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Archive for January 16th, 2009

Crayon Week: Exhuberance without Fear!

Friday, January 16th, 2009

Let’s Play!

I have been holding in an idea and it has decided to burst forth. I asked you guys at the beginning of the holiday season, what you do to create calm and balance when you don’t feel calm or balanced. I got a LOT of great answers. The one that really stood out as far as being different than all the others, also resonated as true.

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Kristi said that she colors with her two toddler boys after dinner. This reminded me of the days when I had a roommate who liked to color, and I mean she was probably not quite 30, I was not quite 40.

We used coloring books, so we did not have to plan or worry about what to draw. We just rubbed those crayons back and forth in areas on the page, enjoying the repetitive motion and the joy of choosing the next color.

I remember in those days we bought every crayon box we could find. There were metallic ones like car paint, there was glitter, there were multitudes of skin tones from pale tan to beige to burnt umber. The skin tone crayons are hard to find except at a teacher-oriented store, I’m sorry to say.

We each had our own 64-color box plus we shared a number of the small specialty crayons. It was a really great way to spend an evening after dinner when the weather was not nice enough for a walk.

Art from the Heart

Well, this week I was looking at some things I had moved too quickly out of my classroom at Foster Community Center. I have an awful time letting go of drawings kids give to me. I mean, those drawings are pure love.

One of the drawings I had on my wall for years, had a rainbow in crayon showing when it was up on the wall. But the other day I saw the back of it, for the first time in years and years. And I just fell in love with it. See it at the beginning of this post.

I can’t read it all, but this kid seems in love with life. At the top I think the intent was to say “My favorite color is green.” I also think I see the cryptic “Granny birthdays on May 20 First.” Adorable. We have “I love my family very much. I also see something like “My har(hair? hand?) is gree?” I think things got sillier at the bottom of the page.

Then look and see if you think I have it right. Is the bottom right corner SpongeBob Squarepants, perhaps?

The background shows a huge turtle-like shape and a girl in red dress. I think this is particularly wonderful.

It is Our Turn

So here’s the assignment. Get out at least two colors of crayons, more is better. If you have no crayons and no way to get any, look for big-tipped markers instead. Anything you can find in multicolors is good. One red pencil and one purple ballpoint pen is better than not playing along.

Find as big of a paper as you can, twice the size of copy paper is best, though I may have to go with copy paper since I’m not sure I have anything else here these days.

Then draw. It is suggested by some that if you want to really let go of perfection in a drawing intended to help you let go, you can draw with the hand you do not use to sign your name. Another method I’ve used is to draw a circle centered in the page as big as I can get it, then start sort of doodling around/inside the circle, making it be whatever it wants to be.

If you do not want anyone to see it, toss it out. The point is to do something that does not matter and that has nothing to do with perfection or your normal artform.

For me, anything I create for my work or my typical artforms, I am picky about. I sometimes say “my name is on it” and that means I have to fuss over details. I do leave “hiccups” in socks that I wear, but not in any that go on display as samples in yarn shops, for example.

Crayons have nothing to do with my business. I will do this exercise myself. I will attempt to follow my own advice and draw for the pure joy of moving my hand and seeing color on the page.

Only if You Choose…

If you want to, post it on your blog or Flickr. If you want to, send me a .jpg and let me know if I can post it here. If you have it on your own site, you can write me if I can put a copy of it here for others to see/enjoy.

No fussing allowed, OK? If you find yourself reworking an area to make it prettier, start again with another piece of paper. Consider doing this with eyes closed. Consider playing music you haven’t listened to in years. Consider playing that music really loud and dancing to a song or two before sitting down to draw.

Anyone want to join me?

Relationship is Everything

Friday, January 16th, 2009

Well, I just lost half of a long post, and undo won’t fix it. I’ll have to fix that entry but meanwhile I need to post and do the rest of my day.

So I will wax poetic about the relationships in my life. In the end, what matters most to me are the relationships I have in my life. Once long ago I had relationships that were not balanced and equal. I had to do more than the other party in order to feel equal. Ugh. This is one very big reason why I’m happy to be past age 30 (I’m 50 now) and settling into who I am.

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The more I’m comfortable with the real me, the more I am surrounded by people who think the real me is someone good to spend time with. I like this life.

So I’ll show you a photo of myself at lunch the other day with dance friends. This is me, Brandi, Isabel and April. April is Isabel’s mom. They used to live across the street from me, but even before that, Brandi April and I danced together. We had a very fun late-holiday brunch together that day at Gone Wired Cafe. One of the folks who works there took our photo in front of the ocean mural.

We look happy. We were! I have a good life.