Lisa M Kirk
Artist and Facilitator

Love Letters to Creative Souls

(posted on 10 Sep 2013)

Hello and Happy Fall!

Thank you all for your patience! It has been a crazy but good Summer!

I love Fall although I will miss the warm Summer days. Fall always feels like my New Year…way more than Jan does. It feels like is time to look at where I am going. Am I on the path that feels right for me? Am I being true to my authentic self? Am I really listening to what I need for my own inner center and creative self?

This Summer was particularly busy for us. From the beginning of Aug until the beginning of Sept we have had non-stop visitors. Don’t get me wrong, I loved visiting with everyone and going to the river, beaches, wineries and all the other activities we did. I do have to say, though, I find it hard to keep my own center when everyone is about. I tend to lose myself in what everyone else is doing and follow along. How about you? How do you keep your internal center and compass when there are lots of distractions? So what did I learn from all of this?

Art and writing helps me to stay clear and grounded in myself. And, I have to admit, I did not get out to my studio or find my journal very much when everyone was here. I did take my 4 yr old niece out there to paint and play and that was fun! The part of the creative process that I find challenging while others are here is I like to be mostly in a quiet space, usually by myself to create, or in an environment with like-minded people. What kind of environment do you find supportive to your creative practice?

I always think I should just get out my sketchbook and draw, but I am shy about this, (yes, still) and so do not. However, my sister, Kendra, gave me this great book for my birthday this Summer, called Let’s Make Some Great Art by Marion Deuchars. We put it on the living room table and have been “playing” in it with visitors.

My favorite thing that happened with this book was with my Mom (Mom, hope you are OK with me telling this story?!). She visited here after my sister and I showed her the book and encouraged her to draw in it. She promptly told me she couldn’t draw ( you know I have heard this before). I said you don’t have to, just doodle. I opened up to a page with a few random triangles all attached and you were to continue the drawing. I found us a pen and pencil and I started drawing weird triangles and encouraged her to do so too. So next thing I know there she is making triangles too. However, she kept saying that mine were more interesting than hers (a value judgment) and I told her, not so…just different (remember our art is as different and unique as we each are). I explained how doodling is good for your brain. She then informed me she doodles all the time on when she is on the phone. Awesome (I hope you all doodle too?!) I told her to just take her pencil for a walk and see where it goes. So she kept at it. I left her drawing while I went to make dinner. Shortly after, I hear her call to me, “Look what I made! It turned it into a man made of triangles!” She was so pleased with herself and so was I for her continuing drawing, and overcoming those voices.

I love this little story because it can be applied to the bigger story of our lives. How, if we Just Keep Walking (just Keep on Creating), taking the Next Right Step (or in my Mom’s case, taking her pencil for a walk), and not giving in to those Voices of Judgement (yeah, they will be there, trying to undermine what you are doing), look where we can end up!! We can find ourselves in a place that is surprising and brings us pleasure. Moral of the story: Keep on Creating or Walking in your Life (despite the Voices) and Stretch Yourself Outside of Your Comfort Zone. I wonder where that might lead you this New Year?

So perhaps the other part of this story for me is learning to Allow Art to Happen Unexpectedly, even with people I don’t normally create with and that too can be fun and another way to keep the creative juices flowing.

If I had to pick one of my favorite experiences this Summer it would have to be this: Dancing. Yes, folks dancing can be creative too, especially with friends and family in your living room or hotel room! This story begins with my friend, Laurie, visiting. My hubby was away and one evening she and I started putting on music that transported us back to the old days. I kept turning the volume up. Next thing I know we are moving the coffee table out of the living room and dancing around singing and writhing to the music, dancing through the hall. Great way to let loose!

Then, there was the visit with my sister and her family. My husband has a huge record collection, so last year each of us picked from the collection 2-3 of our favorite records and sat and listened. This year, we did that except it ended up with Kendra and I getting up and dancing…we even had our own little band-- Kendra on air guitar and me on air drum (and a little guitar), with a lot of laughing and videos being taken by the husbands!!! We eventually got the hubbys up dancing too! And, did I mention I love dancing with my hubby?

Next dancing escapade happened in a hotel room when we were all away with my Mom. This time Mom joined. The funniest thing was Kendra, Mom and I dancing to “Kung Fu Fighting”!! Mom won the prize for her cute rendition complete with her own special clucking sounds, although Kendra kicked me and I fell over (laughing so hard)! I am not sure if I will still be in the family for telling these stories but aren’t families supposed to forgive you and don’t worry I am NOT posting videos. The thing you all may not know (I cannot believe I am telling you this) is I used to be a disco dancer in a former life. So, of course, my family fondly refers to me as the “Dancing Queen”. There are more stories that go with that life but I will not bore you with them here! Although, I did meet my husband in Ballroom Dancing class at UBC….

MORAL OF THE STORY: When you can’t paint, Dance! Or better yet (and we have been known to do this in the studio classes) DANCE AND PAINT at the same time!! Try it, I think you will like it…

Keep on Creating!

Kind Regards,