Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Checking in.

What are your impediments to creativity?

Mine are:

1. Procrastination

2. Lack of focus

3. Easily Overwhelmed

4. Fear of Judgement

I love painting. I realize that I don't start projects because I know they will be interrupted. So I just don't start.
I don't want to feel guilty for putting off other peoples' needs in order to focus on my own projects.

However, I know myself well enough to realize that I need to be creative, and I deserve to feel the positive rewards experienced by spending time "doing my own thing."

So a solution would be to schedule my creative projects into my life. Tuesday mornings and Wednesday afternoons, for example. I really have been handed the gift of TIME, now that my kids are older, I am able to get some creative ideas completed if I am focused and determined. And I will feel less guilty if I have scheduled time - so that all the REST of my hours are dedicated to the High Maintenance members of my family!

Regarding #4. Fear of Judgement: This has to do more with my writing, not my painting. I have a lot of risqué ideas, I know that. I also have a LOT of extremely conservative friends and family who are quick to provide their unsolicited opinions.

However, I do believe that some of my ideas are very unique and worth exploring. Easy solution: pen name!!

OKAY it's time to go back to the volunteer job I am supposed to be doing: Yes, I am procrastinating! Today I am printing spine labels with Library of Congress codes for my Pastor's personal library. I was SO intimidated by the task (because some of the books / journals are not in the library at all) that it took me 4 days to focus and realize that "I CAN DO THIS!!"

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Greatest Gatsby

I have been intrepidly waiting to see The Great Gatsby film for months! I was curious to see if it would do the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel justice, and be as good as or better than the Robert Redford film.

In April I learned that one of my favourite singers, Lana Del Rey, has a song on the soundtrack that asks, "Will you still love me when I am no longer young and beautiful?" Then, I found out that another favourite band of mine, Florence and the Machine, also has a song on the soundtrack.

To prepare myself for the film I purchased the soundtrack for my iPhone while we were in Barcelona on vacation. I discovered that Baz Luhrmann had done it again: similarly to “Romeo & Juliet” and “Moulin Rouge” he had melded modern music into a period piece. I knew this would cause controversy; that inflexible purists would find it intolerable and long for the pure flapper sound of the 1920’s.

So with these things in mind, I watched the movie! I was so totally blown away! It was fantastic. The modern music blended well within the scenes. The hip hop songs by Jay-Z & Kanye West are current representations of our modern sound; much like jazz was in the 20's. The hip hop music increased the edgy tension of particular scenes.

I thought it was much better than the sedate Redford version. It was truer to the Fitzgerald novel because it showed the incredible spectacle of the lavish parties thrown by Gatsby during Prohibition. It was flashy and excessive! The hair, make-up and costumes were dramatic, using the styles of the period that would agree with our contemporary ideals.

The casting was spot-on. To me, the Titanic Leonardo DiCaprio was too boyish, petite and unbelievable. I was relieved to see how much DiCaprio has improved with age. He was sexy, dynamic, mysterious and very masculine as Gatsby. I recall a scene when he & Daisy flee the party to the gardener’s cabin to be alone. Gatsby reaches up and touches Daisy, her petite face is cradled in his large hands… thrilling! His looks reminded me of a young George Clooney.

Carey Mulligan was the perfect Daisy Buchanan. She is fickle, non-maternal, and is pandered to by everyone around her. Daisy carries her burden of beauty and exaggerates her stupidity to avoid guilt for her poor choices & to assuage her pain caused by Jay’s infidelity. Mulligan expertly put on airs just as I imagine Daisy would have when I read the novel.

The moral of the story was not lost in all the panache. The self-centered pursuit of pleasure & self-gratification by Jay & Daisy Buchanan was felt deeply throughout the film. This is hands down the best film I have seen in 2013!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Day 29 - A Photo That Can Always Make Me Smile

Chris CLAIMS that he doesn't like animals, especially cats. We have had two sweet cats, Bella & Jazz, and I would often catch him petting them as he walked by (when he thought no one was watching!)
This is a photo of him with a rescued kitten at Beaverfoot Lodge, our favourite mountain retreat, near Golden BC.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Day 28 - An Image That Best Represents My Greatest Fear

I fear that I will have a boring life, a meaningless existence. I fear that I will not have created anything, or "have anything to show for it." I am not content or would be disappointed to discover that my existence is just to be a FUNNEL that produced offspring who will have a grander purpose...

So this FEAR causes me to self-sabotage, waste my time, and to be inactive & stagnant. Focussing on my fear distracts me from my PURPOSE & MEANING in life... to be a servant of GOD and fulfill HIS purpose for me. And what exactly is that I wonder still?

I can relate to the idea Ayn Rand puts forward of drifting helplessly... it's how I often feel...

"A central purpose serves to integrate all the other concerns of a man’s life. It establishes the hierarchy, the relative importance, of his values, it saves him from pointless inner conflicts, it permits him to enjoy life on a wide scale and to carry that enjoyment into any area open to his mind; whereas a man without a purpose is lost in chaos. He does not know what his values are. He does not know how to judge. He cannot tell what is or is not important to him, and, therefore, he drifts helplessly at the mercy of any chance stimulus or any whim of the moment. He can enjoy nothing. He spends his life searching for some value which he will never find . . . .

The man without a purpose is a man who drifts at the mercy of random feelings or unidentified urges and is capable of any evil, because he is totally out of control of his own life. In order to be in control of your life, you have to have a purpose—a productive purpose . . . . The man who has no purpose, but has to act, acts to destroy others. That is not the same thing as a productive or creative purpose." Ayn Rand

You cannot find meaning & purpose in a hobby, or a person, or a career.

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes"- Marcel Proust

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Day 27 - A Photo of Myself with a Member of My Family

This is a photo of Bianca & I. We were in Montreal in October 2009, so she would be about 17 months old when it was taken.
I remember that it was my first time ever being in Montreal / Quebec, and I was SO Excited!! I woke up in the morning, and looked out of the Fairmont Hotel window at the city for my first time. I was so impressed to see a park below me, attractive urban features, and in the distance, through the fog, rose a small mountain in the middle of the city!! I really had no idea that Mont Royal would be INSIDE the city! At once I promised myself that we would walk there! So after breakfast Sydney, Bianca & I meandered our way through the downtown, through malls, past art exhibits and up the hill through the GORGEOUS McGill University Campus. We stopped to watch a First Nations Rain Dance at a Pow Wow, and continued up past the Hogwarts-looking Royal Victoria Hospital. We enjoyed the paved forest trail where the maple leaves were just beginning to turn golden. It was a a wonderful adventure!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Day 25 - A Picture of my Day

Today was Bianca's very first dance class ever! It is called "Salsa Tots" and it is taught by Reanna Maitland @ DanceCo. I liked how the Merengue, Salsa, Cha-Cha and Cucaracha were taught by using familiar childrens' songs.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Day 24 - A Photo of Something I Wish I Could Change

I wish I could change the man-made nuclear disaster happening in Japan at the moment. Words such as "Exposed Fuel Rods" and "Meltdown" strike terror in our hearts. Japanese residents have been evacuated, some must be taking their "Doomsday Pills" of Iodine to prevent their thyroid from allowing their bodies from absorbing the RADIOactive Iodine... and we hear of explosions, and radioactive clouds travelling east over the Pacific Ocean.
God please be with the Japanese people devastated by the earthquake, the tsunami and the nuclear disaster!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Day 23 - A Photo of One of My Favourite Books

From Page 1 I could not put this book down.
It's an astonishing & entertaining autobiographical story of a successful MSNBC reporter who grew up in poverty & neglect with eccentric, artistic transient parents in the USA.