Monday, December 24, 2012

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Thought for Thursday

Lucy Van Pelt: I know how you feel about all this Christmas business, getting depressed and all that. It happens to me every year. I never get what I really want. I always get a lot of stupid toys or a bicycle or clothes or something like that.
Charlie Brown: What is it you want?
Lucy Van Pelt: Real estate. 

A Charlie Brown Christmas, 1965

Monday, December 17, 2012

Shopping Events

Another shopping event over, with one more this coming Saturday, and I'm done for now. After the holidays are over I'll get back to painting. I know, I still haven't shown you the last painting. It's just not going to happen right now. There is too much to do.


My table at the Federation of Hellenic Society Shopping Event

It was a pretty quiet event, for the most part, but I do enjoy meeting and talking to the other artists and vendors. Everyone was in different stages of show exposure, newbies and veterans, all sharing their work. I like that part, talking shop.

This event was postponed from November to now because of the hurricane. I participated in this event back in May and met with some of the same artists.

Artwork did not move this time around, but some of my knitting did. Another artist had to have one of the blue sequined, big rib cowls and wouldn't let it go for fear someone else would grab it. That was fun. I like it when there's a little action going on. Maybe people have already finished their Christmas shopping.

It's fine. It's good experience for me. Next week is the last shopping event on my agenda before the holidays. Until then I'll be too busy to relax.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Thought for Thursday

"No matter how carefully you stored the lights last year, they will be snarled again this Christmas."  ~Robert Kirby

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Knitting. No, Not Painting

It's about time I showed you what I've been up to lately. I know, I know, I should show you the last painting I was working on when Hurricane Sandy stopped me cold, but I don't feel like it.

That doesn't mean I haven't been busy in the creative department. No. Believe me when I tell you I have been wandering around the studio eyeballing that painting. I'm just giving in to Resistance for the time being, and I think it's a healthy move. Why push it?

Just leaving it alone for now and getting my fill of color and productivity by knitting. Besides, there are a couple of holiday shopping events on the calendar and I want to have some pretty things to bring besides my paintings.


Hand Knits @Dora Sislian Themelis

Nice, thick, plush and cozy big knit stitch cowl/neck warmers up top and baby/toddler hats on the bottom of the photo, are keeping me busy. One of the cowls came up short after I knit it up so I had to rip back, and I'll get to it later.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Monday, December 3, 2012

A Holiday Shopping Event

The holiday shopping event was interesting. It was organized by a women's imaging office in my area and if you can think of the warren of rooms in a medical office with a reception/waiting room and narrow hallways with little consultation rooms, that's where this took place.

I might have been the only person with really handmade items. Other vendors had plenty of merchandise to offer, mostly mass produced jewelry and accessory items. 

My corner was next to a couple of book authors in the consultation room. 


Eventually I filled the wall with artwork next to my table. Otherwise it would have been hard to show paintings sitting flat. Anyway, I did the best I could with the space I had.


The people were lovely, giving great comments and compliments on my work. Most of them asked if the paintings were made by hand. Huh?

I'm not sure if they thought they were photos or what, but they were surprised to learn that, yes, I actually used a brush and paint to make the work. Oy.

And I actually used needles and yarn to make the knit items. And I actually used tools to string or wire the jewelry. Geez.

Yeah, I did make all that.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thought for Thursday

"Don't be distracted by criticism.Remember-the only taste of success some people have is when they take a bite out of you." ~Zig Ziglar

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Storm, The Debris, and No Art

Feel like seeing some photos of the destruction after our lovely friend 'Sandy' came to visit us on Long Island? Just my backyard..don't worry, nothing wild in the pictures. Only electric workers trying to reconnect our house to the world and tree debris. I didn't take many photos at all, like other times we've had crazy weather. 




This is what I was working on when we were so rudely interrupted by the hurricane and then the blizzard. I added more color to develop the background, but haven't felt like getting back to it to even photograph it. 


If I can kick myself into gear, maybe I'll show how it looks. 

Maybe. Excuse me, Mr. Resistance is knocking, again.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thought for Thursday on Wednesday

“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.” ~ A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

I hope everyone in the US enjoys a warm and happy Thanksgiving Day this Thursday.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Storm

When there's so much going on I lose my appetite, and not just for food. Even when the power came back I just didn't feel like running to post photos. I didn't even take many photos. Just wasn't feeling it. 
Paint? Nothing. Who feels like painting?



We were prepared to be homebound for a few days because of the approaching hurricane. Okay. I've been through storms that left us without power for a couple of days in the past.  We had food, my stove works with gas, we had hot water, and a fireplace. Batteries, candles, flashlights, gas in the cars.


But nothing prepared anyone for the resulting aftermath of this storm. No power, television, internet, telephone, cell phones were dropping calls. And we were lucky compare to people living on the Long Island coast. Some of them have lost everything, homeless.

Then the blizzard came. We finally had lights, and then we didn't again.


Right now I can hear chain saws trying to cut up my neighbor's huge white oak that landed into the next guy's yard. Four days and it's still not done. Our tree fell and took down the utility pole, the wires to the house, the back neighbor's trees and branches of other trees. Those roots left a huge crater, and took out some of my beloved azaleas. 


Normal is going to have to take a while.




Thursday, October 25, 2012

Thought for Thursday

"If only we could pull out our brain and use only our eyes." ~ Pablo Picasso

Yes, wouldn't that be something? Happy birthday Pablo Picasso!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Resistance is Really Not Out to Get Me

Resistance Is Impersonal

Resistance is not out to get you personally. It doesn't know who you are and doesn't care. Resistance is a force of nature. It acts objectively. Though it feels malevolent, Resistance in fact, operates with the indifference of rain and transits the heavens by the same laws as the stars. When we marshal our forces to combat Resistance, we must remember this. 
Steven Pressfield, The War of Art 


How lovely to be acquainted with Mr. Resistance and know, for a fact, that it isn't out to get me. Personally. Oh, how nice.

Well it seems like it is, you know, evil. That's just my opinion. So it's nice to know it doesn't know who I am, nor does he care. Ooh, even better. I'd like "him" to leave then. Now.

Session 3

Resistance is annoying, but what can I do about it? Just move on. Admit to falling through the rabbit hole once again, and get on with it.

After all, it's nothing personal. Just business.


Monday, October 22, 2012

No Beach, but Artist's Date at Clark Botanical Garden

Isn't it amazing how time actually does fly by? My brain is still at the beach.

Inside my head it's a beautiful sunny day at the ocean and I'm looking out at the horizon. My bare feet are pushing around the warm sand in front of me, iced coffee is on my left and my painting equipment is on my right. There's a slight breeze and the air has a slightly salty signature.

Sigh. I don't even have to close my eyes to imagine the scene.

Reality check: it's well past beach season at this point in October. Let's be real here, as much as my head says "beach" it isn't very likely to be good enough weather to go there wearing a light jacket and enjoy some quiet time.

However, I did take a quick ride to a nearby botanical garden on a comfortable day last week with the Princess (my granddaughter).

One of the ponds at the Garden

Artist's Dates have been lacking lately, and there won't be beach visits now, but this garden trip was a good alternative. Clark Botanical Garden in Albertson, NY is a ten minute local drive from my house and the day was warm enough to be outside for a while. I grabbed some lunch and my 'munchkin' and we were off!

What a beautiful place it was, too. I'd never been there, always wanted to go, and now that I have I know I will be back with painting supplies. This 12 acre garden had so much to look at and enjoy with sunny open areas, colorful seasonal flowers, a child's size privet hedge maze, woodlands, shady areas, woodlands, ponds, rocky brooks. They were preparing for a Halloween spooky walk which was fun to see.


The Princes with spooky stuff hanging in the trees

Mindful of my charge, I didn't take too many photos as I would have had I been all alone. We walked along paths that lead in and out of the different gardens. As we walked through the woodland pond area with tall trees we could smell evergreen pines and tried to breathe it in deep.

A restful spot overlooking a pond
Walking out of the woods, we found a sunny pond area bench where we had lunch. Both of us were happy to enjoy the lovely, late fall day outside in this beautiful, quiet place.

So it isn't the beach. I'll be painting here one day soon.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Enemy Within

Resistance is Implacable

Resistance is like the Alien, or the Terminator, or the shark in Jaws. It cannot be reasoned with. It understand nothing but power. It is an engine of destruction, programmed from the factory with one object only: to prevent us from doing our work. Resistance is implacable, intractable, indefatigable. Reduce it to a single cell and that cell will continue to attack. 
This is Resistance's nature. It's all it knows.
The War of Art, Steven Pressfield

im·plac·a·ble
adjectivenot to be appeased, mollified, or pacified; inexorable: an implacable enemy 
 [im-plak-uh-buhl, -pley-kuh-]



Red Leaf ©Dora Sislian Themelis, Watercolor on Canson paper

Yes, I had to look up the word "implacable." Mr. Resistance is that word and every one of it's meanings. It's an enemy, a foe, an army bent on destruction.

No wonder I can't get any work done around here.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Where Inspiration Comes From

All this web based business stuff is giving me a big headache. It's hard enough to keep pushing away resistance, and now I've made life tougher by trying to decide on my next cyber move: Paid web hosting vs free hosting. I played around with the free site thing and have concluded I might as well use the more professional looking paid site because free is just as much work. I'm websited out.

Can't I get a break and just paint?  I did start another painting though, and even had a second session. Working the next watercolor work on large paper, with a large brush, is having a calming effect.

And if you want to have a good laugh, guess where my inspiration to get down to work came from? It didn't come from the obvious source: reading The War of Art. 

A two year old's work and my sketch of her while she paints

To be perfectly honest, it came from watching my 2 year old granddaughter paint. That kid is funny. She demands the "colors" and I have to oblige. I've shown her how to dip her brush in water, then on the watercolor cake I had from years ago, then to the paper. She's a pro now, and paints with such abandon, it's infectious. I love it! 


Next painting

Session 2
This was such a productive day. Two different sessions of working and I was trying some new ideas in applying the paint. While the work was drying I was on such a roll that I made two bracelets at  my work table. Thanks to my grandbaby, the real artist.

When the motivation is there, and the brain works it's a good thing, as long as it doesn't blow up, like computers.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Thought for Thursday

"I have a theory about the human mind. A brain is a lot like a computer. It will only take so many facts, and then it will go on overload and blow up."~Erma Bombeck

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

It's Not You, It's Me

Welcome to the wonderful world of Resistance, where it's all your fault. No, it has absolutely nothing to do with me, of course.

Ahem. 

Mid-Morning ©Dora Sislian Themelis, Watercolor on Canson paper


RESISTANCE IS INTERNAL
Resistance seems to come from outside outselves. We locate it in spouses, jobs, bosses, kids. 'Peripheral opponents,' as Pat Riley used to say when he coached the Los Angeles Lakers.
Resistance is not a peripheral opponent. Resistance arises from within. It is self-generated and self-perpetuated.
Resistance is the enemy within.                                  

Steven Pressfield, The War of Art
 
Well, obviously, it's about me, us, the artist, the whoever wants to get anything important done. I know this all too well. It's the old story where we blame everything under the sun as to why things don't happen: the laundry, the kids, housework, the garden. I'm sure you can think up quite a few others.

Busy is the code word for Resistance. And it's interesting how 'busy' we can get when we're supposed to be working.

As I go along in this life I think the side of me that hates having Mr. Resistance over stay his not-so-welcome welcome is gaining the upper hand. "His" visits have become shorter.

Right now I'm blaming my none painting on mat board. Yes, that's right, mat board, or my lack thereof. If I had more mat board I could finish matting the paintings I have waiting and clear my desk so I could paint.

Yeah, right.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Dilemma

It never fails to amaze me how I can do such a good job of Not working. Just amazing. I thought for sure I'd get something done the last couple of days. Did I? I did not. Slacker. 

I sure do talk a good one, though, don't I?


Shells ©2012 Dora Sislian Themelis
Watercolor on Arches


Maybe Julia Cameron was right? In her book The Artist's Way, she says Don't Read. You know what happens when the brain hears the words "don't read"? The brain doesn't hear it the way we think it will. The brain hears only the word 'read' totally ignoring the 'don't' part.

And what happens? I end up reading everything I get my hands on.

The moral of the story is reading leads to Not Working. Did you get that? I'm doing all kinds of reading: newspapers, email, blogs, junk, among the how to break through resistance. Isn't that nice? Reading about moving past resistance, instead of just moving past resistance.

It's a dilemma.


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Mr. Resistance, Why Are You Still Here?

Resistance is Invisible
Resistance cannot be seen, touched, heard, or smelled. But it can be felt. We experience it as an energy field radiating from a work-in-protential. It's a repelling force. It's negative. Its aim is to shove us away, distract us, prevent us from doing our work. ~Steven Pressfield, The War of Art
In an effort to help my art making persuade Mr. Resistance to think it was his idea to cut short his stay, I've started re-reading Steven Pressfield's book, The War of Art, as I mentioned in my latest posts.


Julia Cameron, in her book The Artist's Way, says we should NOT read. Where do you go with conflicting thoughts on this subject? 

I read. Sorry. Right now I need a kick in the pants, again, so I'm reading.

And since I'm reading, and obviously this is a sore subject for many of us artists, some of my yapping could help you, as one of my wonderful readers commented on it. 

Hey, we've all been there, and done that at one time or another. Every now and then, we all need to be kicked in the pants.

I talked about this book in posts a while ago, when I started reading it, and felt really good afterwards. Even recently, I had an adrenalin rush after reading it and immediately picked up my stuff and went to work. 

The War of Art is easy to read, consisting of short blurbs of information, titled to grab your attention quickly, like the one at the start of my post. 

So easy, though, that you might think you can just scan and move on, but that would be a mistake. This is my only criticism, because I scanned a few, got my fix, and shortly after stopped reading. 

Here I am again, back at the beginning. Will it become a weekly post as I did while I read The Artist's Way? It would be nice, but don't hold me to it. 

I'm Artist A.D.D. like that. But I'll try.

I'll tell you, one thing, Steven Pressfield knows what he's talking about, and says it in such a way that you recognize the Resistance thing right off the bat. He speaks my language, anyway. 

So here's my call to action: What helps you boot Mr. Resistance out the door? 

I would love to see your comments. In the meanwhile, I'll be reading, and hopefully, painting.


Sunday, September 30, 2012

Resistance is a Killer

Resistance is a funny thing. Funny as in, not so funny. Funny as in, a killer. A killer of motivation, inspiration, the feeling of wanting to do something and the non-energy to move. 

Yeah. Resistance is all that. Back to the proverbial drawing board, as they say.

The point is in the process. Paint something! Good, bad, whatever. Just do it. Sit down, get something on paper, never mind what we think about the 'something'. The point is to work. 

Yes, I know all that. So why is it so hard to actually DO it? Don't ask me. I decided to go back to reading The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. Strangely enough, after I had re-read the first chapter, I felt empowered enough to paint. Even if it meant what I painted was dumb. Even if the outcome was sub-par, I did it.

I put down the book, gathered my stuff and headed outside to the front garden. The summer blooms have faded. All that's left are the seed heads of the pink daisies and other perennials, although the asters are just starting their fall show of periwinkle blue.



Mixing colors to try for periwinkle wasn't working so I did my best, adding color where I felt it needed to go, then I stopped. Remember, it could go to trash quickly if I don't stop myself.

Finding time this weekend, I went back and added some detail. Whatever I think about this work I will keep to myself. Do the seed heads really need to look like the real thing? Not really. I just wanted to paint with color for a breezy feeling, hoping the process would take me there.


Seed Heads ©2012 Dora Sislian Themelis
14x20 Watercolor, Arches cold press paper

The paper was dry and it was easy to add strokes of paint to areas I thought needed it.  Am I happy with it? Eh, let's just say I'm glad I got something on paper.

Did it. Done.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thought for Thursday

People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing – that's why we recommend it daily. (Zig Ziglar)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Itchy for a Getaway to Somewhere

Did you ever get that itchy feeling you want to do something, but not sure what that something is? Go somewhere, see something, enjoy the scenery..something?

There is something about a free day, with a warm sun that says "get going somewhere" to me.

Lately it's been a wonderful habit of mine to run down to the beach when I get that getaway feeling. So what that it's September, or October. Just me, my chair, a book, food, iced coffee, and my travel watercolor paint set. If I wait too long to decide, like by 1PM, I might not bother. Even noon could be too late for me. I like to go, spend an hour or so and return.

Then there's the other people. If I tell someone I feel like going to the beach they might say something that makes me think it's not a good idea. I think it's great, others think it's weird. Some others like it.

Eisenhower Park, Westbury, NY
Well, I say it's my time to recharge, re-motivate, reinvigorate, have an hour vacation, and possibly paint. So, what's the problem?

Maybe people think it's kind of anti-social to want to be alone. I think it's my time and I need to spend it in a place out in nature that makes me feel good, and helps my art brain to shut up and be quiet. No big thing to it.

Last week, with a clear sky above and the hot sun feeling really good on my face, I wanted to jump in the car and head to the beach. But. All those "buts" started coming my way. The time was passing, I wasn't ready, and I started feeling funny about bothering. Should I go? Should I stay?

Back and forth I tossed the thought around in my head. If I go, should I wear clothes or will I be boiling? Wear a bathing suit, or will I be freezing?

At the Park @2012 Dora Sislian Themelis
5x7 Watercolor, Canson paper
When I finally decided I had to go somewhere and stop thinking so much, it was even closer than the beach, to Eisenhower Park. It has wide open spaces where I could plop myself in my chair and do the same things I would if I was at the beach, minus the bathing suit.

And man, was it hot. So hot, I thought I should've just gone to the beach, in my bathing suit.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Thought for Thursday

"Spaghetti can be eaten most successfully if you inhale it like a vacuum cleaner." ~Sophia Loren

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

How to Cut a Mat for Your Artwork, the Easy Way

There's no strange science to cutting a mat for your artwork. Even for those of us who are mathematically challenged, I raise my hand here, it's really not complicated in that regard. If my Artist Attention Deficit Disorder brain can handle it, so can yours.

Here you can see I've gathered my tools: T-square, triangle, straight-edge ruler, masking tape, pencil, kneaded eraser, and the dreaded one edged razor blade. Ta Da!


Usually I try to cut a mat to fit into a standard frame size. It just makes it easier for me, or a buyer, to find a frame. I also want the mat to have 1 1/2" to 2" of border around the work. If the art is a weird size I might make the lower edged border slightly larger than the top edge.

Again, this is just pleasing to the eye. I measure my art, decide where I want the mat placed and look for the border size I want. Easy. Is there a lot of math involved? Nope.

It's hard to see in this photo, but I measured the area I planned to cut out of the board and penciled in guide lines. Then I squared up with my straight edged tools and ready to cut the bevel.


Holding the razor at an angle, I begin at the left hand corner of the border and rest against the T-square. With a new blade you can cut right across in one try, keeping the angle for the bevel, and stop right at the right corner at the next pencil line. 

Control is important because the mat looks bad if there are cross cuts. And you don't want to keep going over the line you just cut because doing that can get nasty. No one wants to see scraggly strands of paper, or unevenly cut lines on a mat. Fresh, sharp blades always.


Having cut three sides of the opening, you can see a little bit of the bevel. Those lines visible at the corners are just pencil. I'll erase them when I'm finished cutting. Just to backtrack for a second, I do turn the mat around and square up to cut each side.


And Voila! The mat is cut. How nice is that bevel, huh? Nice, right? Yeah.


After I clean up the tiny bits of paper in the corners with a careful cut of the razor, I erase my pencil marks. I position my artwork where I want it to show, fix it with a bit of masking tape, then add neat tape to it. I snip off the tape with my razor leaving a clean edge all around.


Here I'm erasing my pencil lines.


Can you see the bevel on the lower edge and some of the corner? Nice, right? Boom!



The bevel catches the light, if done right, and makes the work look finished. Framed it would look even better.


And there you have it. No secrets. No crazy calculations. Just some simple numbers, a steady hand, and a sharp razor. Get some nice, white mat board, flat or with a little texture, and try it. Not hard at all. 

When you find out what they charge to do this for you, believe me, you'll figure out how to do it yourself quick.


Monday, September 17, 2012

Time to Cut More Mats

Cleaning up in the studio can sometimes lead to actually working in the studio. And I had high hopes of beating Mr. Resistance while in the middle of this chore. Alas, it didn't work that way this time.

However, I did come to one conclusion: paintings on paper need a mat.



There is something about matting a work that says "Finished." A mat lends a neat look to a painting, much like framing does. The two together, a mat with a frame, is preferable. But even the mat alone cleans up the work and gives it some room to breathe.

Besides, the work won't flop over when being shown at those shopping events.

In the photo above, you can see how my watercolor paintings look with and without mats. Those with look nice, clean, and professional. Yes, the paintings without a mat are wonderful, but I think they will display a better appearance with that bit of frame.

So, in an effort to argue with Mr. Resistance to stop visiting, I took a small step toward working.

Matting is working. I may be going old school by using a T-square, triangle, and a razor blade, but it's fine with me. A few mats a day won't hurt. Paying a framer hurts. Buying a mat cutting device hurts.

Anyway, I can cut a mean bevel with my bare hands.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Thought for Thursday

     “The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work.”  ~Emile Zola

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Eleven Years

It's disturbing to think eleven years have passed since those terrible men murdered almost three thousand regular people doing regular, every day things. And the families the lost left behind. And the people who worked to find survivors who are fighting illnesses now. The passage of time dulls pain somewhat, but not completely. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that this day never becomes a national holiday. Guaranteed it will be forgotten and used as an excuse to have a barbecue, go away on vacation, and eventually moved to make a three day weekend. No thanks.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Fashion's Night Out with Art

It's been a busy couple of weeks here. Between trying to track down inspiration for new work, the end of the summer, and planning for the shopping event, I had no time for my requisite peace and quiet. Too much noise going on up inside my head.

Maybe it's the excitement of doing something new? You think? But I have to admit that all the things I've been learning about marketing my work over the past year helped me a great deal. Steps have already been put in place. It was just a matter of getting to the venue and trying it out. Not knowing what to expect is the only thing that made me a little anxious.

All was for nought. Look! They even put out the red carpet for me! Just kidding, it was Fashion's Night Out Shopping Event. There were artists, fashion designers, jewelry vendors, chocolatiers, a DJ, food and drinks.


Of course, I was early. When we entered the space we saw a wall space opposite the bar that I was going to hang my art and a table for my jewelry and notecards. The organizers asked me if I would extend all the way over the DJ's booth with my paintings. Hey, why not? I had enough with me.


Well, watercolor paintings pack flat if not framed so I packed up my portfolio with things I thought people might like. And they did like my work, but I didn't sell any paintings. But I did sell a couple of jewelry pieces, so that was fun.


 There was a nice vibe at the venue. My family came to see me there. They even shopped the other vendors. The music was good and so was the food. We had a fun night, and I got to show my work another time. Every event I guess it gets easier.

I'll be looking forward to the next one. Now I've got to get back to work.


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Thought for Thursday

"Most people are so busy knocking themselves out trying to do everything they think they should do, they never get around to what they want to do." --Kathleen Winsor

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thought for Thursday

"There's a secret that real writers know that wannabe writers don't and the secret is this: It's not the writing part that's hard. What's hard is sitting down to write. What keeps us from sitting down is Resistance." ~Steven Pressfield

Monday, August 27, 2012

Lost Motivation and Finding a Way Around Resistance

Over the weekend I read a post somewhere online about fighting with Resistance.

Yes, my favorite topic.

The writer, whom I can't remember so I apologize, wrote something like "When you are in pain, make great art. You have no money, make great art. You lost your best friend, make great art." Sounds like a plan. Right?

Okay. It's time to revisit a book about the subject, The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield.

Before I continue I need to share. Today I attended church services for a favorite saint, St. Phanourios. People pray to him for help in finding lost things. To return the favor and thank him for his help, parishioners bring a special baked cake to share with everyone after the service.

Original icon of St. Phanourios of Rhodes
©OrthodoxWiki

I can't find plenty of things throughout the year, so I baked the cake, grateful for the saint's help. But right now I need to ask him to help me find a way to avoid Resistance.

Nothing helps me better than reading a good book about a topic, so with the urge I took for a nudge from St. Phanourios, I opened The War of Art and started to read it.

Again.

The author lists things that bring up Resistance, like any diet or health regimen, any calling, education of any kind, any kind of courage, any enterprise, etc. Pressfield describes Resistance and it's characteristics with short, pithy paragraphs, with biting titles.

This one stuck with me as I read:

 Resistance is Insidious 
"Resistance will tell you anything to keep you from doing your work. It will perjure, fabricate, falsify; seduce, bully, cajole. resistance is protean. It will assume any form, if that's what it takes to deceive you, it will reason with you like a lawyer or jam a nine-millimeter in your face like a stickup man. Resistance has no conscience. It will pledge anything to get a realm then double-cross you as soon as your back is turned. If you take Resistance at it's word, you deserve everything you get. resistance is always lying and always full of crap." pg. 9

 Ooph! I felt that kick in the butt. Thank you, St. Phanourios. It could be just what I was looking for.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Quiet in the Garden

Spending the good weather in the garden is a good thing. Butterflies, flower blossoms, and quiet calms the mind. Mine does a lot of talking. It just won't shut up. Too much noise up in there for my liking. But the garden helps.



Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thought for Thursday

"Don't pay any attention to what they write about you. Just measure it in inches."~Andy Warhol

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Just Butterflies

As I was writing the Morning Pages in my backyard garden, trying to figure out why inspiration has been fleeting this summer, I noticed a lot of things flying around. Hoping they weren't some scary buzzing things, I sneaked a peek at the shadows.

What do you think? More than six butterflies were fluttering around my garden and on the butterfly bush. Yes, I guess the name of the flowering thing fits. They were all over it.


I grabbed my camera, and tried to get close not to disturb them, so I could take some shots. It was hard to show just how many of them there were between the foliage and the sunlight. 


It was early in the morning, my favorite time of day. Quiet, with the sun sending out it's rays and warming the air, glistening the moisture on the flowers. 

No kids yelling, no lawn mowers, no construction guys, garbage men. Just butterflies. 

Perfect.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

If Monet Could do it, I Can Too, Sort of

Is it me or is the summer over already? Resistance has a way of leading you down a road, and leaving you there all by yourself to figure things out. He has a way of being cruel like that. 

And now August is near it's end. What do we have to show for it? A tan? A couple of half hearted attempts at attaining the 100 paintings we're supposed to be working on over here? 

Nuts, I say. Rats to that. 

So in the meanwhile, while I try to pull my artist self out of the rabbit hole, I painted this small marigold photo I had in my stash. Yes, I've painted this before much larger, but, whatever, there it is, again.

Small Marigold ©2012 Dora Sislian Themelis
9x12 Watercolor Arches cold press paper
If Monet could paint a scene over and over again, so can I. And I'm sticking to that.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Thought for Thursday

"You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you are going, because you might not get there." ~Yogi Berra Don't you just love Yogi?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Where's the Inspiration When You Need it?

Little did I know how much painting inspiration I was going to get out of that vegetable share I did last year. Why didn't I think of it as an investment in my artwork this season? What was I thinking when I decided not to bother doing it again, only because I wasn't thrilled with the selection of the produce, for eating anyway?

Every week I dragged myself across Long Island to pick up my haul and dreaded what kind of crazy leafy greens I would find, only to get so excited by all the shapes and color that I photographed everything. And then I created artwork of it all. All my complaining about painting from life rather than my photos, were dashed with the veggie awakening. 

Rooftop Scene ©2012 Dora Sislian Themelis
9x12 Watercolor, Arches cold press paper
Now look at me! I can't find anything to get excited about painting. Okay, a landscape here and there, flowers in the garden, but nothing like last summer's work.

What a drag.

So here I am, painting this and that, and making more jewelry. It's fine. I've made a commitment to a one night shopping venue the first week of September so I may as well add to my inventory.

Greek and Turkish beads with waxed cotton cord

Greek and Turkish beads with waxed cotton cord

Long bead bracelet on the wrist

The colors and shapes are interesting. I'm trying to put a positive spin on my trysts with Mr. Resistance. Not so sure it's working for me.