Monday, December 27, 2010

To the Yellowfish Life

christine sullivan - 30 x 30"

When you slow down, really calm your inner chatter and open your eyes...all of your other senses follow...and you find yourself in the yellowfish zone of life. Here you remember what life was like when you were a kid lying in the recently mown grass, gazing at the clouds of summer while cicadas buzzed in the fields and time stood still - you were filled with the innocent courage and wisdom of life and stood only to blow the seeds off the dandelions and make a wish. 

Well it is still there, waiting for you. Just open the door and stand there a minute. Just stand there and close your eyes against the sun until you hear the bend of the branches in the wind and acknowledge, just for a minute or two, this wonderful world we are privileged to live in. The earth we are privileged to share. And watch as your creative soul expands and your heart fills again with the possibilities you once held dear. 

No matter where your passions lie or if you have yet to find yours  - all it takes is the commitment to stop for a minute and appreciate what is in front of you. And to listen to your heart and follow it. 

I wish you all the best that life offers in the coming year and am confident this is the year you get closer to feeding your own passions. You can do it. Just quiet yourself and listen.

- cs

Friday, December 17, 2010

Creative Gift Giving

Like many others we scaled down our gift giving to better donate more of our time and dollars to local charitable organizations and to be secret santas to those that really need our help. But there is even a greater gift that everyone can afford. And that's a visit, a call or a note from you. Please remember to stop by or call someone you know that is living alone or going through the holidays alone or suffering in any way. If you don't know someone personally, why not call a few friends and go visit your local children's hospital or senior assisted living center and sing a few Christmas carols in the lobby or just sit with them and visit awhile.

That said, creative gifts from the heart are always appreciated. Make something. Bake something. Or give something be it small or large that is hand made, made locally or a gift that encourages the creative spirit. Here are just a few suggestions along with a list of great online stores. Hohoho!
Yours in the creative life - cs
Art books for children - In the Garden With Van Gogh (photo at top of this post) is one of my favorites but there are about a dozen in the series. They make for great reading before bed time with kids of all ages (infant to age 8 or so). Check out your local bookstore or favorite online book site.

For your creative friend(s) who may need a nudge - Creative Time and Space. This is not one of the typical books on how to find your creative self it's for the person that already is there but is juggling with how to find the time and space to feed their passions. Again ask for it at your local bookstore or try
Here's another book filled with ideas to fuel a creative life. Can be a gift for someone at work or for an entire family. Living Out Loud can be found at your local bookstore or at

So many of my friends and readers live near the water and I so love this salt and pepper shaker set hand made by Kala Stein. You can find it at the Rochester Memorial Art Gallery store or online at under regional crafts.

I believe giving the gift of art to yourself or someone on your list is a wonderful way to help your local artists and home town art community as well as the local economy. Here are two suggestions but please take a few minutes to stop by your local art gallery to say hello - you may just find a small works and/or holiday sale going on:

  Wayfaring Strangers (above, 24 x 48") is a wonderful piece 
by Palm Coast, FL artist JJ Graham at Hollingsworth Gallery 

or you can help the international cultural art exchange by purchasing 
cuban art out of Jensen Beach, FL like the above print  
Calle Marina Baja by artist Jose Aquilera Vicente

If you haven't listened to David Whyte's poetry or lectures before than you're in for a treat. How many days do we go through robotically? What to Remember When Waking is a 6-hour "learning course" on living with more attention and intention. You may find this at your local Barnes and Noble or download it immediately on iTunes and I recommend visiting his website

And here are just a few sites (click on each to go there) I like for creative shopping...