Creative fun with kids!

I was completely delighted to do an Intuitive Painting session with a great group of children at the Young Achievers Science and Math Pilot School in Boston. The fantastic team of City Year corps members who work at the school invited me to be a guest at their after school enrichment program. I loved working with all of the kids — 15 second through fifth graders participated.

After having everyone do a few free drawings, accompanied by upbeat music, I gave the kids individual assignments. These ranged from ideas like drawing confusion, to drawing a great dream, to dividing a page to show both excitement and frustration, to drawing a fabulous morning. After doing two assigned topics, they finished the series of 5 drawings with a free one — and the results were a blast. The kids created with joy and enthusiasm.

After everyone completed their 5 drawings we broke into small groups and several kids worked to create a single large drawing together. Each group had a different theme. It was great fun watching them fill the large sheets with color.

I am grateful to the staff at YA and to the City Year team for the invitation and for their help to make this a great experience for a great group of kids!

Wow, what a day!

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My second Igniting Your Creative Core workshop of this new year was a marvelous day!

Over 40 attendees have now participated in this workshop, including the amazing group of seven women who made Sunday’s workshop so special.

I am deeply moved by all of the incredible people who have come together to do this work. It has been an honor to see them open their hearts and embrace their creativity. The artwork from the latest workshop speaks volumes, and I think the energy is palpable when viewing this small selection of pictures that they created during the day.

Equally wonderful for me are the shared insights, reflections and ideas that emerge on the journey we take through the day. From our greetings in the morning, when everyone says what drew them to the workshop, to our conversations over lunch and closing reflections as the day concludes, the workshop is a wonder. I have been most fortunate to work with amazing people who really show up and allow themselves to be candid and authentic in all they share. They have enriched me immeasurably.


New creative adventures

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I belong to a small group of creative friends that meets monthly (or as close to monthly as our busy lives allow). We’re now into our 6th year together, and the ways we spend our time has changed over time as we’ve changed.

Each member (there are 4 of us) does professional work related to creativity. One sold her ad agency and has been a full time (and very successful) artist for over a decade. One is an architect with a thriving practice. One recently gave up teaching in an MBA program at a prestigious university to be a full-time artist — something she was just starting to explore when we first formed the group. I transitioned from my design firm to my current creative coaching practice. Our journey together has been marvelous.

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This year we have paired up differently to plan new creative adventures for each of our 3-hour meetings. For this week's meeting, we each sent in a piece of music we loved, and were told to come with an assortment of materials to share for making sculptures — something totally new for me. Here’s a photo of one of the three sculptures I made. It was created while listening to Tigerlily by Natalie Merchant.

I’m also including a photo of a collage I made at our session in December. I'd helped to make the plan for the collage project. Each person started by picking a topic from those in a hat (the topic for my collage was “pain”). To make the collages, we selected images from a stack I’d saved from my design firm days — wonderful samples provided by printers and paper merchants — and applied them to wooden panels. As at our sculpture session, everyone's collages were marvelous and quite different.

If you’d like to learn more about the experiences my group has had, or how you might start a similar group, get in touch

Wire and light — a magic combination

While on a wonderful holiday trip to Paris, we spent the afternoon at the Pompidou Center and nearly wore out our feet visiting the museum's amazing, enormous contemporary collections. Alexander Calder has always been a favorite, and when I came upon this wire sculpture, Josephine Baker IV, vers 1928, I was simply delighted. Next to the piece, an old movie clip was playing of Baker in performance. The sculpture, together with its shadow, creates a sense of Baker's dance moves and distinctive personality that we saw in the old film. 

Among the many other delights we came upon was a large work by Alighiero Boetti, an Italian artist, whose dramatic and varied work we first experienced in New York at the Museum of Modern Art in the summer of 2012. The scale, color and detail in Tutti (Everything) are fantastic. The 1987 work is part of a series that was embroidered by Afghan refugees in Pakistan after the Soviet invasion of their own country. Boetti entrusted the execution of his design to the embroiderers, distributing 84 colors and a finite amount of thread for each.

And, seeing a marvelous portrait by Henri Matisse, Fillette au chat noir (1910), that was new to us, was a treat as well. Matisse was a master of color and this portrait totally charmed us.