Monday, June 20, 2016

Come And Play!!

Two quick reminders for this week!

An Imaginary Visit To A Tulip Festival will begin this Thursday! We'll be working with all kinds of bright color both close up and at a distance over a field. We'll also play around with all kinds of greens and how to make them interesting. If this sounds like fun to you, come and join me! Please click here or on the class title to sign up!

P.S. As will be celebrating six years of creative fun and learning, I am offering this class at a special celebratory price. Check out the link above to find out more!

Next up, if you're anywhere nearby, plan on joining me for a class at Keeton's Office And Art Supply in Bradenton this Saturday, June 25th! We'll be capturing the jeweled wings of the Monarch Butterfly in our sketchbooks! It seems kind of appropriate since today marks the Summer Solstice!

To sign up for this class, please contact Keeton's directly by following the link above!

Hope to see you there or in the Imaginary Realm!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

(Help Me To) Pay It In Kindness #ForOrlando

Laying awake last night, I found myself asking the same question over and over.

"How do you stop the hate?"

What would make a young man so full of hate by the ripe, old age of 29, that he would take it upon himself to kill 49 people while leaving scores more injured?

I found no answers. Folks far smarter than me don't seem to have the answers either.

I've watched some of the vigils held around the world to mark solidarity and to remember the victims. I've given money to some of the relief efforts, and yet, I feel...frustrated. Like those few token gestures were not quite enough. Perhaps you've felt the same way?

You may have called your congressman or woman to ask for stronger gun laws, or you've sent a letter or joined in a protest or you may have sat quietly and cried tears for the incredible loss of life. I have.

As I chased this question around and around in my mind last night I finally decided there was something more I could do—I could Pay It In Kindness.

Paying It Forward
Here's my idea—I intend to pay kindness forward 49 times for each of the lives lost. Then I'll pay kindness forward 53 more times for each of those injured. That's 102 acts of kindness paid—deliberately—into a world that seems to have tilted ever so slightly off its axis.

If even one other person joins me, we'll be bring 204 acts of kindness into the world. And if ten of you join me, there will be 1,020 acts. If one hundred people act, that's 10,200 and if a thousand people act, that's well over 100,000 acts of kindness.

Kindness Of Every Kind
There are thousands of ways to be kind. Even the poorest among us can spare a smile or a compliment. It makes no difference if the person knows of our acts or not. Because we know and kindness has a way of making us feel good just as it does the recipient. A few suggestions:

Hold the elevator door...share your a cup of coffee for the next person in line behind someone pick up spilled items...tell someone how much you like their eyes or their smile...speak kindly when aggravated...take a breath to let go of impatience...tip your waitstaff a larger amount then necessary...let someone in when you're sitting in traffic...give a stranger a flower...let someone have your seat on the as you pass people on the sidewalk...stop and visit with an elderly person for a few minutes...tell a child how much they inspire you...give the toll for the person behind you...curb your impatience for the person driving slow in front of you...

Maybe, just maybe, if we fill the world with kindness, we'll begin to crowd out the hate that drives someone to harm others.

This Is About The Human Condition
This post is NOT about political party lines, gun laws, alternate lifestyles, religious beliefs, or anything else EXCEPT recognizing we're all in this together and it will take all of us to bring about change. I cannot change the world. You can't either. But we can change ourselves. We can all be kinder and share kindness with those we love as well as unsuspecting strangers.

Please SHARE
I don't usually ask for you to share anything from this blog, but this time, I'm asking you to share this idea with others. Share the graphic at the top of the image along with a link to the post or give it your own spin.

Join me in bringing something good out of the horrific events in Orlando this weekend. 

Thank you.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Unexpected Gifts

An Imaginary Visit To A Tulip Festival!
One of the coolest things to happen along my artistic path are the connections I've made along the way. It is odd to me that some of my "closest friends" are people who live thousands of miles from me and I only actually see once in a great while, but then to me, that's the real beauty of the world wide web.

One such connection is Claire McFeely who recently sent me a disk full of gorgeous photos from a trip she took with her family to Skagit Valley, Washington, to the annual Tulip Festival—a place I've always wanted to visit!

Undulating waves of colorful blossoms, kites rising gently over the fields, happy shining faces of the visitors, portraits of delicate tulips lifting towards the sun...and an imaginary visit was born!

I had intended to wait until next April to put the class on the class schedule as this when the real festival happens, but I decided I didn't want to wait. This unexpected gift was too bright and colorful and fun to be ignored and we all know artists are hard pressed to ignore any new, bright, colorful, fun thing that comes along!

I invite you to come and visit the tulip festival with me. An Imaginary Visit To A Tulip Festival with start on Thursday, June 23rd! To make this even more of an unexpected gift as Imaginary Trips is celebrating six years of travel sketching, I have included a discount on the pricing of the class. Click here or on the class title to find more information!