the Road

Hi everyone! We're back from our European adventure with stops in London, Prague, the Alsace region of France and Paris. It was a mix of beauty, history, grunge, graffiti peppered with a ridiculous amount of walking {for me, probably not for you}! We logged 4-8 miles of walking per day per my Fitbit. Plus... traveled by plane, train, subway, streetcar, boat, tram, automobile, double-decker bus, taxi, horse-drawn carriage and an incline too. We joke that the only form of transportation we skipped was a bicycle! Took a zillion photographs, stayed in 7 hotels and created about 22 index cards, mostly with a new brush pen. 

Many of the towns in France had carousels, this double-decker is in Strasbourg, France.

Many of the towns in France had carousels, this double-decker is in Strasbourg, France.

Over the course of the trip, my hand pain settled into just one finger which is an improvement; with more rest I hope it will eventually be OK. My foot {toe surgery 4 months ago} held up extremely well with the help of anti-inflammatories. 

In the next week, I will go through the Nikon photos and share some fun collections. I posted a bunch of iphone photos at instagram, if you would like to see them.

Ideas are swirling, overlapping, dividing & multiplying. And it feels like Gene Wilder's line from Willy Wonka, "So much time, so little to do. Strike that, reverse it." I'm not sure where I'll start my new art escapades, but I have loads of laundry to tackle and tons of stuff to put away first!

The Pep Talk: Keeping it Real

"Being true to yourself is what feeds creativity, 
not self-doubt and criticism."
Diane Arenberg

You made the optimistic decision to start a 61-day creative challenge. Your head is totally in the game and you are on a roll. This is a good thing. Take note of it. Really. Like, close your eyes and take a pretend snapshot so that you can remember how you feel about this accomplishment.

{PS. I'm talking about the index-card-a-day challenge but I think this could be applied to any creative challenge, right?}

This is an annual tradition, the dose of reality that I inject into the challenge. So I hope it is OK. I'm proud of each of you for investing time & energy on yourself. I bet it is already making a difference. These things could happen:

a) you forget to do a card
b) you don't feel like photographing/uploading/posting/blogging this week
c) your theme fizzles out - you've had enough comedic kangaroos or iridescent ogees
d) you go on vacation
e) you are behind by 8 cards
f) house guests take over your art workspace
g) you can't think of anything to do with the little white card
h) you run out of index cards
i) your plan to draw psychedelic zombies doesn't pan out
j) you get lost while geo-tracking
k) your cousin Zoë spills espresso over your craft table, ruining all of your glitter glue
l) you have a fibromyalgia flare, a migraine, or other unpleasantness
m) the psychedelic zombies steal all of your art materials except for one black pen

So make a plan. Set your intentions. If you miss a day, it's not the end of the world. Do two cards tomorrow. And if you miss a week? Jump back in. Start wherever you are. My thought is that it is more important to "continue" and get into the groove of creating than to stress out and feel the weight of "catching up." Get back into the saddle. Numerous participants have told me that even if they finished 30 or 41 or 47 cards, the experience changed the way they approached art. This is a personal challenge, not a competition.