October has been a time for many artists to find a way to draw daily. It seems like we have spent so much time doing businessy things over the summer that we need to shake the dust off and get back to creating. Since its beginning Create Art 4 Good has facilitated workshops and other good things for all those creative, and this year I wanted to inspire a back-to-basics kind of challenge. Just like self-care, sometimes taking a moment to draw seems to happen too rarely.
That said, I know there are many challenges this month, not the least of which is Inktober. I certainly respect what they are doing, but I don’t always love the topics. The “Drawtober” challenge I created is an effort to explore some of the basics again. Think about textures, shapes, and color. Make the ordinary extraordinary! Make it yours!
I would love for you to share your drawings! Feel free to use whatever media makes you happy. Work for thirty minutes or less, and then post on social media! I’d love to see! Please use the hashtags #drawtober and #createart4good
It seems like a blink when I reflect on the past twelve years. As stated in a previous post, I have spent a great deal of time analyzing where I started, where I am, and where I want to be. The past twelve years have been under my personal microscope profoundly for the last few months. I felt that a decision needed to be made. Change was in the wind. While this is without question a heart lead business, I have also tried to make sound business decisions. With as objective of a view as I could muster, I would say that there are many moments to celebrate. There are also many challenges that I could have handled better. Many of those became lessons, some of which I had to learn more than once. (insert smirk here) Isn’t the image always clearer in the rear view mirror?
The Oxford dictionary has this to say about success:
the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.
“there is a thin line between success and failure”
Oxford isn’t kidding, there is a very fine line between success and failure.
Create Art 4 Good has grown into many things. I believe the logo being a tree seems to be perfect. (who knew?- I thought I just liked trees!) When I reflect on the growth of the past twelve years, that alone seems to be a reason to celebrate. Today, I believe there are more reasons than just my growth as a human, a businesswoman, and an artist to celebrate.
They say that humans are drawn to their vocation. It is often what you love to do, what inspires you, or perhaps what you are curious about. However, the road is not always clear. Sometimes there are detours, or the path is not linear as the road map for life is rarely easily found. Sometimes what you “thought” you should do, is just a vehicle for what you should actually do. This isn’t to say that your original goals (or business plan) were wrong, only that you have grown, and perhaps even accomplished what you set out to do.
I have grown. I have loved the past twelve years. The adventure, the surprises, even the challenges, as well as the opportunities – these have become some of the greatest joys of my life.
I know that year thirteen will be an adventure. I know that even though I LOVE to plan things, this year might not have a strategic plan. I might just have to take one day at a time. I might just need to follow my heart. I need to explore my life and business with tenacious curiosity. Perhaps that is the real gift here.
Speaking of plans…As part of my anniversary celebration, I decided to create a mixed media heart every day. There are multiple reasons for this. Some of which is the ability to spread love with my art. Hearts are love without the need to have a common language. Another reason has been to return to the practice of art every single day. I have been in the practice of art for my entire life(or as long as I could hold a utensil of creation)
Oh, but life, gets in the way, doesn’t it? They say we make plans and God/the Universe laughs. As you may (or may not) know, I recently had a hospital stay for a heart issue. This took me by complete surprise. I have always felt as though one of my gifts was the ability to love and love fiercely. However, for the first time, I felt like my heart was literally broken. When this happens it is scary. I felt like couldn’t trust my body. I felt like I was not on steady footing any longer.
The heart, both literal and figuratively has been a central theme in my life, and in my work. So, I decided to stick with “the plan”(even though I found it completely ironic) and create a heart (or more) a day. In the end, it has been just what I need. It has been a time to heal. Time with nothing too pressured, and time to prioritize. (love begins at home, right?) Even though technology has not been my friend,(that’s another story) I am able to post a heart or two a day and share my love.
So yes, the last twelve years have felt like a blink. I look forward to the next year, two, or more and the adventures we will share. Thanks for your love, for sticking close, and for sharing my journey.
Have you ever thought of attending an art “retreat”? For me, this means going somewhere for a few days, enjoying a change of scenery, take advantage of an opportunity for me to work on a ____ (fill in the blank) or perhaps participate in a workshop or two to learn something new. It means my basic needs are met – I have a place to sleep, good food (perhaps by a trained chef), and freedom to just breathe for a bit.
2022 seems to be the year of realizing some of those dreams that are swimming in my head a bit. This one has been steeping for quite some time.
I have done quite a bit of research, planned, and pondered. Now I want to gauge if there is any interest besides my own! I have created a quick survey- I would love it if you would take a moment to fill it out, feel free to share it with anyone you think might be interested!
Thank you in advance!
I am sure many of you can appreciate the endless dreamings of, “ohhhh I want to do this” or that. We have notebooks, sketchpads, and lists of things we want to create. We have so many ideas we could live to be about a thousand and still not get it all done.
This piece is called, ” The Four Seasons”. It is inspired by Mucha’s “Four Seasons”. The seasons, the colors, and the symbolism of each have always fascinated me. I have pondered this piece for years and years. I cannot tell you how happy I am that I finally took some time to create it.
Time?! This took about 102 hours. It felt so great to invest myself fully and take the opportunity to create it!
Thank you for sharing this journey with me. My children (and the best cheerleaders in the universe) have already suggested a new piece for me to do. So I just might get that party started soonest!
I have taken it to my photographer/printer- and prints are on the way! (you can find them on greetings4good.org)
You have been incredible to me. Your encouragement, your love, your patronage. I have enjoyed every story, every kindness, and every moment of laughter. It is time for a bit of a break- But I will return with some very exciting news for 2022. Thank you for all you have done to support me. Sending you love & best wishes always… #holidaybreak#merrychristmas2021#galleryclosedforholiday#Sendingyoulove
Well, hello there! Welcome to July. I wanted to take a moment to share all the fun things going on in my life.
First, I am not (typically) one to make a big deal out of my own birthday, however, this year, this month, both my husband and myself are turning sixty. I admit, I kind of don’t believe it. There are days my body sure does feel at LEAST sixty, but I feel like I am just getting started in so many ways. But, regardless of what is ahead, I am celebrating. I feel like more than ever, I am in awe of the preciousness of life, the countless gifts I have received, and the love that I have in my life. I AM one blessed human. I am ever so grateful.
That said! I am celebrating with a one-woman show at Sylvan Starlight Creations. I have been creating for a long time (see above) and I want to celebrate that! I am grateful to Sylvia Serry who owns the gallery for this invitational. The opening is on the fifteenth of July and should be downright fun! I will be demonstrating mixed media art as it is my great love! (one of them anyway) Sylvan Starlight Creations is found at 50 State St bldg c, Pittsford, NY 14534. The opening will be from 4-8 pm. The show will be up through September!
Next, I have updated my workshops. At this point, I am very willing to facilitate workshops in person at the gallery or on a video chat. It is important everyone feels comfortable, but by all means, let’s be creative together!
Next up, (so much fun to share, isn’t there?) My beloved new home (well sorta new) is having an opening on July 30th! You can come to visit between 5-9 pm that evening. If that doesn’t work, PLEASE make an appointment- I would love to show you around! This is becoming my happy place! Make an appointment here: Susan Carmen-Duffy
Lastly, I HAVE SO MUCH FUN NEWS! I am going to press soon AND that means I will be offering a new subscription plan! Stay tuned! I think it is going to be really nifty and fun! There are several to choose from right now- find them @ Greetings4Good.org
REALLY lastly, I hope you are doing okay. Covid has paused the world in such an unbelievable way. I feel like the ramifications are far-reaching for each of us. Personally, there have been struggles, sadness, and loss. What has profoundly saved me has been the practice of gratitude, my art, my family, (chosen and gifted family as well!). Be gentle with yourself. Be kind to others. If never before we understood that we are all in this together – we sure as heck should now.
Tonight I will be taking a pause in this crazy windstorm of a pandemic to do something basic. Buy school supplies. For kids.
I have worked a good part of my life in the world of education and I KNOW that there are kids who never have a new folder or notebook, a new set of markers, a new pencil. NEVER. (It should be noted that at even almost sixty I still LOVE stationery supplies! A new notebook or a great pen? It’s like CHRISTMAS to me!) Anyway- I have spent many resources ensuring my kids (students) have school supplies. I feel it is a fresh start (literally) on a path toward success. So, even though I am no longer working in child education, I know this is a need, not a want.
So tonight- I will do what I love, CREATE, and share the proceeds to purchase school supplies. The whole idea behind this business (may I remind you that we are celebrating ten whole years!) is that I use what I love to do (making art) for good. Tonight is the personification of that!
I will paint the painting live! (and likely finish it offline) I will offer it for a week to the public to bid on- The highest bidder will get the painting. I can ship it, or you can pick it up from my studio (@ The Central Creatives in East Rochester – 349 West Commercial Sreet- Suite #2795, studio #12)
My plan is to create a tree. (it’s a thing for me) The symbolism behind trees is important to me. They are powerful, strong, and life-giving. They sustain by a root system that is unseen usually but support the entire structure of the tree- and that is what your help will do for these children. They won’t know you bid on the painting or donated directly to the Irondequoit Community Cupboard, but they will know that someone believes in them. Someone cared about them. Someone who doesn’t even know their name wants them to be successful.
So join me tonight- on a Facebook live, or just check in on the painting- I promise I will share it here, on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Let’s work together to create a springboard for success for OUR kids. It matters not if you are a parent, a teacher; it just matters that you care. Children who need school supplies need our support. I hope you will actively do so.
Thank you for listening, for sharing yourself and your resources… thank you for being a light in this weird darkness we are all living.