Dog Resting on Blanket in Conte and Charcoal

I finished this drawing as a belated Christmas gift this past week. I’m really happy with how it came out. I always forget how much I love to work with conte and charcoal. It’s messy but so satisfying to carve out the figures. I kept the blanket loose and sketchy feeling because I wanted the dog to take the spotlight.

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Copyright 2016, Kat Micari

And yes, the dog’s eyes really were a deep blue and he would look at you like a human.

Creativity as a Gift

The following is one of my favorite quotes on creativity.

The next questions are based on this idea that creativity is born in each of us, and they require us to answer with stringent honesty: What are the gifts that we’ve been given?  To deny that we are gifted is, perhaps, to indulge in false humility, which allows us to shirk our responsibility to the gift.  But the gift is a sacred trust.  It asks something of us.  It asks that we accept it and temporarily become its guardian. It asks that we develop it.  And then it asks that we pass it on.

 

From Deena Metzger’s Writing for Your Life

 

The notion of creativity being a gift and a sacred trust resounded so loudly within me when I first read this. And that it should be passed on rather than being kept precious to ourselves… reading this years ago was probably the push I needed to overcome some of my perfectionist tendencies and actually start sharing my work.

How do you view creativity? Is it a gift or something else to you?

Music is a Gift

My husband recovered our digital music collection from our old hard drive last week, and it is the greatest gift I have gotten in a long time. We thought the collection possibly lost, as the old hard drive overheats quickly and our new hard drive had a fall in the summer from our toddler and has since been sitting in a recovery shop (they swear they think they can fix it). So since summer, I’ve been relying on the few CDs not in storage and on the albums my husband and I each had saved to our laptops or listening to Internet radio. It was not enough.

Almost every plan I have made lately that would have energized, healed, and/or rejuvenated me has fallen apart, due to situations outside my control. I’ve been understanding and tried to calmly take it as it comes, but I’m severely scraping the bottom of my barrel. I described myself the other day as currently heartsick and soulweary. Suddenly having access to over 19,000 songs (2 people x 2+ decades) that I thought possibly lost to me forever, being able to sing along to old favorites or listen to project-appropriate music or have a really good dance party with my son, soothes me at a time that I really need soothing. Not that I’m suddenly complacent or numb, but the music is a balm that makes it easier to work through what needs working. And I always have something that needs working.

Deena Metzger’s Writing for Your Life

I have been rereading and working through the writing exercises from  Writing for Your Life.   Deena Metzger is one of my favorite authors, and she is who I return to whenever I need to travel the depths of my soul.  It was Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way that first made me acknowledge that it was okay to be an artist and that I had something worth saying, but it was through reading Metzger that I first felt the burning need to connect my inner and my outer worlds.

This quote I read last night in Writing for Your Life is amazing.

The next questions are based on this idea that creativity is born in each of us, and they require us to answer with stringent honesty: What are the gifts that we’ve been given?  To deny that we are gifted is, perhaps, to indulge in false humility, which allows us to shirk our responsibility to the gift.  But the gift is a sacred trust.  It asks something of us.  It asks that we accept it and temporarily become its guardian. It asks that we develop it.  And then it asks that we pass it on.

I came across Deena Metzger in grad school while getting my MFA, and it is through reading her work that I’ve come to feel a sense of responsibility as an artist, and indeed as a person as a whole.  I am more mindful, more gracious, and more able to focus when I work with the deep internal connections that I’ve developed over the years.  I’ve become stronger and more substantial in my work as well.  If you are interested in developing yourself creatively, I highly recommend this book.