Shadows into the light

Shadow and light!

“In order to move from the realm of shadows into the light of creativity, shadow artists must learn to take themselves seriously. With gentle, deliberate effort, they must nurture their artist child. Creativity is play, but for shadow artists, learning to allow themselves to play is hard work!” The Artist’s Way p. 29.

The day has slipped by, it is very hot and humid, I have had a headache most of the day. Mostly likely sinus and a bit of social hangover. I know I have a bit of that every time I am amongst people for a length of time. Yesterday afternoon was spent with Radical Faerie Friends for food and general socializing. I offered to by the faerie bus driver since, the van seat at lest 6 if not more. So I picked the guys up at 13th and Walnut and proceeded out through Kelly Drive and to Germantown. The best part was connecting with an old friend who I had lost contact with in my moving around, and he recently friended me on Facebook and we had been trying to make time to meet up, so this was the moment.

The gang!

Lots of healthy as well as not so healthy food and snacks abounded, conversations were usually just surface stuff, leaning on the catching up with what everyone has been doing, etc.

I napped around noon time, was seeking to read my work for the day, and was off the dreaming in the sultry heat of the window fan. Life is quiet, email and even face book is rather dull, people are out having picnic’s etc.

My sister and bother-in-law had been out in the garden, we have been very late in prepping the veggie/herb garden this year. So for the past two days they have been cleaning it up, trimming things back, putting down some ground cover to keep the weeds down, planting a few veggies, most likely tomatoes and peppers, I saw parsley in the flat, some lettuses but it is way to late for those… I stayed out-of-the-way, I let them do their thing, and spend time together working on the land, getting touch with it and themselves. They both work and Jim has two jobs and works on Saturdays so he does not have a lot of time to be in touch with the earth in that way.

Pretty in blue

I notice that when I have been away from home in the city or even just in local area, stores etc I usually go for a walk in the wood. To reground myself. I really needed to do that last evening, it was 11:00 pm when I got home from the city, the dogs where well asleep, got up to give me attention but did not ask to go out, but out we went. Around the field, we disturbed the Owl who flew off in the darkness  to a safer spot in the trees. The night air was cool, and filled with the night creatures sounds, and twinkling lights of lightning bugs, I did not notice stars, they may have there, I don’t recall paying attention to the sky, later in the morning, the moon was shinning in my window into my face, getting a moon tan.

Chapter one of The Artist’s Way ask us to look for the shadows, to find the child, the artist child to learn to protect him or her and to allow the childish creative art work to be our practice, not to judge and to compare ourselves to other artist. “In recovering from our creative blocks, it is necessary to go gently and slowly. What we are after is the healing of old wounds–not the creation of new ones.”  Week 1 suggest. I is a great reminder of where I have been as well as where I wish to go.

We are also asked to look at our “core negative beliefs” which could be our blocks from family, friends, and society in general. Looking at the list, most seem so silly, that people would think these thoughts, about themselves and what it would mean to be an artist’s. Of course I have heard and experienced a few myself as I discovered my spiritual path. Such as “people will think I am crazy. My family will not like me.” I don’t want to give up the friends I have now, what if my work/art is not as good as others?” and the list could go on. Strange thing is I did not ever have these fears about my art, I knew intuitively that it was inherently that it was good, and I just had to  practice, look around me, study others work, learn to be comfortable with my camera, leaning photoshop, learning by making mistakes, learning by the desire to take a certain type of photograph. I joined groups and clubs, I exhibited, I tell everyone I see that I am a photographer, well usually the camera is hanging off my shoulder. I continue to do just that and on a bigger scale.

Which leads us into creating and our using the affirmations that are listed on pages 36-37: Yet there is one thing to do first while writing affirmations, is to listen to the censor and to learn to switch the language around a positive. Writing the line above about I intuitively knew my art was good, even from the beginning. Is a fairly egotistic statement from a person who never had a photography lesson in his life. My censor could have said, Sure  you are Jeff, but what are you taking photographs of? Sunsets and nature how challenging is that? Who do you think you are?’ Sorry to say I have not ever felt that way.

Thistle Buds

Last year when my work was rejected from the Juried Art Show in which one of my pieces just won second prize, I was disappointed, and confused, yet I used that rejection as a learning tool to figure out what I did or did not do correctly. And it was not the work it self, it was the product, the backing on the photographs that became unglued, bubbled up, they were unpresentable. I walked down the street to a framer I knew of and asked advise, and received it.

So to write an affirmation !”I, Jeff Stroud, am a brilliant and prolific photographer” Ten times is not all that difficult to do. Using the Creative Affirmations will allow me my artist to bloom even more so: “As I create and listen, I will be lead” Amen to that!

So I did not want to write today, my censor was saying, your too hot, you have a sinus headache, you don’t have anything to say, no one is reading these blogs anyway… etc! I am glad I did allow my artist brain to create this page, to allow the flow to move on down the stream of creativity!

Growth Question: Are you treating your Artist Child gently and allow him/her to play?

Mom & Dad Wedding Photo!

This photo I promised to submit once I found one I could photograph and crop to fit. This is Mom and Dad on their wedding day or their studio wedding photograph!

I am Love, Jeff

11 thoughts on “Shadows into the light”

  1. Jeff – This post is precisely what the doctor ordered. It’s about 30-minutes prior to the arrival of company — we’re having a small BBQ. I don’t get a “social hangover” (cool term, I’m going to use it sometime), but I do have to figure out dogs. We have three – only one poses an “issue.”

    Ours (all three) would gladly sit down next to you at the table and share from your plate. Willa (Irish Wolfhound) has the ability to step over any baby gate, and won’t tolerate being put behind a door (she’ll just chew through it). Outside you say? Have you ever heard an Irish Wolfhound bay non-stop for the length of a party?

    So what have I done? I went to the butcher and bought her one ginormous femur bone. I got smaller bones for each of the two smaller dogs as well (standard poodle and westie). Hopefully this will do the trick.

    Growth Question: Are you treating your Artist Child gently and allow him/her to play?

    Yes – It’s been a gentle day — no rushing allowed — and we’re having a small gathering.

    1. Laurie,
      I hope you had a pleasant Memorial Day with your guest and that the poochies behaved themselves…
      Writing this was just what I needed too!

      I am Love, Jeff

  2. Thanks for the thoughtful and reflective ideas.

    Am I feeling playful? Well just a little this weekend. We started our weekend with a wake on Friday and a funeral on Saturday. Kind of a downer this holiday weekend and yes I have a social hangover. Although I love to go to gatherings, I get to a saturation point and I have to leave!

    We had BBQ Chicken and <Corn on the Cob on Saturday and my boys golfed all weekend. I took the opportunity to rest and take it easy.

    Laurie- I think OREOZ would love your house….fresh bones!!

    Have a great weekend

  3. Hi, Jeff — I am glad you wrote “anyway” even though you did not feel like it; you have some wonderfully catchy phrases in there “dreaming in the sultry heat of the window fan” and, by the way, SOMEBODY is reading these blogs! I very much admire your willingness to walk through your words and come out on the other side. We always come out a little different, a little more self-knowing, when we let our words take us where we need to go.

    1. Barbara K.

      I am grateful that you read and comment regularly ! Writing the blog/pages is alway effective even when I don’t “feel” like it! Most likely even more so when I don’t feel it. Yes I am coming out the other side differently!

      I am Love, Jeff

  4. Hello Jeff,
    I am so very happy to have found you. Your journey and writings are an inspiration for me.
    I too am an artist of my own making. Just recently I was part of an artist group to exhibit our fine art painting at our local museum.
    The artists I am with are all very talented woman who bring years of experience and education to our artist painting group on Wed.
    They are all photo realistic painters. I on every other hand am not. Being self taught, learning from books and copying lessons of the Internet and mostly just painting intuitively I paint completely different.
    We each had the opportunity to paint 4 3′ x 3′ paintings, with each painting turned in I was offered to go through their photo’s for ideas! Their way of helping me come more focused.
    I stood tall and just kept painting my way. My paintings are conceptual, thought provoking and bold. Maybe not what you would hang in your living room, but certainly something you might talk about.
    I bring all this up because you have inspired me to go back to the Artist Way and look to see what I missed the first time. I think it was the confidence to not listen to other’s and do what they do, and truly believe in myself.
    “Don’t be less than you are: Someone fabulous!”
    Here is a slide show of our exhibit, I hope you enjoy the artwork.

    Be inspired,

    1. Jean,

      I thought I responded to your response? It seems it was lost in spam mode. I did visit your site and am thrilled that you had a great exhibit!
      Hopefully we will keep connected this way, since Gaia is no more and the Gaia Community site is just not my thing!

  5. Jeff I am another somebody that loves reading your post. I enjoy your sharing because it feels like we are having “a good visit” where I deeply listen and on occasion nod to myself and you because I recognize what a “social hangover” is in spades. I can feel the night air and imagine the owl taking flight. I in awe of “pretty in blue” and patient about waiting for the thistle buds to open. My isolation lessons through the line after line about your day.

    Growth Question: Are you treating your Artist Child gently and allow him/her to play?

    Only after all the work was done for the day… then I kept my promise, even though there was a light rain and took her for a long walk by herself… letting her peek up through the canopy of a large maple… and we saw a new fawn in the deep woods.

  6. Terrill,

    Laurie wrote she don’t get a social hangover, and you seem to know all too well what the feeling/emotions is.
    Awe is as a big word for such a little photograph “pretty in blue” is. I am grateful by all means!

    I am glad you took your artist child out for a walk in wood….

    I am Love, Jeff

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