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On Creativity, Processing and Camp GLP

three pieces created at Camp GLP for my current project #100daysoftracingmyhands

three pieces created at Camp GLP for my current project #100daysoftracingmyhands

We have so much to catch up on…

It’s been a busy summer. One that was packed with making and family and fun. It’s been 11 weeks of living and loving. It has been full.

As far as the blog is concerned, I just haven’t even been around. Now I'm back, to let you know I can really shake 'em down (ok cue old Counters song… It's what is currently spinning on the jukebox in my head).

By shake it down, I mean catch you up a little on all of my creative exploring and art making over the past few of months. I need to begin by sharing some of my most recent pieces that resulted from a profound experience I’m still floating from that happened almost a week ago, Camp Good Life Project.

Last week I loaded my car and headed to upstate New York for my second year at Camp GLP. I had boxes of supplies for my workshops, crates of my clay rattles to share during the talent show, watercolor paper and brushes for my current 100 day project, an enormous dream catcher I had crafted for my fellow campers to post their dreams on to and a small backpack filled with just enough clothes to get me through the days ahead. Also a toothbrush! I finally remembered to pack a toothbrush.

As I drove I listened to the most recent book by Brene Brown, Rising Strong. About halfway through the drive I heard Brene state, "creativity is the process of folding our experiences into ourselves". I shuddered with delight as I finally heard a succinct yet elegant way for me to describe what so many of my works are/do.

I excitedly arrived, hugged lots of people, prepped for my workshops and settled in for an evening talk with Susan Piver and Jonathan Fields. After 90 minutes of listening to a great conversation I went back to my bunk to paint for the day. Processing my experience from the earlier chat...

As I painted my first piece at camp for #100daysoftracingmyhands (a big heart in open hands) it immediately became clear to me who I wanted to be and also what I wanted to put down on paper the following day. I was processing and integrating through the work and oh so grateful!

The following day was full of activity and culminated with an amazing art party led my Late Nite Art. I arrived back to my bunk just after midnight, traced my hands in the dark and did a few quick strokes with orange among my sleeping roommates. I got the piece down and it was a decent start to finish the following morning. Once again processing.

Hands and arms on white, filled with orange. Orange for me is synonymous with The Good Life Project and the color psychology of it is so spot on...

"The color orange radiates warmth and happiness, combining the physical energy and stimulation of red with the cheerfulness of yellow.Orange relates to 'gut reaction' or our gut instincts, as opposed to the physical reaction of red or the mental reaction of yellow.Orange offers emotional strength in difficult times. It helps us to bounce back from disappointments and despair, assisting in recovery from grief."

I synchronistically stumbled upon the Good Life Project the beginning of 2013. I participated in the 2013 immersion and I can truly say it is all of this and so much more.

An orange vessel on a white ground summed this up beautifully for me. I was feeling full and processing it as I put it on the page.

Later that day as I pondered my next painting I realized not only was I finding all of the above in me, I was being surrounded and held by it at all as well at this summer camp in upstate NY.

A white vessel surrounded by orange. Again, summing it up perfectly. I was surrounded, held, supported by this amazing community and able to fully appreciate it through color and shape on the page.

 

Then on the final day I traced my hands yet again, so grateful for the act creativity allowing me to fold this expansive experience in to my being.

A solid orange ground with multiple points surrounding the periphery of my hands. I realized it wasn't a me or camp situation now was it a me and camp situation.  Over the weekend everything was just one and the distinctions began to separate. No inside, no outside. No camp, no me. Just a subtle memory of the boundary that once existed.

Last Sunday afternoon as I stood at the main area later for all of the heartfelt goodbyes I was feeling it all. Feeling so wide open, so full, so sad to be calling an end to the experience, so ready to get home to my love and the kids.

Two days later I sat down to begin my daily piece. I went to pull out a new block of paper and the 9" x 12" I had been working with couldn't be found.  
 

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I had to use the size up. Go bigger.

I sat down to begin and a little prayer popped up in my head… "To whom it may concern... let me know no boundaries." Expand.

I wet the sheet first then used an ink dropper to trace my hands and watched the pigment float across the surface. Radiate.

I took a break to let it dry a bit before moving forward. I hopped on @instagram. At the top of my feed was a post from @jonathanfields of a dream feather posted on a piece I created for last week's #campglp2015. It read "live limitless".

Message received. Through the painting and the synchronicity.

Go bigger. Expand. Radiate. Live Limitless.

Message received loud and clear.

One of my favorite lines from the GLP creed is “Find awe, let it shake you, lift you, melt you, then share it.” Well camp this year did exactly that for me and this my attempt to begin to share it.

Did something awe, shake, lift or melt you this summer? I would love to hear about it in the comments below:)

*if you're digging the hands paintings follow it's progression on instagram under #100daysoftracingmyhands