Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tree of Me...

Tree of me started as part of The Sketchbook Challenge for the month of April. The theme is "Branching out...out on a limb".
I'm also in the midst of doing a 40 Day Baptiste Yoga program about 'transformation'. With the sketchbook theme & the transformation program in mind I sat down to do some sketching. Sketching a tree was a delight since I've become obsessed with
trees, but thinking about 'going out on a limb' and the transformation process caused me to think about how this tree of me 'grows'.
My roots or gounding come from family, friends, yoga & meditation. My roots are also firmly planted in the creative process but for this tree I chose to put the creativity up in the branches (also I ran out of roots). My branches are my personal traits--good & bad. Again,
I chose the ones that popped into my head first
and also the ones that I need to be working on.
My largest branches are 'creativity & procrastination'. Why?...  Because I do believe I am a very creative person (most of the time) but my procrastination tends to over-rule my creativity! Those branches are big & thick. They have quite a few limbs branching off because as my creativity grows so does my procrastination... (note to self-work on the procrastination)
My 'inspiration' branch has many offshoots and lots of new growth because I'm always finding inspiration. I see it everywhere. I look at the clouds and see a painting or a quilt. I look at weeds and want to photograph them. I see rusty objects and pick them up knowing they will be used to dye fabrics and possibly to add to assemblages or even art quilts. I have no lack of inspiration! If anything my system is on overload with ideas & choices.
My branch of 'learning new techniques is an offshoot of the branch 'keeping a journal'. At the time I did this I was thinking that it sort of goes hand-in-hand. I am always gathering new knowledge through workshops & classes or by visiting other artist's blogs and I try to keep a journal of ideas & techniques. Every time I learn a new technique I play around with it in my studio or I doodle in my design book trying it out to see if I can use what I've learned and 'make it my own'.
But here's where the 'not following through' branch comes in...I have a book full of designs but when I go into my studio I get distracted because so many new ideas pop into my head that I hardly EVER use anything in my design book. I go off on another tangent and start a project off the top of my head. Sometimes it turns out better than what's in the sketchbook, sometimes not. That's why those branches don't have many offshoots. I need to grow the techniques I've learned, use my designs and FOLLOW THROUGH!
This brings me to the last 2 branches. The branches at the very bottom. The 'confidence (OR lack of)' branch and the 'taking risks' branch. These are the branches that could use a shot of Miracle Grow.
My confidence needs a big 'ole boost of fertilizer to help me grow a stronger branch and some new limbs. My 'taking risks' branch could use a good shot of nitrogen as well. That's sometimes my downfall.
I love to play with my art supplies and see 'what if' but then I'm so unsure of how it will be accepted that I don't ever show it to anyone.  SO, I need to go out on that limb; that limb of 'taking risks' and use my Miracle Grow to get those branches to push forth new growth. I would hope that if I can get some new growth on the 'confidence' branch that the 'taking risks' branch will follow suit.
Just last week I had to do something that involved my 'confidence' branch. I have a couple of art quilts that will be going out into the world for an exhibit. I was asked to send an artist's statement along.
WELL... I've never really written an artist's statement. Not a REAL one, just a small little blurb that didn't really say anything. I decided it was time to actually submit an artist's statement.
I found many good websites with instructions and samples. The best one I found was on Molly Gordon's website. She takes you through step by step. So I did it! Although my first artist's statement isn't as lengthy or deep as some, I still think it tells my story in a nutshell. So my first step out on the 'confidence' branch was getting that accomplished.  I felt better after having done it, somewhat like a certified artist!
It's just that I  have a hard time puffing myself up and blowing my own horn.
That's where the roots come in. My grounding--my strong base. I am learning to sink my roots deeper so that I can be stronger. Yoga is helping immensely as is meditation. They both bring clarity to my life.
I know through my 40 Day program of transformation that I will have more confidence.
(by the way, this is my second 40 Day program since Jan) I gained so much from the first time around, that I wanted to do it again!
With that said, I think it's time to go meditate and then head into my studio to see 'what if'.
Live your life creatively~
cathy

5 comments:

Georgia Girls said...

WOW...I'm impressed with how well you know yourself. This is a wonderful mental exercise. Amazing. I don't do too much pondering -- that would be a sickly branch of mine. This year I have the time to "branch out" and embark on new adventures. I feel like a girl gone wild :)

Stephanie @ Home said...

Wow! Beautiful sketch! Such a great exercise in self awarness and getting to know yourself better.

NEEDLEWINGS said...

How very cool! Sounds like something I need to do!

Mary Helen-Art Saves Lives said...

I feel as if i am walking beside you on the beach...your journey is so balanced and peaceful. Peace, Mary Helen

Cathy Spivey Mendola said...

Thanks GA girls, Stephanie, Needlewings & Mary-Helen!