Sketchcrawl April 2014

I usually hear about the Worldwide Sketchcrawl the evening it is over. This year I was reminded a few days before and got to participate, on a small scale! I was talking to a former co-worker on Wednesday and mentioned it to her. She’s been making pottery for about a year and so I just thought I’d say something about the Sketchcrawl. She replied, “Oh! I haven’t sketched in years!” Well, I guess that finally clicked with something in my brain and the next day I texted her to see if she would like to sketch with me on Saturday. Honestly, I probably wouldn’t have done the Sketchcrawl on my own. She said yes and we had an absolutely wonderful day! First of all, the weather was just perfect! Sunny, not too warm, great breeze! We met for breakfast and then went to a city park that neither one of us had been to. We got right in the middle of a run, lots of people around, music… it was noisy, but great fun! I did manage a small sketch, but I’m really pleased with it. I’m not what you would call an experienced sketcher, and have never drawn in public!

Scene at Jordan Valley Park 4-19-14

Scene at Jordan Valley Park 4-19-14

From there, we went to another park and did lots of walking before we found a spot to sit and sketch. I started a drawing of her, but quickly decided to stick with inanimate objects! Didn’t quite finish this one, but it was a fun start, and I did take a photo so I could add more detail later if I want to.

Bench at  Close Memorial Park

Bench at Close Memorial Park

We had so much fun, we made a date for June! Hope to have more sketches to share!

Thanks for stopping! TTYL!

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Acts of Kindness

I have been blessed by two random acts of kindness recently. The first was at the checkout at Walgreen’s when the customer ahead of me left her change (which included some bills) on the counter and said to the clerk, “Pay it forward!” I, in turn, did the same. I wondered later how far it went.

The second act happened yesterday when one of the outdoor neighborhood cats was hit by a car. We don’t know when it happened, but sometime later, a passerby on bike stopped and gently carried the kitty out of the street and layed her on the grass. That’s when my husband saw and went out to see what had happened. I wasn’t there at the time, but when I returned several hours later, there were 4 of the reddest roses lying on the porch and a card had been slid under the door, addressed “To the People who Loved Rose.” I was so overwhelmed by this stranger’s caring enough to move our girl out of the road, but then to receive her comforting gift was the kindest act that I think I’ve ever been the recipient of. I wanted to recognize this act of kindness, but unfortunately, I’ll probably never be able to do so in person, so this will have to do. Thank you, kind soul.

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Change is in the Air

Have you ever had this feeling that something big is about to happen? You can’t really nail it down. In fact, it drives you crazy trying to make it take form, like looking through a thick fog, so you can identify it. I’ve had that feeling since shortly before Christmas. Don’t know what it is. But I’m open to it. Waiting for it. Looking for it. Anxious for it.

And, have you ever had the experience that everything you read seems to point you in one direction? Like, you’d have to be really dense to not pick up on all the stars aligning just for you. This has been happening to me recently. It started with signing up for Suzi Blu’s Petite Dolls workshop. In a series of videos, Suzi shows her techniques for her sweet, yet shabby, girls. The drawings are folksy, stylized, and have so much personality. They really appeal to me. I’m still learning and practicing, and when I’ve progressed to a comfortable point, I’ll share pictures of what I’ve done. But what I’ve really come away with from watching her videos is the encouragement that I can do this. Not the cheerleader kind of rah-rah, but a sincerity that comes from knowing. She knows it’s possible for me to do what she does. (And, she’s good!)

So, now that I know that I can (eventually) make art like Suzi’s, I’m also thinking that maybe, just maybe, I can do some other things, too. So, one thing leads to another, as they do, and I’m reading “Taking Flight” by Kelli Rae Roberts, a book of interviews with other artists, mostly mixed media, about their artistic journeys and overcoming their doubts and fears. And every one that I’ve read so far has said something that really resonates with me, where I am right now. One thing I’m beginning to understand is that there will always be doubts and fear, but time and experience enable you to deal with it.

Then, this morning, while doing my usual catch-up on reading email, and taking the time to read blogs that interest me, I came across Jennifer Edwards’ blog I consider Jennifer to be an accomplished artist, and yet she experiences the dark side too. She said, “if there are many creative ideas swirling around in one’s head and heart, the noise becomes deafening, the desire becomes oppressive, the shut-down thought of “why even bother” gets louder and louder too.” I really do identify with this. I have periods of envisioning all kinds of creative endeavors, but then I just get overwhelmed with trying to make them all happen. Then I just feel deflated and say what’s the use.  JE goes on to quote Julia Cameron and say that we need to take baby steps. And I am not by nature a “baby steps” kind of person. I’m more of the “Athena-springing-forth-fully-grown-and-clothed-in-armor” kind of person. I do tend to overthink things, and usually end up convincing myself that I “can’t”, and shouldn’t even try. You can read the full post here. I, however, am not a goddess, so I am going to try those baby steps. I think my word of intention for this year is “Act”. Just do it. This blog is a good example. I haven’t even made my custom header yet. Or created a list of other blogs I enjoy and follow. Or any of the other dressing-up I’d like to do. But, I started the blog. And now I have 2 posts!

A lot of rambling (not too disjointed I hope), just to pass along some encouragement I’ve received, in the hope that you may be encouraged, too.

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A Blog is Born

Welcome to my new blog! I’m so excited! I’ve wanted a bloghome for about 3 years. I started teaching myself HTML (fun, but not enough instant gratification). Then I set up a WordPress blog, but I knew it wasn’t the right name. It’s been sorely neglected, but it’s been a really good learning experience. Then a few weeks ago, I realized what I wanted to name my blog, so after much contemplation, The Spicy Eclectic was born. I think that describes me pretty well! I have so many interests, and I want to share them all!

It will take me awhile to remodel and furnish my bloghome, but I hope you won’t mind the mess, and come back often to see what’s happening. Thanks for stopping by, and come again!

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