Why I Hate Ron Howard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve got nothing against Ron Howard, really. Opie was a cute kid. But, forgive me, so far I can’t stand anything directed by the man. I find his style sappy and emotionally overwrought.

OK. That’s about as critical and mean-spirited as you will hear me get publicly. I even struggled with using the word hate in my title. In truth, I don’t hate anyone but I’m trying to make a point here.

I picked Ron Howard because I know he can take it and I know he’s probably a really wonderful and totally sincere guy who could care less what I think. And he has touched millions of lives with his work over decades of service as an actor, writer, director and, producer.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In fact, I’m certain many of you LOVE Ron Howard. (And if I insulted you with my opening paragraph, I apologize.)

I know many of you love mushrooms, too.

Can’t stand ‘em myself.

What I am trying to stay here is taste is purely subjective.

And that’s all it is. Taste.

Feel free to ignore the people who will try to tell you their taste is the taste. The correct taste. (Ahem – art teachers, professors and critics.)

As you send your work out into the world, some people will LOVE it.

Some will hate it.

Some will say “Meh.”

That doesn’t mean your work is good.

Or bad.

Or even Meh.

It’s just your work. It’s the work you do.

So when everyone is patting you on the back and giving you shows and buying your work it doesn’t necessarily mean you are brilliant.

And if NO one is paying attention and you continually get rejected neither does it mean your are an idiot who should give up and go do something else.

It means nothing.

It’s just ego stuff.

Because you love this thing so much – creating, making, innovating, birthing new projects.

To continually evolve and pull ideas from deep within.

To craft and hone and love them.

Your work is a gift of love to the universe and to yourself. (You are, after all, an integral part of the universe.)

Keep on, friend.

 

 

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What Inspires You?

In this feature, each month artists share one thing that excites them creatively.

One key piece to support healthy, productive creativity is stimulating inputs. What kinds of things stimulate the creative centers of the brain? What kind of inputs stimulate us visually? Emotionally? Spiritually? Mentally? Physically?

I’d really like to know, what’s one thing that fills your creative cup? Share with us in the comment section below.

 

 

What Inspires You?

Laureen Marchand

What inspires me?

 

Throughout my career as a painter, I have explored the relationship of the self to the spirit. Recently I’ve used images of dried roses to reflect on ideas related to beauty, loss, and the passage of time. There are some lines in a 1980s song by Leonard Cohen and Jennifer Warnes, Song of Bernadette, that I think capture the part of the human spirit that inspires me most:

We’ve been around, we fall, we fly

We mostly fall, we mostly run

And every now and then we try

To mend the damage that we’ve done

 

 

Loss, beauty, time, and in a very small way, transcendence. So human.

Laureen Marchand
Website:www.grasslandsgallery.com

 

What Inspires You?
Vas Littlecrow Wojtanowicz

 

Whenever I enter my studio, I am immediately drawn to the window. I never know what awaits there.  Will it be a family of deer strolling through the pines as fresh winter snow blankets the landscape?  Perhaps, a raccoon will stare at me with curiosity from behind the glass, wondering about my activities, as flowers bloom all around.   The other day, I saw a tiny toad trying to take shelter from the rain.
My backyard is such a muse.  I can’t get enough of its gifts. Thanks to the studio window, I am able to watch the most delightful and inspirational nature show to never be broadcast on television.

My art is all the better for this amazing opportunity.

Vas Littlecrow
Website: http://vaslittlecrow.com/

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What Inspires You?

In this feature, each month artists share one thing that excites them creatively.

One key piece to support healthy, productive creativity is stimulating inputs. What kinds of things stimulate the creative centers of the brain? What kind of inputs stimulate us visually? Emotionally? Spiritually? Mentally? Physically?

I’d really like to know, what’s one thing that fills your creative cup?

If you’d like to be part of this feature, send an email to info@themindfulartist.com. Include a sentence or two about one of your key inspirations. Please include some photos – either to illustrate your inspiration, to share your artwork with us. We especially love pictures of YOU! We want to feature YOU and your work so please send a link to your blog or website or flicker page.

What Inspires You?
Candace Pryor

What inspires me?

Lately, I’ve been inspired by African-American male presenting lesbians. Before I explain what that means, I’ll give a little insight on who I am.

For a long, long time I hid my sexuality for the usual reasons (shame, fear, internal turmoil, etc) Though I’m over that, I’ve never put my sexuality into my work and so I’ve started drawing and painting African-American lesbians.

I love everything about gender-bending women who present themselves as more male than female to the public. They are my inspiration and I hope to honor the many things that they are, visually.

CandacePryor aka ARTacrobat, Raleigh, NC
Website: http://www.wix.com/artacrobat/candace#!home|mainPage
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/ARTacrobat

 

What Inspires You?
Ann Holsberry

One of the things that inspires me is old found papers I gather when I travel to other countries. My use of them in my art is not about sentimentality for the past; rather these ephemera evoke for me a feeling of the passage of time. I often use them with encaustic which provides both protection and a luminous veiled quality.

I am pleased that my work will be featured in an E-book, Encaustic and Paper: Twenty International Artists which will be published this year.

This is a photo of me in my studio with some old papers and French Notebook, one of my works in the background.

Ann Holsberry, Watsonville, CA
Website: http://www.annholsberry.com

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What Inspires You?

In this feature, each month artists share one thing that excites them creatively.

One key piece to support healthy, productive creativity is stimulating inputs. What kinds of things stimulate the creative centers of the brain? What kind of inputs stimulate us visually? Emotionally? Spiritually? Mentally? Physically?

I’d really like to know, what’s one thing that fills your creative cup?

If you’d like to be part of this feature, send an email to info@themindfulartist.com. Include a sentence or two about one of your key inspirations. Please include some photos – either to illustrate your inspiration, to share your artwork with us. We especially love pictures of YOU! We want to feature YOU and your work so please send a link to your blog or website or flicker page.

What Inspires You?
Josie Rodriguez

I am often inspired by the obscure or the ordinary, sometimes the everyday.

I honestly think that artists see things differently. I have never imagined that I would ever call myself an artist but here I am creating and making art. When I see something that inspires me, my mind moves in a methodical way, and I begin to write down or sketch ideas. It is an exciting moment and I love how I feel when that happens.

Just today I thought of an idea. I noticed that my body went into a sort of meditative state. I felt calm and quiet and very focused. This especially happens when I create an artist book or assemblage.

There is a quote that says, Creativity Takes Courage. I believe that to be true for me as I take an idea and move it through the process until completion no matter how crazy it seems. Visually I am stimulated by the many designs of nature, emotionally by the events of the world, spiritually by the creativity of others, mentally by what I read or think about.

Josie Rodriguez, San Diego, CA
www.josierodriguez.com
http://josierodriguezartblog.blogspot.com/

 

What Inspires You?
Carol D. Smith

What inspires my figurative art? The joy that comes from those one-of-a-kind life connections to the spirit, energy, and emotional vibes my subjects transmit. But what about landscapes or still lifes? Connect to the stream of ideas or memories evoked by the scene.

While painting my violin handed down to me from my mother, I visualized my mother as a child playing this same violin, and with this connection, my brushstrokes danced!

Carol Smith, California

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Keeping an Open Heart in the Face of Disappointments

Part of being an artist is riding the natural ups and the down cycles. There will be high times (we are getting published, in shows, having sales, or accolades and inevitable lower times (we didn’t accepted into a show or get the grant, or residency or what have you).

A while back, I watched a documentary called “How To Cook Your Life”, a film about Edward Espe Brown, a zen priest who was the head tenzo, or cook, at the Zen Buddhist retreat, Tassahara.

There were many pearls in this film, but one that struck me was when he spoke of life’s disappointments. I will paraphrase, but basically he said, that we hold in our hearts our dearest, most precious wishes for ourselves – for our happiness.

And then in life, we encounter inevitable heartbreaks and pain. When things don’t turn out the way we want we try to control or defend ourselves from the disappointment we feel.

So we begin to separate ourselves from our heart’s desires. And in doing so, we actually separate ourselves from our heart.

And while we may succeed in insulating ourselves from future disappointments, we create a much deeper chasm. We begin to feel an ache inside; a longing. And no matter how many material trophies we acquire it doesn’t go away. Because we have separated from our heart.

We all guard our hearts so zealously. We are so careful about whom we open them to. We are so afraid of breaking them.

This is an exercise in futility. In this life, the heart will break.

It will break open and grow bigger.

It will break like the sunrise. It will break like a wave. It will not be destroyed.

What destroys us is keeping our hearts locked up in armor of fear. This fear of being open and vulnerable doesn’t allow our hearts to grow.

The irony is this. We are not meant to protect out hearts. Our hearts are meant to protect us. When the heart is open and loving it is free of fear.

There is no stronger “protection” than a fearless heart.

Yearn (detail) © 2004 watercolor, acrylic, gouache on panel

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3 Simple Practices that Unlock the Life of Your Dreams

Our guest writer this week is Stacey Curnow who has a talent for coaching people who want to transition into the life of their dreams. Here she shares how that can be a remarkably practical and do-able process.

I love this quote from W. Somerset Maugham: “It’s a funny thing about life. If you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it.”

Let’s just imagine for a moment that’s true.

Now imagine what that “best” means for you and imagine what you really want. What do you really, really, really want? (I think there’s magic in that third really.) Once you’ve determined what you really want, ask yourself why you really want it.

Chances are good that you want a feeling more than a thing. (And, really, I think that what we all really want at heart is a sense of being valued or loved – or of more security, more satisfaction, or more meaning. But that’s my take.)

And so if we’ve determined that our dreams are elusive and unachievable, we should hold our vision – the details of what we want – lightly and focus on our intentions – on the way we want to feel and our desire to feel that way.

When I want to make sure I understand my intention, asking “why” helps me identify the underlying desire or feeling. I start with the perceived goal and ask myself why I want it; when I have an answer, I ask why I want that, and I keep asking why and why and why until I get to the crux of the matter. Identifying the desire or feeling is important because very often we get hung up on the means to the end rather than the end in itself.

What’s worse, often those means have to do with money. And we can get so hung up on them that we don’t see that there are many, many ways to fulfill any intention and satisfy the underlying need.

That’s why I tell my clients to ask themselves, “If I didn’t have to worry about money what would I do with my life?” (In case the question ever gets turned around on me, I already know my answer: “My intention is to live a life that is filled with delight, service to others, satisfaction in life’s simple pleasures and appreciation for the gift of being on this beautiful planet.” It helps that I know that life is providing this for me right now.)

One of my clients recently answered that question with, “I’d buy a house in the country in an arty community and have a large studio on the property. I would have dogs and cats and a horse and maybe a few chickens for eggs. I would get up every morning and work on songs and then go to my studio and make art. I would hire an assistant to help with the business side of my art and music.”

My client is an amazing artist, so I pointed out that her desire did not have to be some lofty goal that could be achieved only after she worked for many more years and saved up many more dollars, but could be fulfilled right now – or at least very soon.

There are artist communities where she could live and teach – for example she could become a resident artist at a place like Penland School of Crafts in the Blue Ridge Mountains – and tend to animals.

More importantly, I helped her see that what she really wanted – the feeling she was after – was more freedom to live a creative life.

Please note that when I encourage folks to look deeper into their lofty goals to find the kernel of their desire, I’m not knocking the goals per se. I myself wouldn’t mind receiving loads of cash, for example.

I see that money will allow me to have more of the things I desire. It’s just that it’s important to acknowledge the extent I already possess what I want in large measure. The only way that money would really change my life, I’m guessing, is that if I had tons of it I would share it with more people.

So, here’s what I’ve found: if your bank balance has not caught up with your intentions to live a “big” or “more secure” or “creative” life, here are some suggestions for what you can do to feel more abundant and satisfied right now:

  • List 5 things you appreciate about your life. It can be as simple as your breath, your child’s laugh, or a cup of hot tea. As Melody Beattie wrote, “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more.” And as you list things to be grateful for, look for the ways in which your life has already fulfilled some of your longstanding desires.

  • Be of service. It doesn’t have to be anything grand – it can be small things, like relinquishing a good parking spot to someone at the grocery store, or offering child care to a neighbor who is a single parent. Emerson once said, “It is one of the most beautiful compensations in life… we can never help another without helping ourselves.”Each time you do help someone, savor the satisfaction and think about your desires. Because chances are what you want for yourself you want because it will be of service to others in your life – your children, your parents, your spouse.

  • Tithe. Tithing is an ancient spiritual practice of giving 10% of everything you receive back to God. You don’t have to give it to “God” per se – my husband and I give to a variety of organizations and people who feed us spiritually. But whether it’s the giving – or the focus on totaling up all the money we’ve received – it has helped us be more conscious of and grateful for what we have.

I think your dreams are closer than you know. If you can identify what the “best” means to you, you have the ability to feel what it would be like to get it. Once you can do that, you’re solidly on the path to fully achieving it. And you know what? It feels pretty amazing every step of the way.

Stacey is a nurse-midwife and a mentor who helps you give birth to your BIG dreams. You can find out more about Stacey here.

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