It wasn’t that long ago

It wasn’t that long ago that I first touched clay and felt the incredible wonder that it brought to me. Make something out of nothing, get messy, be almost powerful. I had no idea then how important clay would be in my life. I had no idea how deeply I would love this medium or how empowered I would be by the success I had with it.

It wasn’t that long ago that I was in seventh grade and proudly viewed my first piece of art hanging in a public building that was NOT the school I created it in. It was the first time the world seemed so much more at hand. It opened my eyes and inspired my ambitions.

It wasn’t that long ago that I first painted with such tenacity that I didn’t actually notice that I had a few splatters here and there. Did I ruin the shirt I was wearing? No, I declared myself an artist. (though quietly, I admit)

It was just yesterday that I diligently prepared a body of work to be evaluated by a panel of judges to determine if I was good enough to enter art school or not. I remember feeling that inside panic as if I could never be good enough. I also remember the sheer joy in their praise.

It was just yesterday that got into my first art gallery where the owners gently took me under their wing, encouraged me,  guided me and inspired me. It was a dream come true, it was success in hand, it was baby steps that would later inspire larger steps.

These steps were just the beginning of my artistic journey, but they were so vital to the foundation of my vocation, my career. These were the building blocks of my artist heart and fueled my big dreams.

THESE steps are why tomorrow night my gallery will open hosting the work of students that currently are working on their art at West Irondequoit Central Schools. This is the third year in a row I am honored to host these incredible young artists. I do this because maybe, just maybe, I will be honored to be a small brick in their foundation.

I hope you will join us-

Blessings and love,

Susan

art supplies

this sacred journey

Recently, I have taken quite a bit of time to work on me. I have faced some demons, embraced the light and perhaps started to understand a little more about me, about my mission as a human being on this earth.

No, there weren’t rays of sunshine blinding me from the heavens, but I have to say that in many ways this transformation really was just about that obvious. No, I probably don’t “look” metamorphosed, but as one friend noted recently, I am “calmer, more content, definitely more at peace.” I’ll take it.

One lesson I have witnessed repeatedly (and hopefully learned) is that we each have a mission or a calling. Just as each of us has a unique fingerprint, it is also true that each of us is blessed with unique gifts and abilities. I now understand why my mother constantly encouraged me to “not hide my light under a bushel” but in fact, to shine like a star. I really misunderstood- It wasn’t a pride thing, it was really a just use your gifts thing. I couldn’t understand that. I mistook confidence in one’s mission for arrogance.

The work I have done has not always been easy. There were many lessons to learn. There were many questions I struggled with and I had to sit and wait for the answers. They weren’t always revealed all that quickly, but truthfully each seemed to arrive in the right time. The mission has been one of joy, but also hard work. It seems self-actualization could actually be within reach.

Why am I bringing this up? Well, so many reasons. I want you to experience this great and amazing gift.

One of the lessons I have learned is that the more vulnerable I am, the more open I am and honestly the more successful I am. When we are born we are completely vulnerable. Nothing protects us when we leave our mother’s womb. Yet our needs are very simple and we don’t really know to self protect.

ah HA! Exactly

The more I ALLOW, the more I am present, the more joy that rains down on me.

This is not an easy thing. As we grow and age we learn to protect ourselves, we allow addictions to keep us from our fullest potential, we even INVITE these things into our lives on purpose. I am not speaking of addictions as someone completely incapacitated in a gutter with a horrific drug habit. I am actually speaking of the little things that are subtle, that sneak into your life and rob you from actually living.

I invite YOU to actively explore. Maybe go off the grid for a bit. Explore, learn and grow.

I pray you are patient and discover as I have – the wonder of this sacred journey.

with peace and love,

Susan

Sacred Journey

poems, prayers and promises

You never really know where your gifts will come from. My aunt is downsizing and inside her Christmas card this year, she returned some poetry I had written, some of which I had written nearly two decades ago. I didn’t put a lot of stock in it. I didn’t even read them right away. But then, I took the time to read the words I had written when I was in a very different place.

So interesting how you can touch another part of your life so quickly reviewing a few words on a page.

What a gift to touch that part of myself again. I have always loved words, weaving them and watching them bloom into a beautiful thought or capturing a moment that deserves to be memorialized.

How inspiring to review and renew my love of writing – I took this as a confirmation to return to poetry and writing, to honor that side of myself once again.

What a gift. You never really know what your thoughtful actions might mean to someone else. Be kind, follow your heart and I promise you, you will make a difference.Power of Words

Giving Tuesday

Today is “Giving Tuesday”

It is my opinion that we are “all in this together”. When I have success, you do, and when you have success, I do. I try to be there for someone in need and I have certainly been blessed abundantly when I have been in need.

Part of the mission of Create Art 4 Good is to pay it forward. Today is a day declared as a day to consciously giving. I offer the following for you to consider.

Give a little- it feels good, I promise!

with peace and love,

Susan

The Barbara Carmen Creative Experience Fund

Me with my Mom and Sister Christine

Barbara Carmen was an extraordinary woman.While she faced many challenges in life, she always found it in her heart to take care of another. She was generous and kind. She fought for the under dog, she shared her faith and her creative spirit. She was the creator of many good things. She was an artist, a chef, a master gardener, concert pianist and a scholar. She was a mother, wife, daughter, sister, grandmother, great grandmother and friend.

My earliest memories include watching my mother paint or draw. She used these talents to share with others, to create something thoughtful. I admired her gifts.

My mother had the most giving spirit. She offered food and a warm hug to the hungry, a long visit, communion & prayers and homemade soup to the sick, and a bed to those who needed rest. Her deeds were not intended to give her glory, only to comfort those in need.

My mother faced many physical challenges of her own. Cancer was only one of them. It is because of her strength and her conviction to serve her fellow human that I have begun this Experience Fund. My intent is to honor my mother while diligently trying to follow in her footsteps.

The experience fund is offered to those being treated for cancer. I believe that ART heals- I would love to offer you a creative opportunity to create, to heal, to forget your worries for a bit. A workshop is offered to you at a reduced cost.

 

camp-hope-logo
Camp Hope
Camp Hope exists for anyone who has ever been part of a single-parent family. Whether you’re a single parent, adult child, blended family, or empty-nester, the common thread of being part of a single parent family at one point or another binds us together – and allows us to mentor one another, support one another, listen, learn, and love.

Allie Shea
Allie Shea Project
Alle Shea was a brave little girl who was born with type II Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI). OI is a genetic disorder characterized by bones that break easily, often from little or no apparent cause. Rolling over in bed or sneezing can cause a fracture. This organization run by her parents seeks to find the cure.

HTI
Human Touch Initiative
Human Touch Initiative (HTI) is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization begun in August 2008 by Kim Ross, a Rochester-area licensed massage therapist who is trained in oncology massage.
HTI’s mission is simple: To provide people with cancer access to massage, known for the relief of the side effects of cancer and its treatments. CA4G seeks to help relieve the discomfort of fighting this terrible disease.

Josh
Josh Rojas Foundation
The Josh Rojas Foundation honors a wonderful young man who died suddenly leaving family and friends devastated. Unfortunately this is not a new story. The foundation reaches out to families in support in their darkest hour of need. It also seeks to celebrate the life and gifts that Josh himself personified. CA4G proudly supports the efforts of this organization.

We are serious about paying it forward- if you have a devoted charity you would like us to consider supporting, please contact Susan @ susan@createart4good.org

 

Let’s get to work…

It seems to me that we are all in this together.

I mean that. I am not blowing smoke or spitting out a cliche. I honestly believe we ARE all in this together. So, the person on the corner when I get off the express way asking for a some sort of work so they can eat, the highly successful business person from who I purchase ____ fill in the blank, my next door neighbor, my competitor  (yes even my competitor) – each one of us- yes, we are in this together.

Tonight I was honored to host a meeting in my studio- it was a marketing meeting. Each person who attended brought something to the table. While each person who attended was an entrepreneur, each also had walked a very unique journey. The beautiful of unique experience is the fact that we each had something to offer that was unique and yet the commonality also tied us together.

At one point, one of the artists said something like,” Clearly your work and your spirituality are closely tied together.” I wanted to hug her.

Someone gets me.

I am to a point in my life where I don’t exactly NEED people to understand everything I do. I don’t need constant affirmation, I don’t want the fluff or stroking, but it is an amazing moment to have a fellow professional to see where you are coming from and give you validation of your efforts.

Now more than ever I am ready to get to work. This journey is pretty interesting, isn’t it?

 

the art of the blessing

Last night, several dear friends gathered in my studio to create “blessing bags”. Blessing bags are a fairly simple concept. You gather tolietries and non perishible food and put them in a ziplock bag. They are small enough to keep in your car to give when you pass someone in need.

NO MORE do you need to look down and avoid their eyes! This is simple, humble but hopefully effective. No, you aren’t saving anyone, but perhaps you are giving them a little bit of hope.

My favorite part of the blessing bags we made in the studio last night was there was a little note in each and every one! We made perhaps 70 bags – EVERY single one had a simple note that wished hope, comfort, and love.

blessing bags

So it’s simple. Gather items, package them up and be prepared should you pass someone in need. You never know what life is going to throw you, you’d best be ready.

A friend stopped in my studio last night. This woman is a giver like no other. She shared with me that there was a young man she’d pass often who was down on his luck I offered her a blessing bag or two. Tonight I received a note from her. I asked her if I could share it. Please note that it is less than 24 hours after I gave her the bags.

She wrote, ” I gave the 30+ man a comfort bag today…I have passed him by without looking many times…he looked straight at me and said Thank You …Thank you, then the light changed …I will be ready with comfort bags and things like gloves Hats socks …I pass by his corner at least 2x a month thank you for putting the bags together and sharing them with me.”

The need is clearly there- I feel so blessed to be able to share what I have with someone else. I hope that this inspires you to begin gathering items for your own blessing bags- we will create them again in January at the studio.

Remember socks and gloves, not to mention handwarmers – all good things as the weather gets colder. How did YOU feel the last time you put on a new pair of socks? Delicious right? Pay it forward my friends… we are blessed- share the love.

The next gathering at Create Art 4 Good to create blessing bags will be on January 26th at 6PM. PLEASE begin gathering the following items:

  1. Toothbrush and toothpaste
  2. Tylenol (individual packet of 2)
  3. Tissues
  4. Antibacterial wipes individually packaged
  5. Bandages
  6. Razor
  7. Juice box (water bottles should not be kept in hot car)
  8. Granola Bars
  9. packaged crackers
  10. Safety pins
  11. small sewing kit
  12. Socks
  13. Deodorant
  14. Bar soap and shampoo (the ones from hotels are GREAT!)
  15. Mouthwash
  16. small lotion
  17. Comb
  18. mint lifesavers
  19. individually packaged dried fruit
  20. any small packaged food that is calorie rich and non perishable
  21. socks
  22. handwarmers
  23. hats
  24. gloves
  25. gallon ziploc bags
  26. quart ziploc bags (for tolietries to keep the soap etc away from the food)

Thank you in advance for your generosity.

In peace-

Susan

 

Celebrate…

anniversary

So often we miss the little moments. So often our lives whirl by and the tedious seems to take over the miracles.

Today- I celebrate, maybe even quietly, but trust me, I am having a parade in my heart.

Two years ago today, I opened the doors to Create Art 4 Good at the Hungerford building. I joined countless other artists doing what we love, CREATING ART!

To say I have the BEST studio in the Hungerford seems like bragging, but it is exactly how it feels to me. I have windows on three sides of my studio- on the gloomiest day it is still beautiful. At five am when the light is starting to peek into the windows, the shadows are positively intoxicating. (yes I have been there at 5am- it is so peaceful and magical!)  I have space to create, to invite others to create and a long gorgeous display wall for a monthly rotating exhibit.

I have learned much in the two years I have called the Hungerford home. I have been blessed by my fellow artists, by patrons and by opportunity. I have been given the opportunity to support local charities and how can you  beat doing what you love AND paying it forward.

My own studio feels like a miracle to me. On days I have been challenged, I enter my studio and the day begins anew. I love it there. I love how it feels, I crave to create and I feel honored to share it.

So… happy Anniversary. TWO years!

Thank you for celebrating with me. Thank you for supporting with love what I do- Thank you from the bottom of my heart- my joy is immeasurable.

wishing you the wonder of your dreams

Blessings,

Susan