The art of action: take a moment for your fellow human

I have consciously slowed down in August, yet it seems like life is faster than ever. The month has flown by, my “to do list” is even longer and now I find myself at the end of the month.  I am in a bit of a panic over returning to my day job. How will I fit working in too??

THEN I am scurrying home from the studio, with my “to do list” blaring in my brain and I pass a homeless person with a pleading sign by the side of the road. My brain stops- nothing else matters, my heart hurts for this person. Weather worn, spirit hurt and trying to remain hopeful, I want to confirm to her that there are good people in the world who won’t judge, just try to help a little. I reach down to the inside pocket of my car and find there is nothing there. Now I am in a panic- the light is changing, I have nothing to share except about $.07 in my wallet.

I NEED TO CHANGE THIS

For the last 3-4 years, I have carried around “blessing bags”. Usually a quart sized bag filled with small necessities, something to eat and drink, first aid things, sanitizing wipes, band aids etc. I carry them around and then when I run across someone who might benefit  I offer it to them. I do not in any way want to insult anyone or assume anything. I just know that this is something I can do. I can validate them as human beings and the fact that they might just need a little bit of love. I don’t assume, I don’t judge, I just offer a small bit of comfort.

For me it is better than looking away when I see someone on the side of the road with a sign. Yes- it is uncomfortable- but how much more uncomfortable is it for that person?

I get to go home to my warm home and happy life. I get to eat what I want – I get a clean bed to rest in, water that is pure to drink and bathe in and frankly. I AM RICH- but one never knows what life will bring you. Tomorrow that could all change.

I have no interest in judging anyone, my every day mission is to be helpful to others. This could be a pep talk, a hug or yes, a blessing bag.

SO- I invite you to join me to create blessing bags on Thursday, September 24th. please bring something to put into them- we will create as many as possible. When you RSVP PLEASE let me know what you will be bringing. Here is a list of suggestions-

  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 Bar
  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

blessing bagI promise you this- the opportunity to love a stranger, even in this small way is a much greater blessing to me. It’s not much compared to the challenges that the homeless face. But if this can offer any comfort at all – then it is a good and wonderful thing.

That which you do for the least of my brothers……

In peace and love,

Susan

where does the time go?

Today- I celebrate the fifth anniversary of the launch of Create Art 4 Good.

I am sort of stunned- five amazing years of a simple organization born of my desire to serve and create art.

Perhaps it is a quiet celebration this year- I find myself not jumping up and down like a five year old, but intensely and wholly grateful for this moment.

This organization has changed so much since I wrote the first business plan. My hope was to have an actual brick and mortar space by year five, I was blessed to have it in just over three. My hope was to support charities locally, to date I have written checks for eleven different charities- Create Art 4 Good and artists ARE making an active difference. CA4G has hosted workshops, meetings and board meetings. It’s celebrated birthday parties, surprises and womans’ circles. It has facilitated twenty-three different types of workshops and creative opportunities. It has shared the work of over fifty-three artists!

We have just begun.

Thank YOU for your support, for your love, and for your encouragement. Thank YOU for helping to make my dreams come true.

I promise, the best is yet to be.

with a deeply grateful heart-

Susan

 

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ACEO & Inchie party

leavesYou are invited to do good things and share your talents and love! This Wednesday we will have an incie and ACEO making party!

This is an opportunity for you to share your work and gather with fellow artists and create! The ACEOs and Inchies will be collected and sold at the small works exhibition in December at Create Art 4 Good as a fundraising opportunity.

The wonderful thing about this effort is that you are welcome to join us and play and create, or you can mail or drop off your work at the studio. (Create Art 4 Good Studios, 1115 E. Main Street, P.O.Box 49, Suite #201, Rochester, NY 14609)

This works for artists near and far.

What is all of this for? Create Art 4 Good is in need of lights and a hanging system. This is our fundraiser toward that effort. Lights and a hanging system will show YOUR wonderful art in a most fantastic and magical way. I am grateful for your help.

So: You are invited to create a teeny weeny piece of art (1″ squared or ATC size 2.5″ x 3.5″) Do as many as you’d like! We will collect them through November 15th. Then we will get ready for the fundraising wonder of the year! All proceeds will be donated to CA4G lights and hanging fund to be sold at the small works exhibit in December 2015.

Come, play with art supplies, create little pieces of art and share some giggles. Thank you in advance.

You don’t know what an inchie or an ACEO/ATC is? Don’t judge- it’s fun! Look at Pinterest- or google it! Good stuff.

To participate in the studio event you MUST make reservations- but that is all you need.

Feel free to bring whatever you would like to work on. I will have supplies available as well. Questions? email me at : Susan@Createart4good.org

The art of self care….

So there is a lot of hype about the idea of self care. Some actually suggest that it’s the new hip way to be selfish and not work extra hard.

They are wrong.

Over the last few months I have been working harder than I can remember in recent history. For the most part – it’s been good. Hard at times but good. I am living my dreams. doing when I am meant to do.

but I am tired.

Not just physically but mentally and spiritually too.

why?

Because I am spending too much time doing what I am “supposed to do” and not enough time doing what gives me life. I am not taking breaks, I am filing up every day with my “to do” list and not accomplishing nearly enough.

So.

I stopped. I quit-

Nope, I didn’t quit my day job or volunteering.

What I did do was quit trying to pack 43 hours into every 24 hour day.
I slowed down enough to be present with the people I was meeting for drinks, or to have lunch with my adult children. I recognize that actually slowing down long enough to take a nap will make me a bit more effective. I took a longer walk with my sweet puppy, I actually sat down to watch a movie, or draw something for the mere pleasure of drawing it.

I learned that you cannot get water from an empty well.
I learned that as much as I really want to succeed and make this business bloom I cannot spend every minute of every day trying to make that happen.

I learned that if I take time for dates with my husband, reading a book, or taking a few extra minutes in the shower- that I can breathe deeper, bloom brighter and work smarter.

I am not done changing…

I know that I have many more things to change so that I can fully live and thrive. I will. One step at a time.

Self care is not just taking a moment, but fully being present in that moment. Self care is not limited to naps or walks, but listening to what your body needs.

Self care is about embracing the sunrise, noticing the bloom and answering the call to take care of your own needs. NO ONE knows you better – no one has more responsibility, no one

A sunset over a lake

Take this moment. do one thing for YOU that you need. It is not about indulgence, it is about sustaining your body mind and spirit.

Go ahead- you are worth it too.

Wishing you blessings and peace.

Susan

the art of taking it all in….

So, I will be honest to share with you that most often I have a camera in my hand. If not a camera, I have a phone that takes pretty darn awesome photos. I am guilty of the fear that I will “miss the moment” or the perfect shot. When I take a photo, I don’t take one or two, I take more like thirty. I WILL capture it if “it” is to be captured.

This is a blessing of the digital age.

However, I have often said, that the digital age has ruined our ability for wonderful communication, for living IN the moment.

I am guilty of this too.

This morning, when I was walking our sweet dog the sun was just beginning to rise. The sky was a beautiful orange pink. It was breathtaking.

The contrast of the barren trees, the quiet street and the intense sky thrilled me.

No camera near, I instinctively reached for the phone that always resides in my front pocket.

GASP

no phone.

Just the puppy and I.

I started to turn around to go back into the house to retrieve the phone that was laying there on the table.

I stopped.

The invitation was there to be IN the moment and not CAPTURE the moment

this moment was for me. It was an invitation to breathe.

I accepted, with gratitude the invitation.

I can report with joy that I thoroughly enjoyed the moment- the intense color, the quiet of the neighborhood, the happy puppy.

It was a an opportunity, it was a wonderful moment.

So there are no photographs to support these words. Nothing visual, just an invitation-

enjoy the next moment that you are offered. Breathe, enjoy , sing, dance… go for it!

Wishing you a moment just for you.

with peace and love,                                                                                                                 Susan

Just Love

So, someone at work asked me about my book. (I am SO excited about my book!) To be honest, it was a “moment for me”. I recognized that it is taking MUCH longer than I planned on, but also feel confirmed that everything comes at the right time. This project feels so much bigger than I am. It feels right… it feels wonderful… it is both scary and exciting!

I suppose my point in sharing is that I believe that with everything I am that when you are doing what you are meant to do, everything falls into place, your heart is full, you have the ability for patience (when normally you might sort of stink at patience and all that virtue and such) For me it is love manifested. This illustration seems to fit.

My thought for you today is to “just love” the rest falls into place.

Thanks for listening! I just wanted to share!SACD_Just love 2014

Second Saturday!

Create Art 4 Good welcomes Adam Allen Berry AND Rhonda Fischer to second Saturday!

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Adam will be creating a piece of art! Come watch!

Ask questions, pick up a piece of his art!

Rhonda will be doing a book signing- Randy Kazandy!

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Added bonus!?

Students from the Eastman School of music will be playing!

You don’t want to miss this!

One step at a time.

It’s interesting you know, I speak with so many people who say to me, “I could never do what you do.” or the ever popular, ” I cannot even draw a stick figure.”

My usual response is well, one step at a time. One line at a time- it all seems to work out in the end. So yesterday- I decided to start a piece and document the process.

This piece employs graphite (which I did not document), watercolor and ink.

As you can see- it’s one step at a time.

IMG_7452I began with a compass, on a piece of mixed media weight paper. Added a bit of watercolor.

simple right?

 

 

then I added a bit of detail with ink. I am fascinated by zen-tangle, how it makes me feel- the transformation of spirit, The process is simple each line added to the next , on to the next

IMG_7453As you can see no real “talent” is required,

it is simply a case of being patient and consistent with the process.

IMG_7455filling in the details, one line at a time

 

IMG_7456I wanted some detail in the center. Most Mandala work begins with the center and works outward. Much like our own lives. We start inside and we bloom on the outside!

 

IMG_7458I feel like the inking changed the entire dynamic with the piece. I am not a “fan” of oranges typically, but paired with the inks, I think it works.

 

IMG_7459Now time to add more detail. just simple lines

IMG_7460starting from the center, working outward, things seem to be clearer. I almost cannot keep up with the lines I know I should be putting down. It was an exciting process – I couldn’t wait to get to the end!

IMG_7463simple lines added to create beauty.

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The other thing worth noting is that this did not take all day. This piece was a matter of a couple of hours. I sat in my wonderfully warm studio, enjoying each step. taking a moment to document them so I could share them with you

 

IMG_7467this piece was exactly what I needed. Art restores my soul from the stresses and strains of every day life. As you can see – this did not require any sort of amazing talent. While it might sound cliche – you need only an open heart and willing spirit.  The rest of it takes over. I promise!

I invite you to attend my next watercolor zentangle workshop on March 21 at 1PM. To reserve your seat for the workshop email: Susan@CreateArt4Good.org

blessings to you-

Susan