Published! At 100 Years Young

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Life is like a great big canvas; throw all the paint you can at it. ~ Danny Kaye

Today I am scheduled to speak with the Routt County Council of Senior Citizens about memoir writing. I will be im_no_spring_chicken_wooden_signintroducing my publication Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. After discovering the work of Virginia Wade Ames, I am feeling as if I have published my memoir as a spring chicken!

The WayfarersCentenarian Virginia “Ginny” Wade Ames has become a published author at 100 years young. Her book The Wayfarers: Journeying through a Century of Change is her latest creative endeavor. She has been an artist all her life and when macular degeneration made it difficult to see, she turned her attention from various mediums of visual arts to writing. She has four more manuscripts in the pipe-line for publication.

Throughout her life she has worked in many mediums – perfecting her passions for silk-screen printing, watercolor, acrylic, and pastel painting.  She has even tried her hand at hat making! To learn more about the art of this amazing woman who has found a lifetime of personal fulfillment through her art, please visit her website.

For information about her book, which is said to be witty and full of advice on how get along with one another, please visit this link.

My husband’s cousin, Mary, had the privilege of having lunch last week with this woman at a facility in Arizona called Lifecare. It came as great surprise to Mary that “Ginny Ames” is 100! Described as bright, vocal and intelligent, she comes across with the vibrancy of a seventy-year old woman.

See you tomorrow. This blog is brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. For information on her publications.

 

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Giving Oneself Permission

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By working faithfully eight hours a day you may eventually get to be the boss and work twelve hours a day.” ~ Robert Frost

Some people  need a boss behind them cracking the whip, helping them to stay on task and motivated. Having the corporate structure behind them saying “Your workday begins promptly at 9am and ends at 5pm, with a half an hour for lunch,” is what they relate to best.

Guess what, I worked under those conditions for most of my life. Now I’ve gotten a raise! “Twelve hours a day, hmmm, Mr. Frost?” Tell me, how does a writer, who is also essentially an entrepreneur, limit oneself to that?

Sometimes I find it hard to give myself permission to “lay off, let it go and call it a day.” It’s a challenge to remember the person in charge of me is myself!

Believe me, I am not complaining!  Sure, there are self-chosen lifestyle sacrifices that come with with “using own’s own creativity” but, I get to define for myself what it means to live a fulfilling life. I’m fortunate to have that.

 

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Are you painting your own path through life? What helps you find a good balance between work and play?

This blog is brought to you by the author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and Short Stories: Lessons of Heart & Soul.

 

Home Grown Success

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Since new developments are products of a creative mind, we must therefore stimulate and encourage that type of mind in every way possible.” ~ George Washington Carver

All the focus today will be on someone that I ran into two weeks ago in the halls of the National Portrait Gallery. I looked across the room at one of the paintings and thought “Who is that fella?” With my gardening interests, of course, I was drawn into this picture.

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It’s George Washington Carver! A person in history that I knew very little about. Over the past few days I’ve learned more about this man of great importance whose picture hangs in the National Portrait Gallery. As it turns out, there are many words of wisdom that this man born into slavery shared through the course of his lifetime – inspiring, indeed!

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untitledGeorge Washington Carver (1864- 1943) was a man of many interests – an American scientist, inventor, botanist and educator. He certainly had much worthwhile to say about creativity, innovation and success from his humble beginnings to his rise as a person of great national recognition, known as the “plant doctor.”

There are many books about the man whose fame grew throughout his lifetime from an orphan son of slaves to a world famous peanut farmer. George Washington Carver: An Innovative Life  by Elizabeth Macleod follows his contributions to our society through his breakthrough in agricultural research. His words of inspiration are many, and should not be forgotten.

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That’s all for today from award-winning author, Sue Batton Leonard. I’m happily living an innovative life in this new world of e-commerce and e-marketing for independent publishers. For information on my EVVY award-winning memoir “Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected” please visit this link http://amzn.to/1xTvPwQ. For a special treat, listen to the audio book because the “treasure is in the voice!”

It won a 2nd place award for audio books from the Colorado Independent Publishers Association! And it is a finalist in two categories in the 2014 Harvest Book Competition.http://bit.ly/1vbWwfb.

Individual Expression

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“Some days there won’t be a song in your heart. Sing anyway.”
Emory Austin 

In the January/February issue of Art of the West Magazine, there is an article by artist, Logan Maxwell Hagege, called My Voice is Coming Through. Hagege’s interests in art began in animation, but they eventually turned to fine art. Yet, the influence and his previous experience with animation can be seen to a certain extent, in his paintings. Many of his paintings reflect a southwest environment, but there is also a collection of paintings depicting the northeastern part of the country that truly reflect everyday life on the water. To see Hagege’s website, follow this link. http://bit.ly/Rv5ukg

We pick up cultural and societal influences throughout our lives –  in our travels, and through our encounters with people.  Reading the title of Hagege’s article My Voice is Coming Through made me think of how our own voices are reflected in everything we create. Whether we are practicing the art of living through our relationships, writing, painting, making films, composing music, making jewelry or any other kind of art. In the end, our creations are a picture of our imaginations, thoughts and emotions. 

self-reflection-in-mirrorOur voices even come through in the children we raise, steer and mold. We hope some of our words of wisdom to our kids will be remembered and thought about. Sometimes our attitudes come echoing back to us through our offspring, and we regret some of the things we ever said! I don’t think there has ever been a parent who hasn’t experienced that. 

In this digital age, we create profiles of ourselves through the images and words we post on the internet. Be aware of that, and post appropriate content. Believe it or not, potential employers now look at the internet to see what they can find out about someone they might hire. 

Individual expression is one reason why people find using social media fulfilling, but make sure it truly reflects who you are and what you are all about. 

More independent thoughts, words and views from www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com   tomorrow!

Common Community Through Art and Culture

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“In art, the hand can never execute anything higher than the heart can imagine.”  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Have you ever noticed how artists flock together and build common community?

People find kinship in their writing, painting, poetry, music, filmmaking, knitting,the performing arts and so forth. You know how it goes. Everyone in the group speaks the same language. 

The Colorado Creative Industries has worked to identify communities where art contributes greatly to the overall culture,  enhancing the lives of local citizens and tourists.  

Telluride has been designated as a one of five prospective Creative Districts in Colorado. Forty-four towns and cities were under consideration. The goal of the Colorado Creative Industries is to bolster the artistic community by providing consulting and technical assistance and an $8,000 grant to help grow the community as an economic driver through art. 

During the winter, outstanding skiing is the impetus behind visiting this “box canyon” with stunning and dramatic scenery, but in summer it is all about art festivals. Each weekend from May to September people flock to the area for two film festivals, music concerts and gatherings of playwrite/screenwriters. There is also a Cajun weekend, chamber music, yoga and bike races,  and more. 

There is even a Compassion Festival held in Telluride, which I was not aware of until I picked up some tourist literature. This event brings in academia from different parts of the country who lecture on the benefits that compassion brings to overall health, well-being and stress reduction. Cultural differences in compassion is also part of the discussion. It is held in collaboration between the Telluride Institute http://bit.ly/U87yzg and Stanford University’s Center for Compassion & Altruism Research & Education (CCARE). Interesting! Please visit this link to read more about it.http://bit.ly/QVb8Kn

Congratulations, Telluride! When I was in the area recently I was impressed with your charming Victorian homes, art galleries, retail spaces, historic hotels, the amazing scenery and the emcompassing flavor of the artistic community. It was fun visiting. I’ll be back!

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Plein Air in the National Parks Exhibit

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There is an undeniable urgency when painting outdoors – nature’s so grand, the canvas so small. It takes the human mind with all its grand abilities and complexities to sort through … re-create on canvas the essential components of such beauty and wonder.”         ~ Jan Blencowe 

The Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts http://bit.ly/l6sOIx  in Springfield, Massachusetts is presenting a plein air exhibition that will be of interest to many artists all up and down the East Coast. The exhibit which opened on Tuesday, May 24 and will run until November 6th and it will be visited by “plein air painting enthusiasts” throughout New England. 

Some of most beautiful scenery in this nation can be found in our country’s National Parks. This collection of 94 paintings, represent the work of 35 members of the Plein Air Painters of America. http://bit.ly/iutYWU.  Plein air painting refers to painting outside of the studio in open air. 

Artists have transferred their visions of the landscapes onto canvas through plein air painting since the 1800’s. As the westward expansion took place, the canvases of early plein air painters held great interest to surveyors, cartographers, geologists and naturalists who were studying the land where only pioneers had trod. 

This touring exhibit is organized by the Haggin Museum http://bit.ly/gVaIJ  of Stockton, California and is under management by Smith Kramer Fine Art Services of Kansas City, Missouri. http://bit.ly/jlLwKb

For those who are unable to visit this exhibit, the Museum Store has an exhibition catalog available for sale.

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.