Tuesday, August 12, 2008

New Stimulation and Motivation

Each morning I wake up to two subscriber "motivational" messages in my inbox, one from the Abraham group (see http://www.abraham-hicks.com/) and the other from http://www.tut.com/

This morning the second motivational message asked: "A question to ask yourself each morning, Jeanne, that really lights fires, gongs bells, and summons resources is, 'What little, mortal, baby steps can I take today that will demonstrate expectancy, prepare for my dream's manifestation, and above all, place me within reach of life's magic?' "

These daily doses of uplifting reminders help me refocus and recharge my positive attitude. I believe in the law of attraction and how important it is to set our intentions for what we desire to attract in our lives. Olympic athletes know how powerful the tools of focus, setting intentions and visualization can be in achieving desired results. Gold medal winners are made, not born, and every story of Olympic success emphasizes the hours and hours each day that each athlete spends in practicing and honing their skills. Nobody makes it to the Olympics just because they have talent.

So, in the Olympic spirit, I work to place myself within reach of life's magic. Every day I notice how the people and opportunities I'm attracting are increasingly more harmonious with the desires that I have for my artistic life. I focus on the positive and then each day include action steps -- even if they are tiny ones -- that move me closer towards making my dreams a reality.

Today will be my second afternoon as a student in the basic bookmaking class. We're a small but interesting group -- a retired philosophy professor who wants to repair and maintain his book collection, an engineer who wants to bind his own dissertation, a PhD student in library science and a librarian who loves books and is taking a week off to from work to enjoy books from a different perspective.

Yesterday we learned how to accordion, concertina and flag fold using copy paper. We did several basic stitching techniques with waxed linen thread to hold signatures (a folded set of four pieces of paper) together. While the precision involved in folding makes me hold my breath at times, our instructor -- Marlene Seidman -- is great at easing us step by step into the basics.

My artist self thrives on creative connections that stimulate my imagination. Experimenting with stitching or constructing simple book forms is like a ballroom dancer trying hip hop-- it throws me into the tension of the unfamiliar, challenges me to think in a different medium and use new materials.

Here's a simple but wonderful piece by gestural calligrapher Viviana Lombrozo -- http://www.vivianalombrozo.com -- that inspired me to sign up for the bookmaking class. Her work appeared on Monica Dengo's website. I hope to take a class with Monica next year; she offers one each fall in Italy (hmmmm,pretty appealing location for a class!) I fell in love with her work the first time I visited her website: http://www.monicadengo.com/

The class I'm taking this week locally is an opportunity for me to experiment with simple book forms as possible structures for future Pages pieces. While I love working in surface design on textiles, I am increasingly drawn to mixed media applications for the processes that I use. It also intrigues me to combine working in very large formats with very small. These are ideas that play at the edges of my thoughts in connection with letterform imagery as I learn to wield my bone folder for sharp creases and use a clam knife to separate pages.

Everything we make this week will be blank pages. That in itself is a fascinating concept, the blank page -- allowing us to contemplate what images or texts they might hold in the future.

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