Friday, August 8, 2014

2014 Summer Art Camp ~ things unfinished and left undone


I think it is important for me to leave things unfinished and undone. 

This stretches my comfort zone. 

It reminds me to breathe and live Life.

It encourages me to embrace my way of learning and living and BEing in the World.

And then again...

Sometimes I love to dive in and experience Life and chaos and see if I can't just find the pony in the poop.

Summer Art Camp is sparking up my Trust the Process bits.

It is letting me try, play, DO whatever. 

NOT complete. NOT get right

Just DO what I CAN Right Now. That's all...

When looked at like the gorgeous, decadent, and deLIGHTfully superlicious thing it is, each Summer Art Camp day feels like diving happily into the chill waters of Cache Lake.

I was a camper and counsellor there for a hefty slice of my teenager+ Time.

I could roll with the chaos back Then. It's nice to remember that Me.

I was also quite without a rudder. Mostly I remember spinning with no feeling of traction, no sense of rootedness. 

Camp was somewhere I learned what I could DO. If I wanted to try. 

It gave me glimpses of what I might BE capable of in This World.

Glimpses. Encouragement. People taking their precious Time to help me grasp or experience something difficult, new, even a little scary.

I still find chaos on the menu, but I have discovered how JOYous a thing chaos can BE.

At 61.

Carla Sonheim has gathered artists who love to teach and encourage and who can cause water to BE laughed out my nose sometimes. I mean, they are so fun to watch in their videos. And they laugh. A LOT!!

I love that they come Right Here to ME.

When I want them to.

And they don't care if I don't feel like playing Right Now either.

Or if I DO everything or share what I am DOing or finish or even understand what just happened, none of it matters one smidge.

Still... you might like to see some of my less finished and undone stuff. 

Cherry Creature I started then abandoned.

Painting I did DO of cherries a la Fred Lisaius with a bit of digital fiddling ;~D.

Watercolour from Fred's last day... 

Intended to BE a summer postie card.

A "memory" of Cache Lake.

All of this happily unfinished.

And happily, well, happily shared, too...

2014 Summer Art Camp ~ continuing slowfully


I'm still enJOYing and playing at Summer Art Camp each and every day. It has been a splendiferous gift as I go through chemo. Big Gratitude & Love for it!!

I had a rough go last end of week and weekend, so I saved Lynn Whipple's 3 days for sometime other than Now. It's the most fun, I BElieve, to play along in the "real time" days.


Karine Swenson's monster painting was great fun and a good challenge for me. I am NOT a "painter" the way I think a painter is a "painter" if that makes any sense [or nonsense].

The first go was to just use black and white and gray and focus on value.

A big part of this exercise/adventure is the shadow of the monster, but I gave up on that part pretty much from the start.

I have been having head/brain aches and it's just too hard to BE in Light bright enough to create the shadow... so I improvised and worked around what was NOT okay for me Right Now. 

I found a little monster image on Google and worked from that. I was working pretty small, too, on 4-inch square canvas boards, a gift from my dear friend, Jen, in FL.

This soothed me. I find such soothing important, even essential Right Now.

One of the other things I loved about this particular camp experience was painting my monster 3 times, which gave me 3 opportunities to "see" and "show" my whatever it is critter!!

That in itself was BEyond whipped cream and a cherry!!

I also loved how Karine called this an exercise and NOT a painting. I think this is why making art is so helpful to me as I travel through Life with cancer. I get to BEgin fresh all the time and just see what happens.

One quite HUGE-to-me piece is the digital fiddling I DO with paintings to share, here or on Flickr. It's nice to own that and to realise it. 

I love what happens digitally fiddling my art in Picasa and Pixlr. MayBE that is another plus for cancer. I can bring my art along, wherever I go, and fiddle happily with no "supplies" to carry!!

I tried to learn Photoshop Essentials, but kept coming back to these 2 freebies. I play in them more intuitively, so I don't think of it as trying to learn to use software. 

Anyway, here's my second take, adding one colour to the black-white-gray value only.

I used raw umber which is reddish and goldish and warm gingery brownish. It was so helpful to see the value AND the colour dance.

I noticed the eye on my first monster wasn't "BEhaving" itself. Coming back to the second go round I "saw" how to change this. Might seem like a small thing but it is a treasure in my book!!!

When it came time to paint Monster #3 I was to add "colour" to the painting. Well, this was a wee thing my brain overlooked in choosing my monster from Google's pickings.

You see, my monster was GREEN. Like Elphaba in Wicked. All and only green. Of course, this was a good thing for the first go, focusing on value, but it got a little cornfuzzling at this point.

Which is largely why I decided to go with blue. I felt blue-ing was a good exercise for me with colour.

I appreciated Karine's suggesting that I NOT focus on details but get the paint on. I had done drawings first on all 3, and I noticed my perspective on the whole really shifted from the BEginning.

I learned so much from Karine. And from Carla's warm-up drawing. Such grand teachers and infinitely deLIGHTfull companions for this particular passage in my little Life.

Thank YOU!!!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

2014 Summer Art Camp ~ continued


These are my 5 scribble drawings from Day 2 of Summer Art Camp. 

I did these in the waiting room and then while in the other room waiting for my radiation oncologist.

The radiation folks are always curious to see what I am drawing, so this little exercise let them "weigh in" on what they saw!!!

It was fun just scribbling, looking and seeing something, even if it really isn't there!!! 

BElow each of my scribbled "boids" [they all seemed bird-like to me] is a digitally fiddled version.

Although I wanted to partake of more watercolouring, I've had a difficult time sitting and painting the past few days. 

Digital fiddling feels so much more "just right for Right Now" and it's really just another kind of "painting."

Monday, July 28, 2014

2014 Summer Art Camp ~ Day 1


I don't think chemo is supposed to BE this fun... 

I couldn't have imagined what great distraction & inspiration were possible.

Today was Day 1 of 2014 Summer Art Camp with Carla Sonheim et al.

Here are some wrong-handed crabs I drew to "warm up" or get loose.

And here is my final finished Beach Painting with Fred Lisaius.

Kind of got carried away and made my "shells" into wee critters...

I think I will call this one "Beach Blanket Brouhaha." 

Just the thought is enough for a good long laugh.

I'll share more in the days to come.

Gives me a good reason to post back here...

Haven't done so in nearly 3 months!!!


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Using My Words ~ Photo Art Friday May 2014

I write a LOT. Perhaps I even write too much. 

I wonder if there is a program for this?!

I canNOT imagine how I did NOT always write like this, but realising that lets me understand some other stuff.

Writing is very healing. And clarifying.

And as much as I love it when my writing touches someone or resonates with others, I have to say that I don't DO it for that.

NOT at all.

Although, I DO sometimes have one of my "regular" readers in my heart or mind when I write.

I suppose it is the connection piece [peace?!] of writing.

Or something.

And so it is with that springboard that I approached this month's Photo Art Friday

I am a collage artist, or at least that is what I used to think, and when I first tried my hand at Digital Fiddling, pretty much the coolest [and only] thing I understood was Picasa's collage feature.

So I left this month's theme for "last minute," even though Bonnie was so encouraging about working on it throughout April.

April kind of got swallowed whole for me. I was diagnosed with lung cancer and all I seemed to have got done was to keep "following the bouncing ball" of tests and procedures and doctor visits. 

As May dawns I realise that the more Life changes the MORE Life changes. All I am EVER DOing is following the "bouncing ball."

Things look good Now. I had a long afternoon yesterday with a radiation oncologist. It is pretty awesome what he is able to DO with "digital fiddling" of another sort.

Anyway... the photo art. 

Every morning I get up BEfore the sun and write for a few hours. I make a piece of digitally fiddled art. I share a small bit of my writing and my digital fiddling on my Gratitude blog, I Love You, Currie

These little bits of art are made from photos, drawings, collages, mail art, paintings, and sometimes nothing more than words on a background or texture. Whatever they are in the World, they are my intention to give back what I have been so freely and generously given.

For a long long while Now I have been DOing one word and building my posts around that. It is fun. It is like a game. It is like eating M&M's. Even at that morning of the hour!!

I have always loved the encouragement, Use Your Words. It's probably something that I was NOT encouraged to DO so much, but... ;~D

When I was fiddling about earlier, wondering what to DO for Photo Art Friday, I considered digging up some of my old photo collages and tweaking them with the things I know to DO Now that I didn't know to DO BEfore.

But I got sidetracked DOing my April backup and started to get another idea from my April posts.

I should USE MY WORDS!!

And so, here, without fanfare, a selection of my words from April's Gratitude in a collage. 

I tried it a few different ways. It was really fun. I could have gone on. [and I probably will, once the merry-go-round stops]


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Quirky Selfie for Photo Art Friday April 2014

Life's often a puzzler...

This is a photo I took in San Jose in April of 2009.

It was fun how it had my name + my last initial, so I played.

Now, 5 years hence, I found it makes for an excellent "selfie" launch pad.

[And it's "quirky" too.]

And, after a week in hospital and Now one recuperating, this was right up my digital fiddling capabilities alley for this month's Photo Art Friday.

I played with the photo one time:

Having explored overlaying some of the quotes I found in a nearby folder in my photo stash:

Since both seemed to signify new ways I am BEing Currie since 2009...

Then I tried some digital fiddling with some different layering over:

BUT... it was NOT so "different" so I decided to crop the CURRIES bit to make it stand out just a bit more. 

All the values seemed to BE running into each other and same with my brain making creative connections!!!

About this point I was wondering if this even makes any sense, so...

I stopped.

Looking forward to "meeting" others "quirky face-to-quirky face" tomorrow!!

Pixel Dust Photo Art

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Photo Art Friday ~ Abstract Flower

It has been way too long a long time since I digitally fiddled with a photo straight out of my camera. 

So, this month's Photo Art Friday gave me a chance to See What Happened When I broke that way too long a long time record.

I got to visit the current Chihuly Exhibit at the Desert Botanical Garden last week with my mum. 

I had visited another exhibit when I lived here in 2009, and so I knew that I was in for a treat.

There are desert flowers and cactus of all sorts, but I was most enthralled with Chihuly's installations.

I did NOT realise until I was there that this was all new and different, so it made the discovery all the more exciting.

This one was a particular favourite BEcause once again the garden itself was transformed by Chihuly's remarkable glass.

It is pure JOY to let his colourful play take my imagination for a ride.

I've added Bonnie's Leafy Landscape texture to this and then just carried on in Pixlr Express.

I am REALLY REALLY looking forward to seeing what the other participants have shared in this month's digital showcase.

Pixel Dust Photo Art

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Putting One Foot In Front Of The Other

Lately Life has been teaching me about the things called "chopping wood, carrying water."

I have had the extraordinary privilege of BEing able to live a quiet, ordinary, and really quite simple Life, one breath, one beat, one second at a time.

No rushing.

No hurrying.

No have-to's.

Even, mostly, no want-to's!!

This is all good.


What I have had ingrained over my lifetime is rather stubborn.

Like a stain from tea that just won't come out, no matter what trick I try.

And as a result, I have started to wonder if I am BEing lazy or even complacent.

BEcause, I've always thought Life is supposed to BE hard.

One problem solved and then another to take its place.

Reaching for a carrot that always moves just BEyond my grasp.

So, for me, this simple, quiet, and ordinary way of living Life seems suspect.

As I wrote that, I realised that I have changed.


At my core.

NO, all the things that have plagued me, all my regrets, and all of my sorrows have NOT magically been removed.

I am just okay with it.

After all, it's MY Life. 

No one can live it any better [or worse] or even any different.

BEcause it is just made for ME.

I hear people [or mayBE I should say I read people] who speak eloquently about the problems in living Life in 2014, about those who are "hardest hit" by the circumstances of Life in 2014, and I know I should probably BE moved in a "better" way than to say I am enJOYing the moments of Life as it is for Currie in 2014, or just Right Now.

But I am saying that I quite like things as they are.

And as they are NOT.

NOT that I don't want Change.

NOT that I don't want Challenge.

And NOT that I don't imagine there will BE rougher seas on my horizon again.

It's just that I am happy Now.

And content to keep putting one foot in front of the other and BEing Present for each footfall.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Amazed By the Ordinary

Today is just an ordinary Sunday.

It's remarkable though...

BEcause on an ordinary Sunday my Life has been touched and my eyes open and my Spirit blessed, all by people who have no idea how much their choosing to share something matters to Me.

I am just one person.

I am just someone who subscribes to their blog or what have you.

I am no one they set out to deLIGHT or even to inform.

This is what I love about the Internet.

The way we are connected even as we all circle Life within our own little universes.

It is a funny thing, having a blog.

I never know who will read me.

I rarely care IF anyone reads me.

I used to feel different. 

I used to care way too much.

And that, I see Now, is what got in the way of ordinary amazement.

What if...?!

What if every day I allow my amazement to run free?!

What if every little bit I read I enJOY just for itself and NOT for WHO wrote it or what that person or that whatever has accomplished that I see BEyond my own grasp?!

What if?!


Thursday, February 13, 2014

BEing My Own Valentine

Lots of years I have felt like one of those people standing 8-deep outside of a department store window watching a black-and-white television. 

I mean, I have felt myself at that remove from BEing anyone's Valentine.

Felt on the outside looking in.

Even felt sorry for myself.


Here's the thing:

I don't NEED someone else to "want me" to BE theirs.

I don't NEED candy, flowers, or pretty cards to know I matter.

That I am, indeed, the World to someone.

MayBE I shouldn't BE saying this out loud, but I really am all that [and more] to myself.


That's what I think and feel and BElieve.

Every. Single. Day.

[although there are days when I DO get on my last nerve!!!]

So my mailbox won't BE brimming over.

No flowers will BE delivered to my door.

And I won't have to curb my eating of chocolates and other sweets.

But I will BE someone's Valentine.

I will BE Mine.

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Following Directions

It is NOT my best thing, NOT by a long shot, following directions.

I like making it up as I go along.

I like the spontaneity and magic that is BEing creative, DOing my own thing.


[and that BUT, by the way, is NOT meant to negate all I have said]

Sometimes the Very Best Next Right Thing is to follow those directions.

I have been discovering this truth on pretty much a daily basis.

While I CAN and I DO often wing it, sometimes the directions just feel good.

They give a context and a container to the unwieldiness of Life.

They let my busy brain rest and seek a peaceful stream to nap BEside.

I'll probably always fight DOing Life by the instructions, BUT...

[and that BUT is also NOT meant to negate all I have said]

I'll probably come to appreciate having the choice more than I have so far.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Looking At Things In New Ways

Photo Art Friday is a grand reason to celebrate Thursday. 

Bonnie gives us a theme, which suggests possibilities, and having participated in this JOYous undertaking for a couple of years Now, I'm finding that encouragement daily wiggling into my Digital Fiddlings.

This month the theme is graphic/geometric/angular. A pretty glorious playground I'd say.

So, what have I come up with?! 

I don't know exactly what I did to get here, but I have a fairly good idea. I started with a photo from 2009, of a building in downtown Phoenix. I was fascinated with it then and my memory was jogged when I sat down to write this post.

I added PDPA Forest Texture, one of my favourites from Bonnie. And then I just had at it in Pixlr Express. I added the words BEcause I am a word person, what can I say?! It just seemed to beckon me to remember, always look up.

Once more I reached back into 2009 photos. I was a busy girl with my camera that year. This wall was so fascinating. It had crazy tiles going this way and that and the effect was mesmerising and daring. 

Again, I added a couple of PDPA textures although exactly which ones I canNOT tell you as I had several I tried out BEfore settling on the 2 or 3 I ended up keeping. I could have looked at this wall for hours. Its colour and whimsy deLIGHTed me and still DO.

It's funny, since moving back to Arizona, I've yet to go to downtown Phoenix. I suppose that's largely BEcause I am having such an adventure exploring my new neighbourhood and all the walks Gracie and I take. There is such a mix and change of scenery in the breadth of one block, sometimes even less.

I will get myself back downtown one day though. It will BE good to see what has changed and mayBE find this building and that wall again. I have changed since last we met. I wonder if they have, too?!

Pixel Dust Photo Art

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

BE Angry AND BE Respectful?!

I read this in a daily email I receive:

Any feeling can be expressed in respectful or disrespectful ways.Anger is one of the most difficult to express respectfully. Everyone feels frustrated and angry at times. The crucial thing to learn is how to be angry and still be respectful - how to deal with our impatience without blame or put-downs.   [52 Weeks of Conscious Contact © 2003 by Melody Beattie.]

I was tempted to dismiss it as it seemed, initially, to BE aimed toward couples. But I know better than to DO that Now. I have been receiving this daily email for 8 years. I canNOT think of one time I did NOT learn from it.

So, while I have titled this post as a question, a HUH?! of sorts, I really DO think that one of the things I want most to expand in myself is HOW I go about disagreeing respectfully.

It is NOT about BEing angry, although that is something I find creeping up on me more and more lately, but really about disagreeing, seeing things in a different way, seeing things differently and having another person try to sway me their way. This is what I grapple with. Oftentimes NOT so delicately...

It is easy to blame and slough off responsibility onto others. It is also easy to judge someone for their perspective if it is NOT one I share.

On the other hand, what is perhaps hardest of all is loving someone, dearly 
and deeply, and then discovering that they hold thoughts and opinions and ideals in ways I DO NOT.

Actually, what is more challenging is when I realise that my own thoughts and opinions and ideals are seen as inferior by someone I love. Someone who loves me.

I grew up with people who used put-downs and sarcasm regulary. Daily I heard them ridicule me. And so I learned to keep myself hidden and apart. I learned to cover my anger with secrecy. And I learned that feeling and BEing ashamed was just the cost of DOing Life with some people.

Even people I loved. People who loved me.

I will BE thinking on this for some time to come. I will pay attention to the times I slip into judging someone's different opinion and see, am I BEing respectful of this person or am I BEing disrespectful, even in my thoughts?!

This is how I learn. How I grow. And how I change.

How about YOU?! Where does this notion meet you today?!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Courage To Wonder

I may never have thought that wondering took courage. 

I may have thought wondering is just a more polite term for saying my mind was elsewhere. 

Or that it was more about BEing daydreamy instead of focused.

But that is changing.


By inches.

And it comes to me from the inspirations I have all round me.

It comes from others' writing.

It comes from reading things that I don't consider BEing sources of inspiration.

But here is what I know.


It is a courageous thing to wonder what might BE wrong with my perspective.

It takes courage to back up and start again, without BEing sure of myself.

It asks nothing less than courage to stand in my BEliefs which are NOT yours or theirs.

Courage means daring to consider that I am the problem I am wanting to BE solved.

Now, on the face of it, those things aren't really such Big Deals.

We're none of us "perfect" or always "right."

Life is a lot about re-starts and new BEginnings, often in humbling ways.

People often don't agree about things, but they still get along, still manage to BE kind and pleasant.

And most of the time, if I am honest, my problems are self-inflicted and "all about ME."

Still, this Courage To Wonder is a remarkable gift of BEing Human.

Like telling the truth, like BEing willing to hear the truth.

I might prefer the quieter ways of BEing a dog, for instance, but even that takes courage to wonder about, y'know what I mean?!

Friday, January 31, 2014

Life's Leanings #31 This Is A Simpler Way To Live

I can BE a very complicated mess.


But I am learning that when I AM I have chosen to BE.

BEsides BEing humbling, this is a magic key.

If every day I remember that is all I ever have, I can BE very simple.

And so Life can BE simpler.

Well, my Life anyway...

So much energy is spent trying to repair my Past.

And yet more energy is spent trying to manage my Future.

But Right Here and Right Now, that's where everything meets.

And for me, knowing this, and living by it is A Simpler Way To Live.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Life's Leanings #30 Don't BE Swept Away

It is all too easy for me to lose myself and BE swept away.

In reaction.

In "self-defense" which is more correctly ego-defense.

I want NOT to react but inside, where you can't see it on the outside, I DO.

I am NOT very Zen sometimes.

I am edgy and sharp and tender.

I am so easily wounded though I canNOT "show" you How.

So I am simply aiming to NOT BE swept away.

To make room and space and NOT confine Life to my "rules."

I don't think this is going to BE graceful.

Still, it's going to BE.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Life's Leanings #29 Cherish Moments

The World is a pretty fast-paced place.

So much happens in a blink, and it seems, well, normal.

I grew up in this sea of Changing Pace, and I adapted with and to it.

Still, there are sometimes moments of just such sweetness.

These are NOT few and far BEtween moments either.

They are rather everyday and often even ordinary.

The person who answers your call after you have been on hold for awhile.

The cashier in the market who is curious about something you're buying.

It is these small blinks that often are the moments I remember.

Long after they happened.

And the speedy hurry-hurry times fade like a blur.

Although to reflect on all of this month it may seem I am up to a LOT...

Really, I am simply savouring the moments.

That's definitely DO-able.