Art Supplies by Cindy Adelle Richard
I recently attended a talk by Erik Qualman where he spoke about the digital legacy that we each create online. The brief exercise he had us complete really caught my attention, and felt compelled to share it – it was about identifying our one word. One of the aspects of leaving a positive digital legacy (simply defined as the content that you leave in cyberspace that will be there forever) should be achieving authenticity. To get at what makes us authentic, Erik had us answer a provocative question, “When you die, what is the one word you want people to use to describe you?” For me, the word “artist” immediately came to mind. It is the truest aspect of who I am, and it is how I want to be remembered on this Earth. It took me a long time to find my way back to being an artist (over 30 years). As a child, I definitely loved art – I enjoyed drawing and painting, writing stories, and reading voraciously. There is a newspaper photo of me on my first day of kindergarten (our local paper covered the first day back to school), and do you know what I was doing in the photograph? Drawing with an intense look of concentration on my little face. Being a proud mom, my mother cut it out and laminated it to keep, and I’m so glad she did because it is a lovely reminder of what I loved most as a child. And what I still love most as an adult.
I would encourage you to take some time to complete this exercise. The word you choose may be as unique as you are as an individual, or it may be as common as a character trait or social role chosen by many others. Erik only gave us a minute to think of our word, but you can take all the time you need to answer this one profound question, “When you die, what is the one word you want people to use to describe you?”
The Butterfly Charmer by Cindy Adelle Richard
Agatha did not discover her love for the cello until she reached her twenties. She had always been extremely active as a young child and participated in lots of sports; the thought of slowing down to play an instrument never crossed her mind. In college, Agatha’s music theory class took a field trip to a museum, and as part of the experience, the students got to try out lots of different instruments. For some reason, the cello just clicked with Agatha. She had no idea how to play it yet, but it just felt right resting against her body. With the support of her music theory professor, Monsieur Lamb, Agatha found a good cello instructor and started taking lessons in the afternoons after classes.
One day when Agatha and her cello instructor, Mr. Kim, were practicing, they decided to go outside to play because it was too warm inside. By this time, Agatha was quite proficient and could play lovely songs on the cello. As she played, butterflies started to swirl around her – first one, then two, and by the time she finished, there were about 20. Mr. Kim had never seen anything like it. The next day, they came back to the field to play, and the same thing happened. Out of curiosity, Mr. Kim played his cello to see if the butterflies would gravitate toward him, but they just fluttered away. From then on, he referred to Agatha as the butterfly charmer. Whenever she performed outside, day or night, butterflies appeared and fluttered lazily about enchanting everyone present. Agatha loved this spectacle because she had always been fascinated by butterflies. It always made her happy to see that the butterflies enjoyed her music, and she kept them in mind when she started to compose music.
To bring Agatha and her butterflies home with you, visit Etsy
The Swan Keeper by Cindy Adelle Richard
Yuuma, the swan keeper, is known for breeding swans of an unusual size. She is currently the keeper of a family of swans with a female (Pixie), male (Beau), and two babies (Bobby and Lucky). Yuuma works at the bird sanctuary, and her lake and cottage are attached to it via a bridge. She is good friends with Birdie, the manager of the bird sanctuary. One of their favorite pastimes is taking long, quiet strolls through the sanctuary together while sipping tea and discussing the birds. Yuuma is also a ballerina for the local ballet company. She is obsessed with Swan Lake, and spends countless hours creating variations of it during her spare time. She creates one new interpretation each year and stages one grand performance for the citizens of the Isle of Adelle. They look forward to it all year because her productions are truly spectacular to behold. They all admire her wonderful talent, quiet tenacity, and gentle perfectionism.
This poem was created in Yuuma’s honor:
White feathers flow
yoked to a graceful form
drift slowly by.
To bring Yuuma and her swans home with you, please visit my Etsy shop.
Nora’s Stitches by Cindy Adelle Richard
Nora is an exceptional seamstress that Adelle recruited to join the art colony some years back. Nora said she would come on one condition – her home and shop needed to have an unobstructed view of the sea, and Adelle granted her wish. Unlike the hustle and bustle of Paris, Nora loves hearing the gentle swaying of the waves and seeing the boats headed to wondrous destinations. She likes imagining the places they might be headed, and her imaginings often make their way into her creations in subtle ways. For example, this yellow dress for Marigold, a perky harpist who has a flair for the dramatic, came about because Nora imagined that she was attending a night out at the opera in Venice. The gloves became a necessity because what Diva wears a dress without gloves.
People often say that Nora’s creations fit like a dream. She takes great pleasure in seeing her customers try on their outfits for the first time – when they swing, sway, and sashay in front of the mirror while professing their love for her clothing. Could there be anything better? Nora doesn’t think so.
One of her satisfied customers created this poem to honor her:
Shaping a fabric’s fate
her needle mimics the waves
making golden gloves sing.
This painting, Nora’s Stitches, is available as an original and prints via Etsy
Flora and Feathers by Cindy Adelle Richard
Bernadette “Birdie” McGee is the founder of the bird sanctuary and the local bird shop on The Isle of Adelle. Birdie is the resident expert on all species of birds, and she is careful to fill new bird owners in on everything necessary to take excellent care of their bird friends. There are a few rules that every new bird owner must follow when purchasing a bird: 1) they must allow them to be free (the birds cages in her shop are just for decoration because the bottoms are all open) 2) they must bring the birds to her shop for proper grooming and regular check-ups and 3) they must participate in special training sessions to learn about their particular species of bird.
Birdie learned everything she knows from her grandmother, Agatha, a noted ornithologist at the Sorbonne. Birdie decided not to go to school (on account of being painfully shy – the thought of attending a huge university terrified her), but she learned everything intuitively by reading her grandmother’s books and taking lessons from her. She is still painfully shy with a quiet and gentle demeanor; her days are peaceful, well-ordered, and allow plenty of alone time – exactly how she likes it. The only time she becomes unusually vocal and strong is when it comes to speaking up for the health and well-being of her birds.
Birdie’s shop is attached to a vast bird sanctuary that is open to the community (there are well over 300 species of birds at the sanctuary). One of her favorite things to do each morning is to go into the bird sanctuary before everyone else is awake with a cup of tea and listen to the beautiful chorus of birdsong. She wrote a little poem to commemorate her favorite activity:
Alone among trees
sipping cherry blossom tea
a soul-stirring melody
fills the air with harmony.
Birdie’s painting is available on Etsy
The Umbrella Man by Cindy Adelle Richard
Wade believes in making rainy days more amenable by adding joyful surprises inside each of his umbrella – surprises like pops of bright color, lights, glitter, and clouds. No matter what is happening in the sky, when his customers look up, they only see images that make them happy. There is something special about having joyful umbrellas to make it through a wet weather event. People order Wade’s umbrella’s from far and wide, and he will customize each one to match the personalities of his customers. How? Wade has developed a set of 5 profound questions to figure out all that he needs to know about a person (they are top-secret of course).
I created a brief poem to accompany Wade’s mini-story:
The rain taps lightly above.
Inside their dome
people gaze up
happy to be home.
Umbrella Man is now available on Etsy
Carousel in the Sky by Cindy Adelle Richard
This image of miniature carousel horses has been floating around in my head since Christmas, so I am relieved to finally get it down on paper so that I can share it with you. The woman featured in this painting is Cayley, and she has one of the coolest professions I could think of – she creates life-sized and miniature carousel horses. Not only does she craft these beauties out of wood, she has a secret talent for bringing them to life as well. She loves carousels so much that she created a special park full of her creations, and each one performs a little differently so that riders will have a unique experience no matter which one they ride. Once the park closes for the day, she makes a point of riding her favorite carousel, the one with show horses and spinning teacups – it reminds her of the feelings of sheer delight she experienced the first time she rode a carousel as a small child.
I also created a brief poem – I hope you enjoy it:
Carousel in the Sky
swirling in splendid circles
the height of bliss.
This painting is available in my Etsy shop (an original and prints) Click Here
Hats of the Horoscope Calendar by Cindy Adelle Richard
I finished my 2019 Hats of the Horoscope calendar just before Christmas, but I am just getting around to sharing the news. I also wanted to provide a little background about the inspiration behind the calendar. In case you had not noticed, I have a thing for hats. I have been collecting images of hats for years on Pinterest and I am known to regularly sport hats whenever I get the chance. I am also fascinated by natal astrology (the one that based on calculating our exact birth dates, times, and locations to provide us with snapshots of our whole life). I combined the two in order to create something unique, and I am thrilled with the results! To keep things manageable, I decided to pick out hats that match one particular personality trait from each of the signs and to depict it in the color denoted for each sign. I included the interpretations below so you will be able to see what each one means.
Hats of the Horoscope Explanations
I hope you enjoy reviewing each month. These calendars are also available for purchase on my Etsy shop.
The Blank Page by Cindy Adelle Richard
I recently read a book called “What’s Your Creative Type: Harness the Power of Your Creative Personality” by Meta Wagner, and the content was intriguing enough to share. The reason that Wagner wrote the book was to help artist know why they create so that they can maximize their creative potential. The most accomplished and prolific artists know why they create and use it as the driving force behind their work. I am going to provide a summary of each of the types and one example of an a well-known artist who embodies that type. My goal is to introduce you to the creative types and hopefully pique your interest so you will seek out more information.
The A-Lister: Seeking Applause, Adoration, Fame, and Immortality
- thrive off of adoration and attention from others
- have a strong need to have people see what you see, feel what you feel, think what you think
- feel alive when performing for others
- want to be remembered after you die
- more interested in the finished product because that is where the glory comes from
- compete against past and present artists you admire
- Example of an A-Lister Artist: Pablo Picasso was not only content to make art, he did everything in his power to also ensure he was famous and made money from his art.
The Artisan: Truly, Madly, Deeply Devoted to Creativity
- just being creative provides its own satisfaction
- lose all sense of time when deeply engaged in the creative process
- the thrill of making something from nothing keeps you enthralled
- love the process even more than the product
- would keep making art even if no one paid attention to it or paid money for it
- often look to artists who came before you for inspiration and information
- Example of The Artisan: Vincent Van Gogh spent years learning to paint and he was quite prolific, yet he really didn’t sell much work when he was alive. He was completely driven by the creative process and making paintings.
The Game Changer: Creating Something Entirely New
- make new, revolutionary, visionary art – originality crucial to you
- want to expand the limits of art and get people to see the world differently
- become restless and bored with following conventions so constantly experimenting with new approaches and techniques to keep yourself engaged
- may have to wait years, even decades, for your ideas to be accepted
- Example of The Game Changer: Jackson Pollock created an entirely new way of painting and changed how people looked at abstract art, and the world noticed.
The Sensitive Soul: Expressing Yourself and Helping Others
- feel things deeply and use creative outlets to channel them
- lots of things stir your emotions
- can be thin-skinned, but have a great ability to empathize with the feelings of others
- when they use art to bring themselves relief from suffering, they also help others to escape their pain
- always seeking ways to cope with and make meaning out of life
- often use their personal experiences as the catalyst for their art
- Example of The Sensitive Soul: Frida Kahlo used her painful past and raw emotions to give her paintings power, and her work has emotionally affected art lovers for generations.
The Activist: Changing the World Through Art
- desire to create art that has an impact – changes the course of people’s lives or even the course of history
- tend to see injustices everywhere you look, and you refuse to stand idly by – you must do something
- there is often a sense of urgency to your work
- tendency to follow politics and world events on a consistent basis
- art is often created for shock value and/or to send a message
- Example of The Activist: Banksy uses street art/murals to spotlight political or moral injustices in our current world. His message is usually anti-war, anti-capitalist, or anti-establishment.
Whether you identify with one, more than one, or none of these types, I hope they will get you thinking about why you create. I do believe that it is helpful to know why you create so that you can return to it when times get tough or when you need to refocus your work. It also helps to know so that you can find the inspiration you need to keep going. I would also recommend checking out Meta Wagner’s book in its entirety – in addition to in-depth descriptions of these types, she also goes into subcategories of the types and helpful hints on how to work best with your creative personality.
Windmill Wishes by Cindy Adelle Richard
This image made me think of daydreaming, so I decided to write a Haiku poem to accompany it:
Spinning windswept clouds
canary yellow tulip fields
vague visions of home