I recently reviewed a book on creativity, “Conscious Creative Retirement” by Suzanne
Shaffer. Suzanne the author sent me a
copy and asked me to give my thoughts on her book. I am delighted to share some
of my discoveries.
As many of you know in my on-going watercolor classes we
have been focusing on creativity this year and how to recognize, encourage and
grow as artists. I found this book to be inspiring promoting some new ways to
move on in our quest.
Each of you who purchase and read the book will find
different nuggets of gold for your creative adventure. I will share what I
found resonates with me.
This book is primarily about the starting of creativity in
retirement. A number of artists can identify that the creating art has been a
lifelong desire and now is the time to put action to the process.
The book talks of discovering reasons to create and how to
start the process of deciding to go forward. There are exercises in each
chapter that help you determine how to allow yourself the energy and time to
create. Included is talk of “Tech Free Time Out.” Again in class we often talk
of setting personal studio hours to have a set time and place to do art.
I especially like the chapter on celebration, the excitement
and experience of creating something you feel good about.
Quotes from the book: “Are you enjoying watching the growth develop?” and “Are you wondering what the
next project will be?” These are great questions to keep you motivated.
I would recommend the book for its ideas and the exercises
at the end of each chapter. You will find great motivation to get you into your
Thank you Suzanne, for sharing your insights and your
You can purchase the book from the author or on Amazon.
Last newsletter I wrote “Who do you paint for?”
and one of the reasons was to paint for shows. This time I want to focus on thoughts
about the awards at shows.
I just returned from judging the SWWS show in Vancouver, Washington
and it reminded me what judges and jurors go through to make the choices for
the awards. A serious endeavor that will award some artists and have others
feel “left” out or worse “rejected”.
I personally think a little different
about the process. When I receive an award I am thrilled and when I don’t, I still
feel a bit rejected. The judge took time to evaluate my work but it may not
have caught their “award giving eye” this time. But I have done well to enter
and will learn from it.
I invite you to entertain a new way of looking
at entering shows.
number one- Submitting our artwork
It takes a life time of observation, study,
research, experiment to achieve our skill. It also takes courage to put our
work into the public eye especially for judging. I say as Artists we give ourselves an “award” for having
entered the show or competition.
number two-Getting into a Juried show
I know the privilege of getting into shows
as there are so many talented artists to choose from and as a judge the
decisions are difficult. There are just not enough spots for all the fine
art in a show, choices have to be made. If you get in that is your second
number three-Artists who get recognition from the judge
When a judge places an award on our painting it
is our third award. This is the most difficult award to receive. Often it takes
another judge seeing the same painting. My top award was rejected from two
previous shows. Continue to put your best work out there.
So in my world every artist entry wins when they compete whether they get in
the show or not...they put their art out there to be judged. As artists it
helps us refine our work which is fine education to aspire to our next level of
shows is another way artist proves they are serious about their commitment to
fine artwork and their personal journey. It is difficult to share our personal
works of art with the public. We risk disappointment.
Creating fine art is a
lifelong process, entering competitions is one way to expand our experience. We
as artists may reassess our art or find we are on the right path, in the end;
we are the final judge of our work.
is unique to find its way into your work to tell who you are, your voice, your
signature, your personal message, your narrative. Keep working to strive to the
next level, allowing yourself to make mistakes on your way to discovery. Take
the viewer on a journey with you.
Paint then paint more and you will catch the judges’