Working with family
The phrase sends many people running. It’s something that I grew up with. My parents owned businesses and my brothers and I helped in whatever capacity we could.
This trip to America’s favorite supply giant would not have been as memorable without my family with me. The kid had to get a cheeseburger at the snack shack (don’t judge), before we even started. And since I didn’t know where anything was, we strolled aisles and aisles looking for our supply list. It was somehow fun.
Frame of mind
The story I tell myself going in to the store sets the mood for the event. Same with painting. Allow yourself time to play, make mistakes and see the awkward undeveloped thing for what it is; part of the process, part of the journey towards truth. It’s what we are all looking for and sometimes it must be mined. And by mining I mean it will take effort to uncover.
It will be below the surface and patience is required. The rewards will be as strong as the effort made to find them.
Life is expanding
The further out on a limb we go with our goals and dreams, the more we connect with others and the more opportunity presents itself. This time of year usually has me coming to a close and contracting…. not this year.
One September day
I stopped the car in front of the empty storefront that I had seen for two years and asked the same question out loud as I pressed my nose to the window for the 20th time. “What is the deal? Why isn’t anyone doing something with this space?” Why wasn’t I doing something with this space? 2 months later I am expanding into my own studio and fine art gallery in town.
Our official open date is Feb. 1st, 2014
We are on our way to new floors, lighting, walls and furnishings. The working studio is in the back third of the gallery. Friends and family have all been spackling and painting. now it’s time to bring in the heavy machinery and tackle the finer details.
Save the date, call a sitter and come share in the excitement of celebrating something new. Thank you!!
Do you put off creative artistic projects because you feel there are more important things to do?
How do you feel when you do something creative and artistic?
When you ignore your creative urges, i.e. planting a new garden, painting your front door, bringing beauty to your world, are you rewarded with a feeling of satisfaction or a feeling of disappointment and self-criticism?
It’s a “niggling”. A “niggling” that runs under everything else, an unease that can become the norm. When you get a creative urge it is your expression wanting to come through and just the same way you would speak or write, you may be inspired to paint your front door door or plant those blooms, make some soup or find some way to make your life more beautiful. Every little bit helps. And when you are around more beauty – you are happier. And when you are happier, so is your family, and on and on.
Getting over the hump and into action is a daily practice. And for me, some days call for a long nap. I know what it takes to listen to the urge, respond and most importantly, share what you’ve created with your community. This last part expands the beauty into exponential rewards.
Wake up and Hear the Call. Dig in the dirt or take a simple step to bring more beauty into your life and let me know how that works for you.
I will be back next week with my results of expansion. Please share yours here or on my facebook page.
1.the action of working with someone to produce or create something.
The last 6 months have seen some painting, multiple art receptions, weekend and week long workshops not to mention the marketing that goes with those activities. But the most profound things lately have involved collaborations with other artists. The first one of the year was with another artist that has been deceased since 1971. Musician, composer and conductor Igor Stravinsky. Not a true collaboration you might say, but I swear he was present while the above painting was made and I was moved to respond to his expression of A Soldier’s Tale. That feels like collaboration.
Last Fall Napa Valley Museum put out a call to artists to visually interpret Stravinsky’s, A Soldier’s Tale.
“The story is a dark Faustian fable about a deserting soldier and the Devil who eventually possesses his soul. The soldier’s violin becomes a symbol of both the soldier’s soul and the Devil’s wiles.”
excerpted from, good-music-guide.com
The artists were juried and curated by Jennifer Garden. 19 out of 60 were chosen to participate. I am honored to be among the artists hanging at the museum through the end of this month.
This last July’s solo show, “NorCal” Painting the Place was held over through August and we had the pleasure of hosting 3 receptions with friends and locals. Two of the receptions were live music and art collaborations. Violinist Sharron Drake, blew me away with her lyrical improvisational playing. Painting with a live violin was brand new, exhilarating and fun! Pianist Jeffrey Paul joined us for the closing night on the 29th and was right at home with Sharron, playing as though they had known each other for years, (they had not played together before). They drifted in and out of styles and set the energy and flow to the space while I responded in paint. It was truly beautiful.
As if that wasn’t inspiring enough…we were joined by another artist and muse, Tina Taylor.
Poet, Actor and Artistic Director of Theater Lunatico, Tina Taylor joined us for the 2nd reception on August 29th. I was stunned at the lines of poetry she was inspired to write in response to the music and painting. It was as though she heard the room on another level and translated it in words and phrase. This started to feel more like a residency than an art show as we explored this new playful way of creating in the moment.
We fell into a natural flow and by the second event we were all wondering when we could do it again. Collaboration and partnership have been the theme so far this year. This method of creating is deeply inspiring. The relationships we have with each other and the world around us are fodder for creating and getting to know ourselves more deeply.
Special thanks and love go out to Melanie Bandera-Hess, a friend and supporter of all things art. She put the venue together and brought us artists together. Without her enthusiasm for collaboration and generosity none of this would have happened!! Also thanks to Lucie and Tim from 142 Throckmorton and all the great support staff that welcomed us there.
We never really know. Even the best plans and lists can’t bring certainty to the situation so we make our best guesses, follow our hunches and move forward. Unless we can’t. Sometimes we freeze with fear. The uncertainty is too much and we are not able to take risks with the fear of failure, bankruptcy, humiliation…. standing still and not growing is no fun. If you run down the hill full speed and wipe-out and skin your knees, you still might get up with a smile on your face and at least you would be in a different place.
Today, some other posts on Facebook and the blogs I follow, were writing about moving forward and getting unstuck. As creatives, it seems imperative that we are in action – creative action, writing, painting, building, making, relating, meditating, moving so that we can show our stuck brothers and sisters how it is done so that we can all be happier, more loving and fulfilled humans. I have an addiction to action and this gets me in trouble. Some call it impulsiveness. Lately I have had some wake-up calls that the action I needed to take was actually to chill out! For me that means, more walks, more writing and more naps. It goes against my nature but without a balance of rest and creation, our health can get out of whack.
I waffle to and fro from this place more often than I like to admit. But I am sharing that with you to let you know that movement up and out does happen and sometimes the shit that life brings on is the best fertilizer for creativity and great art. I’d rather skip the shit and go straight to the great art – I’m practicing. But the truth is:
Unpredictability is part of what makes life so interesting, fun, and beautiful!
Tonight at Innerstellar Yoga in Berkeley me and Kiki Lovelace will share this with you in hopes that we can encourage you to shine, create or at least move through whatever place you may be in that is telling you that you can not do what you dream to do.
Go to “Upcoming Events” for details and join us! http://jenniferperlmutter.com/index.php/upcoming-events/
I’ll be back in my Berkeley studio at the end of next week after almost one month off. I can. not. wait! I’ll have an open studio in June. Stay tuned for details.
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While searching for my next great studio, my art practice was in jeopardy of falling into “Meanwhile” : the waiting period that exists before our ideal situation manifests.
My art mantra has always been, “Begin Where You Are”. This philosophy puts all the power in my hands for creating art and the actions I take in this state of waiting are precisely what will open up the NEXT thing.
I am fortunate to have many paintings showing now at Innerstellar Yoga in Berkeley and a few at John McEvoy Fine Art in the San Francisco Design Center. Showing paintings as a full-time professional artist is a necessity. Painting and developing my skills is also paramount. Working in the spaces in between now and my next studio is improving my outlook which in turn allows my heart to remain open to all the possibilities in the moment. When you feel yourself in a waiting place, think of these words of wisdom from Caroline Myss:
“Think love. Live in appreciation and gratitude. Invite change into your life, if only through your attitude. And remind yourself continually of the message of all spiritual masters worth their salt: keep your spirit in the present time.”-Caroline Myss, PH.D.”
Texture of Life and Practice.
Studio time is a “Practice”, just as in meditation and yoga or any discipline that is worthy. How much time do you put into your practice? We can weave the practice of creativity into our kitchens, gardens and with our children when we approach the tasks with intention and mindfulness. Our community is one big soup of practice, challenging our fears and giving us opportunities to grow.
Without the solitude and creative expression of my studio practice, my life gets overwhelming and I have a sense that something is missing. Just like a Yoga practice that tones the body, and relieves stress, I approach my studio Practice as another part of a healthy lifestyle. And on a really great day – yoga and the studio.
After a few weeks off at the end of 2012, I was really anxious to paint again. But I was also scared I lost ground. (oooh “fear”, great place to dive in) I’m a believer that the more you paint, the better painter you are.
My method was to ease back in with something new and on the smaller scale. So I spent the first few days of the year moving plaster around, prepping wood panels and painting quick, colorful paintings. Here are the results. Plaster ground with watery acrylics, powder pigment and charcoal…
With fear a distant memory, I was inspired to take on a more challenging assignment of non-objective collage. And the results of this play, led to these.
Both collages came from memories of places and conversations. Personal experience is always the deep well we have to draw out our unique view of the world. Draw on your personal experience and you will always find texture. For us artists we can throw that into our work and make it not only part of the expression, but the purpose.
It was a small thing in the beginning. In the end it was a ball of gratitude and loving reciprocity as big as a house.
In preparing for the holiday open studio, I was working to create small affordable items, like ornaments etc. This really isn’t my bag but I wanted to offer something small and gifty rather than my usual large abstract paintings. Gift wrap was the solution! It allowed me to paint big broad strokes and create effects. It was great fun to paint rolls of paper with acrylic and gold, even stained with coffee and tie them up as gift wrap. But what to charge??
Then it hit me! I was going to offer the wrap for free! Free!? Yes, FREE.
It was the best open studio. Everyone that walked in was offered the free wrap and they were delighted and grateful. It broke the ice with strangers and friends were quick to take their favorite roll.
The whole event of giving the wrap away, as small as it was, has changed my perspective in business. I trust my emotions and that day and the days to follow came with the joy of reciprocity. There is giving and there is receiving, two sides of the same coin. Each person that I gave to, gave me back a priceless gift – positive energy. Giving also allowed me to see how I am cared for in so many ways. In other words giving away this product did not result in a loss at all. Which leads to this new desire to give even more! So go ahead, it’s safe to give away things as well as your time. Done without the expectation of anything. Giving of your self, your love, your smile will result in positive energy. It may not come when you are expecting it to come but the law of the Universe will have it returned eventually. It’s all in your awareness.
This state of gratitude extends and extends In the spirit of giving – I am offering a free class. If you want to spark your year into creativity, even if you are not a painter, join us. It will be an afternoon of getting into it and taking risks so that you you can go home or back to your own studio with some fresh ideas or techniques you would like to try.
Friday, Feb, 1st. 10am-1:30pm Bring any supplies you like. All kinds of mediums and something to paint on. If you don’t have anything, let me know and I am happy to provide substrates and some paint, collage pieces etc. If you would like to join me, just email or call. firstname.lastname@example.org 323.449.2916
My regular class series starts on Monday the 21st. 10am, $425.00 for 6 classes.
This is my favorite week of the whole year. I love the quiet. Most of all, I love how there are no expectations during this period of transition into the New Year. Holiday shopping is over and wether or not I got the cards out or sent the gift on time, is no longer on my mind. It’s a period of time reserved in my life for considering what’s next. The first 3 quarters of the year are my most productive and I enter them with the intention to explore, say yes and love. The good the bad and the ugly, yes to it all - as my friend would say.
Lately, teaching and guiding other artists has been on the forefront. Creatives seem to find me and I love listening to where they are in the discovery of their creativity and art. Writing, dancing, painting, whatever it is, I find it all to be connected and fascinating.
What are your intentions for the new year? Are there things you are wanting to leave behind? What will you consciously invite to play a bigger role in your life?