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Sunday, March 10, 2019

Let Your Imagination Grow

Early one morning this week, I arose to the sight of a prism of colors, reflected on a wall in my line of sight. It was a most magnificent way to be stirred! I had to figure out the source of this most beautiful display of light. I creeped out of bed and went to check for reflections, and sure enough, the light was bouncing off the mirror, from outside. I pulled back the curtains and cracked open the french doors just enough to see it - a boundless double rainbow -- and first thing in the morning!
This could mean nothing but a day full of good luck. I realized just how boundless my imagination was with this auspicious sighting. I doubled back for my phone, knowing that I had to catch it and share not only it's proof, but its message.
Rainbows always rest between rain and sun, they are a fine slice -- a happy place.
Now that I knew it was going to be a good day, I started to think of all of things I would be sure to do to make it an exceptional day. My imagination and creativity were peeked.

Why don't we give ourselves the same permission for optimism every day, regardless of an early-morning rainbow?

Friday, March 1, 2019

Tapping Your Creativity to Shift Imperfection to Perfection

I brought out my ink and pen quill, then carefully selected a piece of paper from my favorite collection gathered during my travels overseas. I was inspired by the winter-washed days: the lack of light and color often give me a sense of inner peace and stillness. It was time to get lost in a creative journey. 

As my first stroke navigated its way over the grooves of the texture paper, I could hear my college art professor, Arthur Hall Smith. “Once we start our composition journey, we must learn that even if we make a mistake with a line, a cross-hatch, or, heaven forbid, a blotch of ink should fall from our pen on what we believe to be our next master piece, work this imperfection in to perfection.” 

Little did I know that Professor Smith’s  “rules” of art would be with me through all facets of my career. I realize now more than ever that Arthur was teaching all of us how to develop solutions using our creative minds. He showed us that we could create anything with a blank canvas if we were willing to explore our imaginations fearlessly with no boundaries.   

As the natural soft light of the day became more dim, I knew it was time to put my quill down. I gazed at my piece thus far and thought about where my imagination would take me tomorrow.   After a few moments of quiet stillness, I turned to a few sections of the newspaper that I had set aside before beginning my art project.  

I turned to the weekend food section of the paper for inspiration for tonight’s dinner. Thumbing through the pages I came across an article entitled, “Cook Between the Lines" by Andrea Nguyen. The title of article caught my eye after finishing an afternoon of drawing many lines.  Then I saw the subtitle, “Recipe books without photos make kitchen time more about pleasure and process than perfection.” Indeed.

As I read through the article, I found myself agreeing with the author about how a cookbook without pictures takes you on a greater journey to trust your “gut,” as she described. To risk and explore the actual written cooking instructions called your own creative instincts into play. What will it look like? How will I plate it? I began to “think out” the flavors, textures and colors. Cooking without someone’s visual influence was cooking it “my way.”  

I am one of those people who love to read through cookbooks cuddled up with a cup of hot tea! I often search through second hand or library bookstores to find some old cookbooks to take home just so I can read through recipes from different regions around the world and imagine the different spices and styles of the places I had never been. 

While most of my collection of cookbooks is filled with beautiful illustrations and photos, I made a point of reaching for one of my oldest cookbooks without illustrations to inspire me tonight. It’s akin to creating something only I can see on my blank canvas.

With a permanent smile, I gave thanks for Arthur’s words encouragement that came to mind tonight. He inspired so many of us to rely on our own creative instincts in the face of imperfection. 

Whether you are drawing, painting, writing or cooking, take the time to explore the essence of your senses and imagination. Create perfections from the imperfections - they will define your life’s journey.