not knowing. I have four years with one child still at home and, therefore, plenty of time to allow my career to unfold. When it does, I'll let you know. I believe that when the time comes for me to shift from active mothering into a full-time career, the perfect opportunity will arise. And that gives me peace.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Teaching "Painting Like the Greats" for Gifted Homeschoolers Forum Online

My Creating My Life Creating Challenge continues. Amid planning my kids' graduations and volunteering for their school activities, I take steps on my journey toward making my living through creative means such as art and writing.

Along this path, I've gained the opportunity to teach art through Gifted Homeschoolers Forum Online. This coming Fall, I will teach a class entitled "Painting Like the Greats." This course will expose late elementary through early high school students to the lives and techniques of artists such as da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Caravaggio, Van Gogh, Escher, and Picasso. We'll look at each artist within his art period, view his paintings, then apply what we learn to our own artistic expressions. As well, we'll discuss these artists' giftedness and apply what we can to our own lives.

Registration is now open. Click here to learn more about the class and to register!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Creating Begets Creating

Just a little pastel drawing that wanted to emerge when I brainstormed this blog post.
Do you ever find that when you create, you feel energy to create more?

I certainly do. However, I frequently leave my artistic endeavors until I accomplish everything else I "need" to do. I dispatch all of my more mundane "have to's" before picking up a pen to write or a pencil to draw.

Why do I do this? For some reason, I feel that my writing and my painting are play. They are! And as I was raised and our performance-based culture preaches, work comes before play. We must complete our chores and errands before indulging in the pleasure of playing with color or words.

I need to shift this mentality. If I want to make a living from my creativity, I need to prioritize it. Art and writing are my work! That alone is enough reason to leave dishes in the sink (oh, there are so many reasons to leave dishes in the sink!).

And here's another more hidden yet more important reason: creating gives me energy to do more of everything else. When I spend time writing a blog post or sketching ideas for an art journal page, I then feel energized to tackle the details surrounding my son's upcoming graduation or the pile of unfolded laundry. Not only do I feel sparked to address those to-do list items, I approach those tasks with more joy, energy, and imagination because I already have creative juices flowing.

Creating begets creating. The creative life requires that energetic input. And so I have made a commitment to myself that in the coming month and a half, a time span when I'll have many family details to tackle, I will spend at least one half-hour a day working on my book. You heard it here, folks! Feel free to keep me accountable!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Regrouping and Reorienting After Spring Break

It's Wednesday. My kids returned to school from Spring Break on Monday, and still I find myself regrouping and reorienting myself.

Truth be told, I'm doing quite well with this given the circumstances. Thanks to keeping some semblance of forward movement with Creating My Life during Spring Break, I've stepped back into my regular mindset with fewer mental and emotional challenges than usual (and that includes dealing with car troubles and a sick child home today!).

This means I've grown! I'm learning to blend motherhood and individual purpose. I feel privileged that I experience the blessings of both arenas.  Granted, this is partly because my children are older and more independent, yet it's also because I've matured too.

As well, I've accepted that this regrouping and reorienting takes whatever time it requires. Eventually, I'll be running on all cylinders again.

Probably just in time for summer vacation. ;-)

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Just Take a Step...Any Step!

This week my kids are on Spring Break. I've done what I can to remain flexible and available to them so we can enjoy this last Spring Break before my son heads off to college.
We're hoping for some of this action (I took this shot last year)!

Amid waiting for kiddos to wake up from sleeping in, staying up late to chill with them, checking in with them after they return home from their adventures, and staying "on call" to play however they want to at the drop of a hat, I've continued to keep my Creating My Life Creating Challenge rolling. I find if I can take at least one step a day, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, I feel the joy and energy of moving into whatever the future holds for me. And this keeps me motivated.

Here are just a few ideas for small, simple steps I can take each day:
  • preparing a canvas for painting;
  • tearing out images from a magazine for future collage work;
  • writing a paragraph for an article or book idea;
  • entering a one-sentence blog concept into Blogger as a reminder for a future post;
  • sending a quick "thinking of you" greeting to a potential client, customer, or colleague via social media, email, or phone;
  • quickly drawing a concept in my sketchbook;
  • gathering magazine submission guidelines for potential articles.
Taking just one step helps me feel connected to the larger picture of the life that's evolving for me. And as I enjoy my children this week, I also feel the confidence and joy of knowing that my Creating My Life Creating Challenge continues to move forward. Usually that's enough. Other times I find that that one small step turns into two, three, or more--sometimes even a full-blown "walk"--as creative energy begets creative energy, I find myself in the flow, and I progress much further than I'd originally anticipated.

Kind of like sitting down to write this blog post. Who knew at the start it would end up this long?!