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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Develop the “Moleskine” Habit – an Endless Supply of Ideas!

"Namesake" 24 x 18 acrylic on canvas
Why these flowers were ever called “Tiger” Lily in the first place I was unable to discover. Since they're covered with brown spots, why not Leopard Lily? I got so caught up in thinking about this I wanted to do a painting called “Namesake” and dedicate it to a ferocious tiger.

The stamens on the lily look somewhat like fangs and the tawny color of a tiger certainly blends nicely with the orange lily’s unusual curled back petals. The drawback was that the flowers are small when compared to a tiger or even a tiger’s head. With my head full of sparks and a passion to paint, I took brush in hand and had a blast with this flamboyant portrait.

This is how creation happens. We go from point A to point B which opens up a kaleidoscope of options and threads. My advice: never let a brain flash get away! Even the start of an idea deserves at least some space on paper to nail it down.

"Namesake work in progress" The first laydown of paint to canvas."
I’m a big fan of those delightfully small “Moleskine” books for jotting down inspiration or sketches.  I save every tiny binder! I review my notes from time to time to make sure there are no "big fish that got away." When one fresh idea is used, either in a blog or a painting, I draw a faint line diagonally through it and put “ok.”

Personal anecdotes also become a part of the history. I wrote this down when my husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer: “Today is Dick’s CT scan. We watch people come and go. Some are pale and sick looking; I suspect the results of Chemo.

“Unexpectedly, a friend from church comes in and sits nearby. He’s having a scan before undergoing surgery on his nose. Skin cancer is a common problem in our sunshine state. It appears that almost everyone with a diagnosis of cancer undergoes a scan to be sure the cancer hasn’t spread to other parts of the body.

“You can see the fear and concern written on people’s faces. Somehow you never think it’s going to happen to you or someone you love.

"Namesake work in progress -- placing the flowers"
“Dick doesn’t need me to be here with him nor at every appointment; but I know if I were in his shoes, I'd want him to be with me. It’s a question of support; a show of love and empathy. We will get through this together. I wouldn’t want it any other way.”

Thankfully, my husband’s cancer had not metastasized. After 45 radiation treatments and many follow up appointments, he has stayed cancer free for the past three years. The following notation in my Moleskine kept me on track: “Don’t worry about bad things that haven’t happened yet. It will save you a lot of anxiety.” This quote was taken from a novel I read called “The Shoemaker’s Wife.” 

Committing your ideas and meaningful quotes and information to paper is a lifelong habit that will provide a lifetime of inspiration. If you haven’t developed the habit yet, it’s never too late to start!
"Flash Dance" 16 x 20 oil on canvas