Monday, April 15, 2013


Is procrastination resistance? You betcha!

And as such, I finally migrated this blog that has been so good to me over the time I've been here.
I agonized over how to do it, and when I did, it was seamless.

All you lovely readers, encouraging commenters, and wonderful fans, I invite you to please travel with me to the new blog/website. It could be a bumpy ride until I learn the new lingo there, but hey, it's an adventure we can have together. And the scenic route is always prettier.

The coffee is still hot there, too.

Note: Please hover over the "very interesting" question above, click and you will be transported to my new blog space and website where I yap about art, life, and fitting it all in.

If the link doesn't highlight for you to click, please copy and paste this in your browser:
Visit Dora Sislian Themelis Art and  the Coffee And Paint Drips blog is there in all it's "glory."

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The War of Art and the Wow

Yes, wow and The War of Art in the same sentence! I know you will want to know why and I’m about to explain. As you’ve noticed, I’ve been re-reading The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, to get my mojo back in action. It’s not an easy thing to push aside resistance and overwhelm. It’s the bane of an artist’s life. Mr. Resistance drops by with Mrs. Overwhelm and they end up having a party at my place without my permission. They’re lousy house guests, too, leaving all manner of distress in my house.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Greek Independence Day Parade

This weekend was a great break from the usual for me. The Greek Independence Day was held yesterday and as usual I participated by marching with the dance group we belong to. 

See you on the flip side where I've posted a couple of photos of the event.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Back to The War of Art

If it's Tuesday, it's back to The War of Art! And boy do I need the kick in the pants this book gives me whenever I open it's pages. Mr. Resistance is having his way with me...

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Fear as Resistance

“Resistance has no strength of its own. Every ounce of juice it possesses comes from us. We feed it with power by our fear of it. Master that fear and we conquer Resistance.”
from The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Thought for Thursday

“I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.” -Alice in Wonderland

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Finished Work!

Finished products are amazing things, let me tell you. Some how the work gets done as I am in that hazy fog of creativity. Then I blink and Voila! finished products. It’s hard to explain, but, there you have it.
Two finished paintings, another started, and two finished jewelry pieces are the result of that working haze. You already saw the finally finished work in a previous post. The second piece is a smaller work I started and finished immediately before I moved onto the painting I was avoiding. It helped to have one work done to spur me on...

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Thought for Thursday

” Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself” – Charlie Chaplin

Please visit my new site at Dora Sislian Themelis Art

Monday, March 11, 2013

Finally A Finished Product

The painting was patiently waiting for me to return to the studio to finish it. And now it's done. I added more color and dimension and called it quits. This photo does not do it justice. The background is not as green as it seems here. There's ochre and blue, burnt sienna and umber, but okay. 

More importantly, it is a finished work.

Flower Shadows, 18x24 Watercolor
©2013 Dora Sislian Themelis

What's a little bit more exciting is that I also started and finished another smaller painting on the same day as this was finished. While this was drying, I designed and finished two new necklaces. Let me say that I was on a roll that day. Making the decision to work, having it become a commitment to working, caused productivity. Heady stuff.

Also exciting, on my end anyway, is my new venture. I've been working on a new blog/website platform on Wordpress and it has been a struggle. However, it's a clean, neat look and still needs decorating. Just like new diggs, decorating takes time.

Please drop in over there and visit. I've written a little more about this painting, with a few views of the different sessions it took to get to the finished product. I'm a newbie over there, but I'd love it if you commented and let me know what you think.

Visit the new site here Dora Sislian Themelis Art

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Thought for Thursday

“As an artist, I do not need to be rich but I do need to be richly supported. I cannot allow my emotional and intellectual life to stagnate or the work will show it. My life will show it. My temperament will show it. If I don’t create, I get crabby.” ~Julia Cameron, The Artist's Way

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Decision Equals Commitment

Information sometimes comes at the wrong time. The brain is not ready to accept certain ideas, facts, data and the like. However, the information presented is digested and the time eventually comes when we need to make a decision. The decision, then, becomes our responsibility. Decisions lead to action.

Trail ©2012 Dora Sislian Themelis

Recently I had a choice to make on another online program. Take the course, or don't take the course. The course would have been beneficial in that I would not learn anything business-wise any where else, given the fact that I am not going back to school. Please, not at this stage in the game, and not for business.

The deciding factor was finances. This course was pricey. Okay, I would learn things I didn't know, but the question hung on me: Would the cost translate into actionable usage? Would it benefit me in ways I would see in concrete form. Or, would it benefit me in time, with more help, needing more learning? I just couldn't justify the price at this point. With plenty of other ways of getting information at my fingertips right now, I passed on the course. Next time around I'll rethink it.

Someone would be making money, not necessarily me. For now I'll just Google whatever I need to know.

But the course presenter sent out a free and informative video workshop with good thoughts on moving ahead and making things happen. A big take away for me was the idea that we need to make a decision first, and that decision, what ever it might be, is a commitment. Once we make a commitment, we take action.

"Once we take action, the Universe bends to support you," the presenter emphasized. That statement struck me, reminding me of the book I read a while ago The Science of Getting Rich, by Wallace Wattles, from 1908, I think.

I get that. Making decisions is like saying there's no B.S. now, you've got to get things done. Take charge. Act. Be a doer. Push it. Do it.

Having made the decision to move the blog, I've taken action and responsibility. When it's ready I will send you over there to take a look, but not until I figure it out with "Mr. Google."

Making the commitment was the easy part. Kicking out Mr. Resistance is the hard part.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Eventually I'll Figure This Out

Knit Baby Hat
As I pull my hair out of my head by developing a new website/blog I have resorted to double posting. How wonderful is that? Um, it's not. I have never been more flabbergasted by the steepest learning curve I have come across since geometry in high school. Man, it's difficult.

However, knitting has been happening. Painting? I can't right now. I think I might have to change that up soon too. Oil paints have been calling me and I might oblige, if Mr. Resistance will let me.

This baby hat was knit in one sitting, while sort of watching television one night. Soon as it was finished I started another one, same pretty color in this lovely wool yarn. I love how the stitches look all nice and neat and together. Happy me.

So yeah, WordPress. Crazy people think it's so easy to develop yourself, so professional looking. Well, okay, it's professional, clean, neat, crisp, if you find the right theme to work with. Then there are the plugins, the widgets, the menus, the categories. Ugh, like I said, there's a lot to learn language wise.

So, here I am, blogging over here, and, blogging over there. How I am going to move this blog over to that blog I have no clue.

I guess I'll figure that one out, eventually.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Thought for Thursday

"I am definitely going to take a course on time management… just as soon as I can work it into my schedule."~Louis E. Boone

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Resistance Likes Painting, Not Knitting

The thing about resistance is that it has a life of it's own. Mr. Resistance is not a nice entity and can waylay one's ambitions just as surely as the sun rising and setting each day. 

In other words, it/he/whatever is powerful. And some days it's just easier to let resistance have it's way.

The Big Rib Cowl

However, knitting is happening here. Lots of knitting these quick big knits have been flying off my needles. That Mr. Resistance just likes painting right now, I guess.

Last week I participated in another shopping event. I brought the same wares: paintings, notecards of paintings, jewelry, and hand knitting. Everyone was very positive about all of my work. I met some very interesting people and had some wonderful conversations. One baby bracelet sold the whole night.

Most of us vendors enjoy meeting each other, looking at our wares, and doing some shopping ourselves! It's a nice evening out. Even nicer if pieces sell. Overall, it's good exposure, good practice speaking about my work, and the work gets out there in public.

But these cowls I've been knitting have become a popular item. I've sold quite a few so far.

Right away the colors are strong, just how I like it. The pattern is big. I like that too. There's a little sparkle. Also nice.

So, okay, maybe the paintings aren't moving as well as the knitting, and some jewelry designs. But the plus side is that if I sell some knitting I get to buy art supplies.

I should only paint.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Resistance Means Just Do It

There is no time for painting. There is no time for jewelry designing. There really isn't even time for knitting, but somehow that is the only thing I've taken time out for. Imagine that?

Paintings for the shopping event on Thursday
Resistance is such a hard thing to push aside. It's my number one issue, and the one I was making headway with the past few years.

It's been said that the thing we avoid doing is exactly the thing we must drive into full force. Every book or article I have read on the subject says this and that about that. Artist's block, resistance, distraction, overwhelm, it's all the same: avoidance of the important stuff. Soon as there's a to-do list, you can be sure we will try to get around doing the things listed.

Ok, that's my story, and I'll stick to it for now.

I have been avoiding developing my own website/blog on another platform than this one. Just deciding on a domain name was hard enough, but it's taken me until now to finally make that live with hosting. All the how, where, when, why, what you can think of and I've been there.

So now I've taken the leap of faith and I did it. What next? Developing the site takes time. Eventually I'll be okay with what I have and let it go live.

It's a brave thing to step out of your comfort zone. But if other artists can do it, I should be able to do it too. All that marketing stuff I've been studying will eventually pay off.

Meanwhile, this week I'm participating in another shopping event nearby. I'll bring some paintings, some jewelry, and some hand knit items and not every piece I own either.

After that, maybe I can get back to painting something new. If I can stay away from the computer and the website stuff.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Thought for Thursday

“You may wonder which came first: the skill or the hard work. But that's a moot point. The Zen master cleans his own studio. So should you.” ~Twyla Tharp

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Art Language is Easy, Computer Language, Not so Much

Navigating to a new blogging platform is becoming a "thing." There's new language to learn, first off, and working is ridiculously difficult if you speak English and "they" speak Swahili, if you catch my drift.

Greek Dish, 9x10 Watercolor ©Dora Sislian Themelis

Managing this present blog is easy. However, the look of the new site is much nicer, and a bit more professional. If I could figure it out I'd be golden. It's going to take some time. Learning a new language isn't as easy as they say it is.

The language of art comes naturally to me. Thank goodness, or I'd be toast. The vocabulary I need to learn are the words that will kick out Mr. Resistance from my space.

Now that's a tough cookie.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Knitting my Way Out

Painting is just not happening here, guys. Mr. Resistance and Mrs. Distraction, yes I decided distraction is female, have taken up spots on the couch and aren't even thinking of leaving soon.

So I'm knitting.

Big Rib Hand Knit Cowl ©Dora Sislian Themelis
Well, not just knitting, but photographing the finished products, and uploading them to my Etsy shop. You're welcome to go and browse, if you like. No pressure to shop, don't worry.

Besides knitting, I'm working on a new project. I've taken the plunge and ordered my own domain name. Yeah, now I'm a "dot com." Don't ask too many questions, because I really don't have many answers. Seems it's the thing to do, but Man, is it a difficult trek through uncharted waters.

Learning curve is steep, deep, thick, and hard work.

In "dot com" land the language isn't English. Yes, I read the explanation of whatever, it seems to make sense, but the words do not mean the thing I'm thinking they mean. And no where is there any idea what they are talking about. 


Like I said, don't ask. A friend said she's going to find a Wordpress for Dummies book. Sounds like a good idea to me. 

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Thought for Thursday

"I have a mind like a steel trap. Stuff gets in there and WHAM! it never gets back out again."~Bill Austin

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Resistance, Distraction, Unbearable, Oh My

Resistance is in full swing here this winter. Coming out of this one is going to be like wrestling with spaghetti: messy. "Doing" was a good idea, but doesn't look like one that's going to get a lot of traction. 

Apples on Cloth, Watercolor,  9x10 @Dora Sislian Themelis

Goals? Resolutions? Doing? All a distraction from actually working on anything.

It's the end of January already. Is this what the year ahead is going to look like? If so, it's going to be a rough ride. Better buckle up.

Ground hogs, bears, and all manner of beast that hibernate through the winter have the right idea. Let's just sleep through the whole thing, and wake up when the sun is high in the sky making the weather bearable. I have had enough of winter.

However, Mr. Resistance likes to visit in nice weather, too.

Like I said, better buckle up. Mr. Resistance is very chummy with his good friend Mr. Distraction, and they like to get together often, it seems.

I am going to need ammunition, tools, plans. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Thought for Thursday

"If you want to conquer fear, don't sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy."~ Dale Carnegie

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Thought for Thursday

"Your art is vitally important, and what makes it art is that it is personal, important and fraught with the whiff of failure."~Seth Godin

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Doing, to Move On

In this new year of goals and objectives, I may be changing it up some. Maybe not completely. Not in my work, but in my approach to work. 

In earlier posts I told you how I don't do resolutions. I feel better about meeting a goal, but I ran across something someone else wrote and it changed my thinking. That person discussed setting aside resolutions, goals, etc, for Doing. 

"Doing" makes sense.

In Progress Work ©Dora Sislian Themelis

Now, I could be a big Not Doing person when I'm on a roll. I'm sure you must have guessed that by now, how I let Mr. Resistance take up residence here and mess up my mojo.

It's been a dilemma lately. My flow gets disrupted by whatever and I'm doomed.

So, when I read that Doing might be better than a goal it felt right. Doing, instead of Goals. Doing connotes Action in my mind. Maybe Action is also a good word.

In that context, here is my first "Action" in this year of "Doing". I may have decided I can no longer continue on this watercolor painting I stopped working when the hurricane hit Long Island. It's a possibility that I've been holding off because, in my mind, it's done.

Although, if I look at it too much longer I might want to add some brush strokes, but then again, maybe I'm over it.

Doing has to also mean Move On.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Last Minute Holiday Shopping Event

At the last minute I decided to throw my hat in the ring and participate in this holiday shopping event in Long Island City, NY. LIC is a neighborhood that is evolving and becoming very chic with trendy restaurants and shops, a stone's throw from Manhattan, but in the borough of Queens. The Museum of Modern Art re-located in the area a few years ago while the Manhattan location was under renovation, bringing awareness and people.

I liked the idea of showing my work in an art gallery space, and thought this would be a good opportunity. It was a nice event, with lovely co-vendors, organizer, and shoppers. People admired my handmade work and paintings, and I was lucky to sell a few pieces.

Ten10 Studios Carriage House, LIC, NY

My table of items

Close up of my items for sale

Another view of my table

The studio space

The highlight of the day for me was when a group of young brothers came to shop for Christmas gifts. One of them wanted to buy my watercolor painting of tomatoes for his grandmother. When he asked his mother for the money, she said to try finding something a little less expensive. Okay.

He then chose a colorful painting of a coffee pot, pepper, and sea shell. Imagine that? What boy decides to buy art as a Christmas gift? I was impressed.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Knitting Until I'm Dizzy

Even though I haven't returned to the painting I was working on when the hurricane hit, I have been very busy. So busy that I think I'm giving my hands carpal tunnel syndrome. 

I have been knitting my brains out. 

Knitting WIPs (Works In Progress)

Knitting Christmas gifts. Knitting to sell at the holiday shopping event. Knitting the Christmas gift after Christmas. Knitting items to sell at the next shopping event in February. Knitting, Knitting, Knitting!

I'd really like to show you the finished products, but Artist ADD me forgot to take photos of the items before gifting/selling them. 
  1. Here's what you see in this photo of some WIP on the needles and yarn of items already finished: Luscious purple yarn on the needles is a big rib chunky cowl thing I dreamed up. It's similar to the reddish knit above it, but bigger and with sparkly sequins. I gave a couple as gifts to family members and sold quite a few too. It's a great look with a hint of glam.
  2. Chocolate brown yarn with multi-colored flecks is a crochet work, an afghan I promised Son #2. With no time to finish it by Christmas, I just gave him a gift bag with the yarn in it. Of course, he looked at me as if I had two heads when he opened his "gift". 
  3. The two balls of yarn on the lower left are samples of big rib cowls already knit, and waiting for their turn on the needles.
There you have it. 

My habit is to paint/jewelry/house stuff during the working day, and knit at night in my cozy corner in the living room while The Mr. flips channels on the television. Perfect.

I have to learn to put away the knitting during the day. Just get it out of my sight because I could be lured to knit when I have other work to do. Not good. I could lose hours of precious painting time that way. 

And it seems as if I already have.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Thought for Thursday

"If you've heard this story before, don't stop me because I'd like to hear it again."~Groucho Marx

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A New Year

The new year has begun. The excitement of Christmas has passed. The baking, cooking, wrapping, decorating, celebrating, all finished. The anticipation of the new year's start is over, as well as the very first day of 2013. Hopes and wishes for good health and happiness extended to family and friends.

I'm not one to make resolutions like many people like to do at the new year. However, I do enjoy making lists of goals to accomplish.

A New Year  ©Dora Sislian Themelis


The word feels like a defeat from the start. We resolve to...something. As if we were delinquent, not up to par, and we need to get a slap on the wrist by resolving our bad behavior?

I'll pass on the resolution to be a better person thing.

I want to DO better. Meet a challenge. Cross items off a list. Feel a sense of accomplishment.

Goals are upward moving. So I'm making a list of goals to meet in the year ahead. The list evolves as I move along in time. Here's a start:

  • Walk every day
  • Start, and finish things
  • Schedule each day and block out hours of activity
  • Make better use of computer: web site, email list, contacts, etc
  • Continue working on art making
  • Participate in more events to show my work
  • Relax
  • Connect, network, smile
  • Expect abundance and be grateful

It's a beginning. As I said, the list can, and will, change.

Last year, some goals I planned to meet ended up being abandoned. Others I decided not to act on at all. A few I met with flying colors.

I have no expectations other than to review the list each day, each week, each month, and revise, cut, add, change.

Things are going well so far. Today I walked.

It's a start.