Be willing to slow down

Watercolor

It's Summertime

Time to live easy. Time to dip into that summer reading list.

Right now, I'm reading Slow Love by Dominique Browning. In a jacuzzi. (One sure way to slow myself down enough to read for a long time.)

I've been a fan of Browning's since the mid-90's when I started subscribing to House & Garden just to read her editorials. Okay, and also to dream about houses and gardens. One of the great magazines of all time, I lugged boxes of H&G issues around for years — making good use of them for students and collages — until recently, and reluctantly, dragging what was left of them to the alley recycling bin.

A chapter in her earlier book, Around the House and in the Garden, about hiring infuriatingly inept contractors, helped me keep my sanity while building my studio. Slow Love chronicles Browning's life after H&G, and her frenetic job as Editor-in-Chief, suddenly (and unexpectedly) shut down. In the prologue, she writes that
"Slow love is about knowing what you've got before it's gone."
Slowing down is a good, good thing. We have to slow down to observe and connect with the world around us. Truthfully. Some of us can slow down naturally but most of us need a jolt, or tough love training to shock us out of our break-neck pace and obsession with past and possible futures.
"At the back of that hurry is the knowledge that it is a screen against honesty." Adam Nicolson
One of the main reasons I teach drawing and watercolor is to help people slow down, get real, bypass racing thoughts, be present in real time. The tools we use in my courses are pencils, pens, brushes, water, color, and paper. We start at the very beginning so that your creative house will always stand on a solid foundation. Whether you have no experience or some experience, your foundation is critical.

As you practice drawing and watercolor, you begin to notice that the light, your experience of time, your perspective, is always changing. Your experience in any moment is never to be repeated. You can't catch it with a camera, but looking back over drawings and watercolors brings some ineffable reminder of connection to a place in time. Because you slowed down enough to connect to your actual experience.

Schedule your practice of slowing down if you have to. In my calendar, at 6 AM on Monday morning of this week was scheduled "Rest All Week."

I'm going to get back to that now but not before reminding you that you can join us for an awesome training in slowing down, getting to know yourself better and learning to practice and understand drawing and painting as a path to self-actualization.
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Transform Yourself

Join us for my Online Drawing and Watercolor course starting July 12.

The value of this course goes well beyond your typical art class. Your return on this investment in yourself includes progressive, step-by-step drawing and watercolor lessons designed to construct a solid foundation for any subsequent artwork in any medium, personal self-development coaching, deep art history lessons in context of your drawing and watercolor exercises, deadlines that force you to do the work, companionship that helps you understand your own work better, encouraging, supportive and constructive feedback on your homework. And more.

Try it for the 8 week foundation phase to learn or review the basics.

You still have a few days to take advantage of the discount on the full course. But whether you choose to try the course for 8 weeks or for 24 lessons, you can easily spread out your payments over a couple of months or more!

Transform yourself with See Here Now.

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Learn about my Online Drawing and Watercolor Course

Who Made the World?


Order of the Golden Dawn
Watercolor, 8 x 8

Greetings on the Summer Solstice! 

Today the sun stands still and gives us our longest day. This natural marker combined with yesterday's new moon gives us great opportunity to consider ways in which we might prefer to spend our hours; what dreams we have yet to fulfill.

Now is (always) the perfect moment. The sun will start it's course to shorter days as the moon begins to wax.

I'm reminded of Mary Oliver's poem, The Summer's Day. I spent a day with Mary Oliver at a seminar a few years back and had the pleasure of one-on-one with her during her smoke breaks on the balcony. I was able tell her how much her work has meant to me. Here's her summer poem.

The Summer Day

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?


From New and Selected Poems, 1992
Beacon Press, Boston, MA ©1992 by Mary Oliver

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 Online Drawing + Watercolor Course starts July 12

If you've been wanting to draw and watercolor but have been putting it off for one reason or another... now's your chance to get started! Join me for a transformative online experience.

Not so sure? Give it a try for 8 weeks and get the basics.

Need some financial help? You can easily spread your payments over a couple of months or more!

Register now for my online course in drawing and watercolor, See Here Now and learn to observe and commune with deeper attention this precious life.

Transform yourself with drawing and watercolor. It's a great experience!


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Join my Tribe and receive a gift pack of inspiration
  • Drawing Lesson
  • Song Download (my well-loved Great Day)
  • and my Weekly eZine Stroke and Flow

Learn about my Online Drawing and Watercolor Course

Last Breath


Spring Sails
Watercolor, 4 x 6 inches

During this last breath of Spring, enjoy every fleeting glimpse. It's a rare moment. But so is every moment!

Listen to Last Breath, a bit from the soundtrack by Ji Bark for the gorgeous South Korean film Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring.


Learn to pay closer attention. Join me starting July 12 for my next online course.
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Register now for my online course in drawing and watercolor, See Here Now and save on the full course tuition for one more week.

Watch my intro video on this unique way to develop yourself and your creativity.

Next course starts on July 12.
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Join my Tribe and receive a gift pack of inspiration
  • Drawing Lesson
  • Song Download (my well-loved Great Day)
  • and my Weekly eZine Stroke and Flow

Learn about my Online Drawing and Watercolor Course

Fare thee well, Mr. Bradbury

Signals
Watercolor, 8" x 9"
Suzanne McDermott

It is highly fitting that Ray Bradbury passed from this earth last night with the Transit of Venus.

Bradbury has been an ongoing influence in my thinking about the world within, without and beyond. As fantastic as his stories and novels are, his words on writing and life are equally worthy. Look them up. Re-read (or read for the first time) his Martian Chronicles.
“Learning to let go should be learned before learning to get. Life should be touched, not strangled. You’ve got to relax, let it happen at times, and at others move forward with it.” ― Ray Bradbury
Read My last conversation with Ray Bradbury by John Blake.
“I don’t think about what I do. I do it,” he told me. “That’s Buddhism. I jump off the cliff and build my wings on the way down.” — Ray Bradbury
______________________________

REGISTER NOW for my interactive online drawing and watercolor course starting July 12.  Space is limited. Transform yourself.

SEE HERE NOW!
____________________________________________
Join my Tribe and receive a gift pack of inspiration
  • Drawing Lesson
  • Song Download (my well-loved Great Day)
  • and my Weekly eZine Stroke and Flow

Learn about my Online Drawing and Watercolor Course