Tweak, Tweak, Tweak…..


“What is once well done, is done forever.”  Henry David Thoreau (from

Is there a little bird who says when its time to stop tweaking a work or a subject?  When is enough, enough?  Many creative people have a difficult time knowing when to stop.  A tweaky little tweaker flitting in to let out a bit of tweak when the time has come to stop all tweaking would relieve a lot of the guess work.  The little tweaker would pop out the tweak just as the temptation to add just one more bit, one more word, one more shot is about to takeover.  The tweaker would bring freedom from the urge to tweak.

 ArtNews has an article by Ann Landi posted about this subject.  Landi talks to several noted artists about when they know the work is complete.  Landi says, “for some artists, the work is done when it leaves the studio.  Others keep tinkering in the galleries.  One waits for the piece to “cry uncle.”  The responses Landi got were as varied as the artists themselves.  Artists are as creative in when to stop as they are in where to begin.

Artist Sandy Guthrie of addresses the problem by identifying a “gut” reaction to the work in progress.  Guthrie says, “what to do with the ones that are good, possibly very good—but just not grabbing you in the gut in the same way, is very difficult.”  Guthrie “read about an artist who says she always hangs her new work in her house after she has finished.  If after a few weeks she feels she loves it, then it can be sold.  If not, it goes back to the studio for more work.”

When to stop tweaking is apparently one of those little oddities that only an artist can answer for him/her self.  It’s a dilemma to be worked out on an individual basis.  The problem could quickly be solved if the tweaker would just show up and tweak a little tune at the precise moment the work is complete.  Harnessing the cheeky, tweaky tweaker is a difficult process.  Just be careful not to mix up the tweaker for the twerker.  You definitely wouldn’t want to go there

Slapping the Storm


“To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”  William Shakespeare (Hamlet)

Sometimes the force of changing directions jumps up and plants a big ole slap across the face.  After the stinging subsides a bit, a little need to check on the “true to self” state of things is in order.  If the directional changing slap stirs up some major dust then the only possible answer is to sit out the storm.  The eye of the storm is the perfect place for a reexamination of the current situation.  There is no way to see which way the wind is blowing when caught up in the center of the whirling.

With no avenue of escape visible, the only other option is to contemplate a new direction.  The process could be painful.  Storms are known for that.  But there is always something to be gained by hanging on to see where the storm is heading.  After all, Dorothy wound up off to see a Wizard on the Yellow Brick Road when the storm died.  The difficulty is in finding the reason for the storm.  It usually involves the willingness to change.

While caught up in the storm, some serious time spent “true-ing to self “ will likely bring the needed opening of escape.  The storm can bring on a wonderful new insight.  When you can’t see out through a storm the only other place to look is inside.  That is where the power to stop a storm is found.  Once the power is in hand the storm can be slapped back down again.  After the dust settles, the new direction appears.  And who doesn’t enjoy the chance to slap a storm down.  Maybe that storm wasn’t really as bad as it first appeared.  It might even be possible to like that whole storm thing.  The outcome just may be worth it.

Sunday Slideshow–Winter Trees

Winter Trees

The bare limbs of the trees twist and turn as they spiral toward a blue winter sky.  The blue sky defies the bitter cold on a cold blustery day.  These trees are on the grounds of the Ellington Agricultural Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

Weekend Inspiration–Turning Negative Into Positive

Screen shot 2014-03-01 at 9.12.11 AM

“I don’t mind what the critics say.  The worst thing is to be ignored.”  Les Dawson (from Brainyquote)

Rare is the artist, writer, photographer, musician who doesn’t at some time receive negative criticism.  After getting past wishing for a VooDoo doll of the critic to stick pins into, try some of these very good suggestions from others who have been there.  Turning the negative into a positive can go a long way to not only restoring confidence but to neutralizing any painful feelings from the encounter.  There is no question that some people love to criticize for a multitude of reasons.  Reverse that negativity as fast as possible and turn it into a fresh green bud of new growth and freedom.  Ultimately, the opposite of the confines of criticism is the freedom of new birth.

Here are some great articles for turning the negative into the positive.

The Artists Network:

The Guardian:


Colorful Fridays–Blow Out Blue

Screen shot 2014-02-27 at 10.49.37 PM

If you see a tree as blue, then make it blue.”  Paul Gauguin (from Sensational Color)

Phthalo Blue is anything but a soft, peaceful calming blue.  Phthalo Blue will knock the socks off of any mix it comes in contact with.  Phthalo Blue is not for the feeble hearted.  Generally blues are thought to be the color of quietness for soothing the soul.  Or blues can also refer to sadness or depression as in “a case of the blues.”  Whoever coined that phrase clearly had never met the Phthalos.  The Phthalos are anything but soothing or depressing.

Phthalo Blue comes either with red undertones for a bluer blue or green undertones for a strong green.  Winsor Newton first introduced a Phthalo Blue in 1938 known as Winsor Blue to replace “the capricious less reliable Prussian Blue.”  Winsor Newton says Winsor Blue has good tinting properties but cautions to take care when using.  Winsor Blue and Phthalo Blue can quickly “overpower.”  Artist David Rourke says the Phthalo’s are “beautiful, lightfast and high in chroma.”  But he doesn’t use them because “they are too bloody strong.”  Artist Stapleton Kearns finds Phthalo’s “strength a drawback,” but says it also can be used to make “great greens.”

 Sensational Color says, “not all blues are serene and sedate.  Electric or brilliant blues become dynamic and dramatic—an engaging color that expresses exhilaration.”  Phthalo Blue is the in -your -face blue.  If you must make a statement but just can’t go red, Phthalo Blue can do the trick.  Phthalo Blue will muscle its way in and take over, squeezing out all others.  Most blues drift in wafting around in a whisper sliding carefully over the furniture.  Phthalo Blue charges in knocking down everything in the path.  Sometimes you just want to make a blow-out production that won’t be soon forgotten.  That’s the time to call in the Phthalo Blue.  But look out.  He may take over.

Artists in Healthcare–Bloggers Who Know

Screen shot 2014-02-24 at 10.35.53 AM

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of daily life.”  Pablo Picasso

Picasso’s statement above pops up frequently.  It is a much-quoted line with a depth of wisdom that touches on many areas.  As related to the Arts in Healthcare, the line can literally mean the difference between sickness and health.  No.  I am not saying the arts can replace medicine but they can come in and wash off the dust leaving the pathway clear for healing.  Stress complicates the healing process.  It is a well- documented fact.  Art can relieve stress.  As the arts continue to grow in healthcare where can a person go for more information.  Aside from the big organizations, there are several blogs dishing out the skivvy.

Marti Hand of Creativity in Healthcare is both a nurse and an artist.  On her blog she states, “This blog serves as a platform for my passionate interest in integrating creativity and the creative process (the arts) into healthcare, particularly in the care of patients/clients.”  Hand talks about how the “science and art” of medicine has left off the art part.  Her goal is to bridge that gap by bringing art more into the healthcare setting.  Creativity in Healthcare features articles and important links for those interested in what is happening with creativity in healthcare.

Much has been said about the benefits of the arts with the aging yet few projects are focusing in geriatrics.  Dancing Hands is one blog that directly seeks to bring the arts to seniors.  According to the blog, Laurie Lunsford is an “Interactive Arts Specialist who promotes well-being and community through creative interaction in nursing care facilities.”   She particularly works with Alzheimer’s care.  Lunsford uses sensory stimulation through the arts by spontaneity and self expression and she is passionate about her work.  Read more at the Dancing Hands blog for up to date information on the growing area of Artists in Healthcare for the aging.

 Createquity is a “virtual think tank” and gathering of individuals covering all the basics of Arts in Healthcare.  The stated vision from the blog says Createquity “is a hub for next-generation ideas on the role of the arts in a creative society.”  While they cover more than just the arts in healthcare, quite a bit of the blog is devoted to bringing more arts and creativity into today’s healthcare.  Check them out for a wealth of resources.

The arts are growing in healthcare.  As usual, bloggers are helping to map the way.  These are just a small sample of the bloggers writing on this ever-increasing arts endeavor.  Follow the maps of these bloggers and check out what’s happening as the Arts in Healthcare gradually become an accepted and important part of “washing the dust off our souls” in the healthcare setting.  The field is in the budding phase and is about to bloom wide open.  The bloggers are on top of it.

Sunday Slideshow–Water Reflections

Water Reflections

As the winter moves on it is a wonder to see the bare branches reflecting in the water.  Spring will soon be here and these leafless winter trees will be forgotten as fresh new green takes over.  But for now they peacefully hang over the water calmly reflecting in the surface and on the ice.