Posts Tagged With: Creative Spark

On creativity (pt I of probably a whole series)


This might become a post which is partly “everyday-philosophy”, partly gratitude related.

I am in the very lucky Situation to have not only amazing friends per se, and also, there is a deep exchange about creativity. A wonderful day spent at my Long-time friend U.’s house yesterday, 7 hours of crafting and talking and happy-sighing lies behind me time wise but is still present in my heart. A talk to my friend A. a few days ago about how it feels to do creative activities, how you define creativity and how often you want creativity in your life keeps ringing in heart and head, too. Both talks make me deeply grateful and inspire me in ways I can hardly put in words. Ideas spark ideas, and I am well advised to Keep a paper and pen attached to my Body. Very deep written into my soul’s interests are Tara Leaver’s thoughts on creativity – you can read them in her amazing book “Creative Spark” and her blog.  

Am I an exception there? No. And here’s my theory:

If you make room for creativity, if you make creative Actions a Habit in your every day life, even if it’s “only” for ten minutes a day, you will notice a Change in your thinking. Maybe even more, if you commit to a form of Meditation, this is a particularly personal take on things and also said with grateful experience. I started a morning Habit of sitting Meditation in April 2012 and have kept to it ever since, days having missed out I can count on my two hands. After having found about Tara’s take on artmaking, I found myself several times a week, drawing, sketching, etc. on index Cards, in sketchbooks, or being inspired by wonderful Susannah Conway and Journal my heart out, or girly with masking tapes and Stickers to decorate away happily.

But sketching, drawing, writing and decorating are just a few examples of creativity, or, they are the outside result of a creative Soul pursuing her need to act out on ideas. The creativity takes place inside and you take Actions. Here is a list (a list, imagine that, dear freuqent Reader ^^) of things I personally consider as creative, although These things might turn very left brained, too, admittedly.

The things many People agree to call creative:

  • Collage
  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • sculpting
  • sewing
  • writing short stories/poetry/fiction
  • land art
  • film making
  • photography  …

You get the Point, right?

A bowl of veggie soup a way to make someone feel home. Works for me.

A bowl of veggie soup a way to make someone feel home. Works for me.



Something very sweet  I read in Tara Leaver’s Creative Spark and on her blog:

baking or cooking. She suggests that when you turn away from easel or desk and you feel uncreative, yet you feel like bringing Forward something, cooking a simple recipe might be a very good thing to do.

What do you do when you bake a cake or cook a veggie Rice recipe for example? You Combine. You measure. You decide. lots of things involved in every creative process. Quod erat demonstrandum. 🙂

What I would like to add to a creativity list:

  • decorating the Apartment
  • developing a concept for a particular purpose
  • planning a Party
  • simply Setting a table
  • plucking flowers and arranging them to a Bouquet
  • organizing your day with our without day planner (not the right blog post to get me started on the creative use of my filofax ^^)



Please feel invited to add to this list, as it’s far from being enough. And I am so curious. Looking forward to hearing from you all.


Let me add this wonderful blog post in case you feel the list bit curious about making time and space for creativity in your life:


Categories: Art, cooking and baking, creativity, drawing, gratitude, meditation, psychology | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Welcome, October – and welcome, “31 playful days” with a huge thank you to Tara Leaver

Day 2 - reminiscing the love for blind contour drawing the way Tara's taught us... and doing a happy Memory timetravel as I was so reminded of our Creative Spark course.

Day 2 – reminiscing the love for blind contour drawing the way Tara’s taught us… and doing a happy Memory timetravel as I was so reminded of our Creative Spark course.

Day 1 - favourite coffee mug. The Cup which "stood model" is similar shape wise, but intuitively I went with how the Cup and the yummy coffee inside makes me feel. Cosy, warm, at home, Content... Besides that, it was fun to experiment with loads of texture.

Day 1 – favourite coffee mug. The Cup which “stood model” is similar shape wise, but intuitively I went with how the Cup and the yummy coffee inside makes me feel. Cosy, warm, at home, Content… Besides that, it was fun to experiment with loads of texture.

This year, welcoming October could hardly be easier, for so many reasons:

-It’s warm and sunny, the sun turns everything into Gold here and I Keep admiring the red beech and a maple tree in front of the window, and how much Beauty they have to offer

    • -I purchased 2 new Memory Cards for my camera and cannot stop taking photos of the treetops and the deep blue sky
    • -It’s my fall break – hip hip hooray
    • -The long awaited new novel by Rachel Joyce, “The Love Song of Queenie Hennessy” has been released – at the beginning of my fall break, how happy am I?  (This will take an extra blog post sometime today or tomorrow)
    • -last Wednesday, “31 playful days”, Tara Leaver’s generous and amazing drawing Project started. Again: how happy am I? (Very)

This morning is a rather grey-ish Sunday, and – oh happy fallbreak – a perfect reason to catch up with Tara’s blog. Next week will be the Creative Spark anniversary, means, it’s a year ago that I took part in Tara’s first ever online course (see related blog post) and not only did I create drawings and paintings I hadn’t before, I also met the most amazing People, and made amazing friends, way beyond social media !! One of many reasons to keep going back to Tara’s ever-inspiring blog, especially without jumping up for desk work or other chores.

   The latest post is a very precious gem in Terms of learning about creative process, intuitive artmaking, Living a creative life, Inspiration to get the art supplies out! Not to speak of the artwork added in the photos!! Go see yourself:

October might also be a Blogging-intensive month here – as I plan to Keep you updated about 31 playful days. Day 1 and 2 are up there, well, obviously :), and here are Day 3 to 4. Day 5 is yet to be born.

Day 4 - A Way To Travel Everyone who knows me just a little won't be surprised with this choice.

Day 4 – A Way To Travel
Everyone who knows me just a little won’t be surprised with this choice.

Day 2 - reminiscing the love for blind contour drawing the way Tara's taught us... and doing a happy Memory timetravel as I was so reminded of our Creative Spark course.

Day 2 – reminiscing the love for blind contour drawing the way Tara’s taught us… and doing a happy Memory timetravel as I was so reminded of our Creative Spark course.

Categories: Art, books, creativity, intuitive artmaking, sketchbook, sundays | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lists have a value way beyond grocery shopping and writing down your to-do’s

This late morning, I took the bus from my quarter to the other end of the City . Next to me, there was an old Lady, who spread such a calmness and comfortable quietness:

She sat there, her numerous farmer’s market Shopping bags at her feet, deeply sunken into reading her book.      

I just liked e-verything about this Impression:

  • The way she sat in the bus like it was a comfy armchair in a quiet surrounding, totally living in the moment and enjoying her book
  • The way he solemnly Held the book in her Hands (and noticing that I often seem to notice things like that, that I am moved by how people treat their books…)
  • The fact that she loves reading on the bus, something she and I share.
  • (…)

As someone who is into journalling, keeping sketchbooks, art journals and other Notebooks in the same period of time, I decided to refresh my list of

Simple Everyday things I love

Ok then. Back home. Getting the particular Notebook (to which I’ll be referring more detailed in a bit), opening it and reading my list about the Topic like mentioned above.  

IMG_2062 (510x640)

The black book under the pen and the “post-it-Gallery” is the very HBOL (happy book of lists)

Goosebumps! Because I only list happy things. and now the beans are spilled.

yes, I Keep a list book: “The happy book of lists”

I also do lists for grocery Shopping and cleaning up the rooms in my Apartment, Long days full of work…but this is of course not what I am talking about here. I cannot even remember when exactly I started making happy lists so consciously, but it must have been around the time when I took part in an intensive Basic Life-/Work-Planning Workshop

(a ressource-oriented, alternative Approach to ‘job-huntin’, Nelson-Bowles is name connected to this Approach, and “what colour is your parachute” is a book which introduces many of These ideas. Highly recommended, even if you are sure not to leave your Job for the next 30 years!)

However…in this Workshop you list things to get closer to your interests, for example sorted by your senses plus other criteria, such as “which Kind of Magazine attracts you”… Anyone who has experience with Coaching might think this sounds familiar (yes, of course).

You don’t have study positive psychology – though it’s something I have on one of my lists ; ) to get how the lists can positively affect your mood.

At least as far as I am concerned. Reading listed things I love, sorted by Topic (I’ll get to this in a minute) – feels Kind of…”getting connected” or like “a circle closing” or just like fulfillment.  Here is an example of a list which gives me wings:

simple life pleasure you can’t buy:

  • seeing someone solemnly reading a book and Holding this book like it was a treausre
  • seeing my two rabbits “tidy up” the fresh hay right after I put it into their ‘villa’ ..mindfully taking every bit of it and finding the perfect spot for it on the ground
  • the smell of a match after lighting a candle
  • the smell of whitebread with sugar crust in the kitchen
  • coming into a coffee scented room
  • watching a child walk around, holding the ‘paw’ of a plush animal in the hand, with this seriousness those short ones have.
  • the Sound of my small Brown coffee Cup when I put it on the saucer
  • the poppy- and cornflowers bowing when I drive past them on the countryside in summer… on my way to work
  • the light in the Loggia in late afternoon.
  • The warmth of the dark Brown wooden window frames between kitchen (which is mostly kept in a mix of cinnamon Brown, creamy White, chocolate  brown …) and Loggia, and how warm this feels when the sun shines into the Loggia, the shadows of the Little cherry tree being cast into the Loggia
  • sitting on my Meditation cushion, smelling incense and breathing deeply
  • the Sound of my graphite pen on paper, which is attached to a wooden board.
  • the rest of acrylic colour on the Palette.
  • the old teapot and the slight scent of my favourite tea which clings to it
  • my art supplies in the Loggia and the easel – wating and calling out to me   😉

After getting Long-term inspired by the books about art-making and creativity by

  • Tara Leaver
  • Sara Ahearn Bellemare (‘Painted Pages’ – an Approach to creatively using your Sketchbook and developing paintings out of it)
  • The online Project ICAD = Index Card a Day
  • and ‘Drawing your Life by Michael Nobbs

(see, a list again…haha) I am starting to use the idea of Michael Nobbs to draw everyday things surrounding me, like a teapot for example, an Impression of an Artist presented by Sara Ahearn Bellemare, who draws ALL her to-do lists, such as “what to pack for vacation” (looooove this idea), (…….)

  • to draw, (coloured pencils and beeswax Crayons preferredly)
  • sketch,
  • make Little collages
  • print with rubberstamps

So you get pictures who go right to your heart. I have about 12 or 13 index Cards so far. but the pile is growing. And before letting you  off the hook for your Saturday, dear Reader, imagine this:

Having a box of Pictures showing your personal (and personally crafted!) happiness-triggers! Imagine that! The winter might be Long and I can only speak for myself but at some Point after all the Holidays, the lack of ligth is getting a Little …old.. and I will be happy to Charge up by getting my box and looking at my happy artworks. (To mention the list-word one last time haha, so far, my finished index Cards came from words on the ….you know…lists. No, I am not Monk’s sister by the way hahahahaha)

Please, pretty please, dear Reader, if you have Ideas which anyhow relate to the ones introduced here…please share them, I am very interested in new approaches!

Categories: Achtsamkeit, colours, creativity, life, mindfulness, psychology, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

a big thank you, ‘happy friday’-wishes and a precious link for everyone interested in artmaking

Ready for having friends over.

Ready for having friends over.

First of all: happy friday, dear you, who is reading this blog post. I hope you are happy to start the Weekend (soon, especially depending on which time Zone you’re in 🙂 ) Here’s a Piece of cake for you – and I am baking a sweet whitebread with a Brown-sugar crust and Brown sugar crumples in it (and will share this virtually with you guys, too, soonish)Yesterday, in my contentment of early finishing desk work and soaking up the autumn-ish atmosphere of my surroundings, I did a very spontaneous, really heartfelt post, I just wanted to find an Expression of the mood I am in… The comments by Sherry, Sherry and Michelle really warmed my heart! Thank you, dear ones! I did intend to offer some atmosphere-ish scent by writing… but I wasn’t sure whether not this would be perceived the way I wanted it. Your comments really showed me that it worked, I felt connected to you guys! Like almost with one foot in Ontario with Sherry and Sherry even 🙂 (No, I don’t have particularly long legs hahaha)

Painting is stillness to me - as I mostly paint without Music or audiobook in the background (unlike sketching for some reason...) Just the very gentle sounds which are being created by putting colour on canvas/paper.


Now let’s talk about artmaking (always!). Tara Leaver, whose Website I recommend anyway to anyone interested in starting to pursue a creative take on …life…posted a blog entry about making art which got your own Fingerprint on it, means, which actually looks like you yourself created it. This is the very Stadium which I find very interesting. Because I have a pile of paintings and other things which might just start to learn Walking by themselves..but they still have “collaged copies” of my “Gurus” in them 🙂 Which isn’t a bad Thing. I love Tara’s take on this Topic and if this got you intetested – go and see yourself.

Categories: Art, coffee, colours, creativity, food, intuitive artmaking, life, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Tara Leaver’s wonderful blog post about ‘icad’ (‘index card a day’)

Hello there, on a hopefully sunny Sunday morning!

For those of you who are interested in being creative or about  to start, I generally recommend the website of one of my very favourite Artists, Tara Leaver:

Very often, after having visited Tara’s blog, I have a definity urge to get my art supplies or my Journal and get started, and the post I am going to introduce here just had me get all tingly with enthusiasm.

Tara followed the hashtag ‘icad’ through the web and found out that “index Card a day” is about artmaking on index cards. For the very details follow the link Tara mentions in her blog post. I won’t have 365 index Cards ready next year in August, …..but… it’s a wonderful, wonderful way to be creative (and to me: Charge up on days with way too much Input)

Basically this is what you need:                                                                                                       IMG_1548 (638x800) (316x376)

-a stack of index Cards

-art supplies of your choice

What I love about the idea is that you can get your Cards and art supplies and go somewhere sunny, and off you go.

Tara wasn’t the one inventing the ‘icad’ idea but you should have a look at the photos of her index cards!!  

Soooo  – as I am not going to Keep you waiting any longer – here’s the link to make you happy:

I am going to post a few soon. How about you?



Categories: Art, colours, intuitive artmaking, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The August Break – Day # 15 – books [I could post about five hundred photos to this prompt! But I will limit the choice ;-) …]

Aaaaaaaaaaah books! How happy I was to see that Susannah Conway included this theme in her prompt list. My head was spinning earlier while taking photos and looking at archives on my Computer .. too many ideas, so much love for books. I started to read aged 5 because I had fallen for books the  very moment I was able to pick them up and carry them myself, probably aged 3 or so. 🙂

As I so love everything about books, not only the written lines but also the smell, the weight, the paper, the marks and little “scars” they get after a while, I will stay old-fashioned and really can not imagine to purchase some cold electronic device to read a book. Blogs…ok, yeah, love to. But books will be books made of paper as far as I am concerned.

In the photo of the book pile you see the books which are the closest to my heart, which I take and open almost every day.

A good book to me is a book you can open at any page and read and you will feel good or fulfilled just by reading a few lines. These books you can see most certainly have this wonderful effect on me.

For those of you who are curious about the Details, the books are:

Ennenbach, Matthias: Buddhistische Psychotherapie. This means, very easy to figure out, ‘buddhistic psychotherapy’.

   It’s written by a very, very experienced, philantrophic, unique, widely talented psychologist, psychotherapist, seminar teacher, who has developed with a lot of heartfelt energy, his own therapy method using a deep knowledge of the buddhistic teachings and having understood how much buddhism appears as psychology. It’s a scientific book but it has this personal level, as the author is able to really address the reader. It’s also a Fusion of western psychology and partly neuroscience and the basic buddhistic teachings. I got the book shortly after its release and have read it as a whole at least 4 times yet, not speak of just opening it and reading a few lines. It’s soothing and uplifting and very deep. The book is very encouraging to start Meditation and Shows up wonderful ways to deal with it as well as describe why Meditation makes so incredibly much sense. It’s being translated at the moment and is said to be released in English in September. I will sure post something about it when the release date is public.

Ennenbach, Matthias: Der Tod des Dalai Lama (The death of the Dalai Lama).

This is a novel which describes the live of his holiness, the XIV. Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, up from Young Age. No, the author isn’t morbid at all, he tries to explain the different levels of consciousness as they are seen in buddhistic teachings. Milarepa and Machig Labdrön also have important roles in this outstanding novel. It’s a novel for readers who want to learn about buddhism but not via classic introduction literature. As you have probaly noticed, the author is the psychotherapist mentioned as the one having written the book “Buddhistische Psychotherapie”. He definitely knows how to write a novel, and you can tell he really knows a lot about both, psychological development and buddhism, you can tell by the way he lets the characters act and talk. This book is such a bliss.

Ortheil, Hanns-Josef: Die Erfindung des Lebens. (‘The Invention of life’).

This is a book which a dear friend recommended with the words “I always went to nice spots in the park or my favourite Café to read this book. I don’t want to rush it, this book is just too good …” Well, this made me curious. And so, I got it just a few days later, more or less exactly 2 years ago in my summer break. Thank god it was the summer break. Because I sure did not have my friend’s discipline, I had to read and read and read… This novel with strong autobiographical traits takes place in Cologne (where I lived for about 6 years), Rome and a lovely little village called Wissen an der Sieg, about an hour from Cologne on the countryside at the river Sieg – fields, little hills, wild flowers, nature’s Beauty at its best. The Story is about Johannes Catt, the Storyteller, who used to turn mute aged 3 as his mother had fallen mute after traumatic experiences after the loss of four children. He describes his growing up from aged 5 to his early twenties, while he is sometimes switching to the present, writing his novel in a small Apartment in Rome. After being mobbed at school in first grade because he didn’t talk, (but played piano for hours at home aged 6) his father takes Johannes to his family in Wissen and teaches him about trees, rivers, animals, gives him space to do his beloved piano practice and gives him small tasks to fulfill at the grandparents’s farm. By this, father and son discover that when the boy sketches the things he is seeing and writes down a descriptive sentence, he can remember the letters and quickly learns to write. Not long after that he even starts to talk… it’s such an amazing Story, quite heavy at times, but so deep and poetic!

Ortheil, Hanns-Josef: Liebesnähe (“Love-closeness”):

It’s the same author, and it’s the 3rd book of a love-trilogy, each part an own Story. This one is about a man and a woman meeting in a Hotel and the surrounding wonderful landscapes and very slowly pick up communication while falling for each other (or rather the other way around), yet they choose not to directly talk to each other. They send each other signs and a bookstore-owner, who is …somehow…connected to both of them, is being helpful when needed. This Story is amazing and very unique, very intense and sensual, too. What I  also love about this book is that it mentions other books I have discovered, such as Basho’s wonderful Report of his hike in Japan (“The narrow Road through the deep North”) or the pillow book by Sei Shonagon.

Oh goodness, I can’t go on writing so much about the books. it’s supposed photo blogging after all.

Well well.

Bowley, Flora: Brave intuitive painting

This book is a gift to everyone who wants to start painting. Amazing photos, amazing texts to make you run and get your art supplies and start painting. I often leaf through this book to get inspired for a spontaneous painting session. the ideas she offers are beyond precious. Check out her Website: I like that Flora herself loves to do yoga Stretches or meditates before getting the brush, she also teaches Workshops and yoga/Meditation seem to be a part of it.

Leaver, Tara: Creative Spark         (

This book has been such a gift, such an Inspiration to me that I often carry it with me when I am taking the bus, just flicking it open and read whatever the page opened offers to me. Tara is an amazing Artist and I love the way she encourages to get your “creative spark” ignited, she sure knows what she is talking about. I love her “spark jar” so much (a collection of prompts to help get you started written on little papers and put in a jar so you can draw a prompt to get started) and just everything about this book. It’s a deeply spiritual book to me, too.

Conway, Susannah: this i know

I discovered Susannah ‘s book, and yes, without her I might not be in the Blogging world yet, by the way, through a column she writes in the Magazine “The simple things”. The first few lines were so good that I did a little Research and found her book which I ordered like rrrrright away. It speaks to me, it really does. So beautifully composed in photo and text, so honest and soothing, so inspiring. well, I could “blame” her getting my new camera because her way of talking about photography sure had me appreciate taking photos even more.

Thich Nhat Hanh: Ich pflanze ein Lächeln (english title: peace is very step)

Well, what can I say? I sometimes see old people in parks or the local bus getting old prayer books out of their bags, opening them and having a solemn look about them while starting to read. This book has the same effect on me I guess, as the first one mentioned, Buddhistische Psychotherapie, has, too. I am more than happy to say that I had the Chance to listen to Thich Nhat Hanh giving a Dharma talk in Waldbröl and this day I will never Forget – that much I know.

Dear Readers:

This is a whole lot of text for a photography Project, I know…. I know (and I even forgot poor Hermann Hesse, but in short Terms, reading his Narcissus and Goldmund or Siddharta gets me all dizzy because of this intense, beautiful words he uses…). But blame Susannah. She put books on her prompt list. and books have even more letters, don’t they? I am quiet now and Show you the pics.

IMG_1878 (565x640)

There are books in every room of my Appartement. And I wouldn't want it any other way.

There are books in every room of my Appartement. And I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Categories: books, buddhism, Buddhismus, life, meditation, mindfulness, photo blogging, photography, Psychologie, psychology, The August Break, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Back from the arts supplies store. Ready to play : ) … and introducing Michael Nobbs “Drawing your life”

New toys. horray!

New toys. horray!


Just getting back from the Arts supplies store (before that: a visit to the farmers’ market including Caffe Moccha and rhubarb streusel cake, buying fresh flowers for the Loggia-slash-studio and multicoloured veggies)

So a good part of today’s noon to early evening will be spent mixed media-ish… not only on the canvas, but by mixing a new tape to accompany the painting, painting with lots of other things besides brushes (well, like old toothbrushes, rugs, fingers, old credit cards….)

This post is quite inspiring today’s plans:

And today, after having listened to “Cerulean” by Ben Leinbach for about 10 times… we’ll see what happens

A Quote came up today, too…’s really mixed media all over:

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom” – Anaïs Nin

Big and courgeous words to me.

IMG_1759 (533x800)

Here Comes a more everyday-life but yet very very unique way of approaching the Topic of art:

Let me introduce Michael Nobbs to you.

Michael Nobbs, well, his blog Kind of popped up… somewhere….I do not even remember where…but it’s amazing it did. He released a book  he developed during a time with low energy. he was diagnosed with this “chronic fatigue Syndrome” and had to rest lots. That’s when he started drawing, there, right in this bedroom. As he had not too many possibilities to get around, he draw everyday things.

That’s where he got me! I love the Magic of simplicity, the beautiful of your personal still lifes like just a Cup of tea on a coaster or something…just imagine your favourite Cup on your favourite spot and you can probably already tell that there are colours, shapes and generally impressions mixing right there!







Here you can get a Little taste of what it is like to get into Michael Nobbs’s world of ideas. I was happy to read that he refers to Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way” and very curious about a book called “The Zen of Seeing” by a dutch author I am yet to check out.

In the Video Clip you can see that the book is for drawing, doodling, scribbling in it. 🙂 Fun to be had!

One of my favourite pages is a double page, where he says “treat yourself to a breakfast in a Café” and then you are to draw your table and condiments and then your breakfast on the next page.

With my dearest Inspirations at the Moment, namely the book “Creative Spark” by Tara Leaver, as well as looking at her online Gallery or reading her Poems, Flora Bowley’s Approach to Artmaking, Michael Nobbs’s way of cherishing the simple everyday life through painting… Susannah Conway’s take of photography …all this Closes the circle between my Intention to find different ways to practice mindfulness and making art. why?

I pay Attention to the very treasures in the very present and just where I stand or sit.

Partly this leads to taking photos or drawing.

Which again might lead to a painting.

All this keeping me quite in the very Moment.

Which is intense.

And fulfilling.

And emotional.

And so worth it!

Let me Close today’s post with a Ralph Waldo Emerson Quote which happens to make me feel Kind of adventurous:

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and  leave a trail.”

Ralph  Waldo Emerson

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Categories: Art, intuitive artmaking, life, mindfulness, poetry, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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