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Find Breathing Room in the Impermanent, the Imperfect and the Pleasing…

Creative Commons LicensePhoto credit: mscaprikell
Have you ever found yourself choosing to put off everything until you’re sure of it? If so, Norman Vincent Peale predicts that “you’ll never get anything done.”

I recently happened upon the deceivingly extemporaneous website of artist, blogger, mother, teacher and thought-provoking philosopher, Jenny Doh. Her post, The Beauty of Impermanence, prompted me to build my own post for you today; in her post, Jenny said:

I’ve been thinking more about the quest for permanence that we humans seek… in art, relationships… in all of life, really.

…I’m ok with the impermanence of my art. I actually revel in it. Enjoying it for what it is right here, right now. And I love if just one single somebody revels in it during the fleeting now. Enjoying it deeply. And then loving it in different ways through my memory of what was… as I move onto next.

Food for thought (and action) for back-to-school me who’s moving onto some as-yet-undiscovered “next.” And, as I walk this path, I am once again indulging in yet another semester of the Basic Drawing class I’ve attended for several years. I’m looking forward to learning new drawing techniques and completing at least one “finished” piece by the end of this semester. However, I have yet to arrive at Jenny Doh’s sangfroid… most of my “art” lands under the bed instead of on display.  But, drawing (Hee, hee, pun intended…) courage from Doh’s comments, here’s my most recent “one” completion from the Spring semester:

BTW, if you don’t have access to local art classes, consider signing up for one of Jenny Doh’s online classes and have at it!

The world we live in is a succession of fleeting moments, any one of which might say something significant.

— Alfred Eisenstaedt
American Photographer

Breathe in the Bouquet of OP’s Creations

Another way to inspire your own artistic bent – and find some breathing room – is to enjoy Other People’s artistic creations. Ain’t it just grand that there are so many artists like Jenny Doh, who happily share their work so that it can be seen by many and savored by a few!  Here is a sampling of sites that showcase OP’s works:

  • houses vast libraries of OP’s creative efforts and encourages all – wanna-be’s as well as established artisans – to “broadcast yourself.”
  • Etsy tags itself as “the world’s most vibrant handmade marketplace” and provides a variety of art forms as well as purchasing opportunities.  On Etsy you’ll find delicious eye candy and serious shopping therapy temptations!
  • And, then there’s down-home pop art like “yard bombing” as seen on  Or in this case – compliments of flickr (another art-sharing opportunity), and photographer, Kenneth Freeman – “Bikebombing”:
  • Or, how about the new, neighbor-friendly alternative to the ancient, adolescent practice of TP-ing. It’s called “Flocking” and performed by “Flockers” who plant a swarm of pink flamingos in front yards under cover of darkness – and apparently, in this case, raise funds for
  • And then there’s the compendium of “true stories told in one sentence” on:  These momentary journalists create fugaciously (Sorry, I couldn’t resist this tongue twister of a new-for-me word; it means “fleetingly.”) fascinating works that leave you pondering “the rest of the story.”

Most are profoundly poignant…

Her only food for the day was half an ear of corn, so I did not let her see me cry when she broke a piece off and placed it in my hand.

— With Peace (November 2009)

“One minute left,” the proctor droned, and I cringed at the 10 empty answer blocks of a 20 question test.

— Frostie (February 2011)

Today I used a letter from the debt collector’s office as proof of residence, in order to collect my new credit card.

— Spiralling (August 2011)

There’s only one date on her gravestone.

— Too Short (June 2012)

But some will make you chuckle…

A strand of noodle hangs on the chin of my sleeping baby.

— John Pesebre (September 2010)

As I got out of the truck, I happily exclaimed “I didn’t fall!” and proceeded to walk straight into the mirror of the car parked next to us.

— Sarah (November 2009)

My dramatic exit was slightly diminished when I followed the door slam with “YUCK FOU.”

— Lily (July 2011)

I’ve spent 20 years being worried about how much taller I was than all the boys, and in 7 minutes I fell in love with a boy in a wheelchair.

— Franken_bunny (January 2012)

The day I ironed my shirt with my hair straightener was the day I finally felt like a true college student.

— Veronica (December 2011)

And, whether you’ve laughed or shed a tear or simply become curious, if you’ve carved out space in your busy day to peruse some of the sites listed above, you’ve just enjoyed fleeting moments in which to marvel at OP’s creative expressions – and hopefully you’re rolling up your sleeves and contemplating your own as-yet-unknown “nexts”…

Creating Breathing Room…

Sometimes, to pursue a new idea, the artist must forfeit his deposit on an old idea.

Robert Brault

Hmmmmmmm – Much like Jenny Doh, Robert Brault has delivered food for thought… let it nourish you as you seek out space for your art and breathing room for your life.

And on that note, this is Ellie – a bit awed, a lot humbled and hugely inspired by OP’s creations – ending this post with a reminder to myself – enjoy the creative process and let the final outcome draw you into it… make room for “next” but never let ’em see you sweat.

For me, every day is a new thing. I approach each project with a new insecurity, almost like the first project I ever did. And I get the sweats. I go in and start working, I’m not sure where I’m going. If I knew where I was going I wouldn’t do it.

— Frank Gehry

If you’re still choosing to put off everything until you’re sure of it, let Scott Adams’ advice help you find your breathing room: Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

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