A Retrospective And An Art Market

Niña de Trenza

Lilibeth André, Niña de Trenza, oil, 16×12.

This Thursday, May 30, is the opening of “In My Nature: Thirty Years of Work”, a collection by Darra Keeton. Darra is including a show of her students and I am honored to be a part of that exhibition.

On Saturday, June 1, I return to the First Saturday Arts Market in the Houston Heights with my dear friend Myrna Salaun.

Full details on both events on my Art Calendar.

I hope you can come!

An Intelligent Approach

So here we are, most of us boomers in the 21st Century, though luckily not all. We are world-wide connected and looking at things through different perspectives and this lens changes our view. A flood of information is constantly coming our way. Calls to action snag our attention in areas we may not have considered before. Although we recognize that many of these subjects are important we acknowledge that our life plan, intricately designed, is the track we’re on. But the issues are compelling. We may even begin to wonder if our life plan needs to be adjusted. We question where we would want to steer our own life and how.

In your personal discussion, an approach to weigh in on these issues could be to consider things from three different perspectives:

First, consider ownership. Ownership from the point of view of commitment and care, of being one with the issue and realizing that the decision to become a part of it, it’s failure or success, is ultimately yours to make and learn from. No one else can make that choice or take responsibility for you.

Then, consider detachment. Detachment to acknowledge that you do not own anything or anyone, that you recognize free will and accept circumstances as they come and the choices people make, including your own. You accept that these circumstances and choices will lead to actions and outcomes and you welcome them and let them go.

And then, consider completeness. Completeness as in being whole, bringing your mind, body and heart together to create a combined and balanced you. Your mind that allows you to make logical self-guided decisions, your body that has the force to support you and carry them out, and your heart to lead where your spirit takes you beyond what is seen and measured, they all need to work in synchronicity to do what is right.

With this approach you will have the tools to filter your perspective and make decisions that bring you to a better place as a human being.

Peace and love.

 

 

 

 

Ruthlessly Creative

My flight plan gives me approval to be ruthlessly creative. I grew up in a world of artistic minds and though some went the science route too, the unwritten law gave me authority for free invention.

As a designer and artist I recognize I received technical and creative training to develop and rely on good tools and skill sets but prior to that I had already delved in drawing, various art and craft forms, fashion and jewelry design, and done earth science experiments to further my understanding, just for fun. I was never discouraged. I was expected to be creative, innovative and inventive, to think and solve problems continuously through my inventiveness. That’s why my cooking was tolerated as “inventions” and “experiments”. It finally improved when I took to learning from Julia Child‘s expertise, explored Justin Wilson, combed through Japanese and Italian cookbooks, and received personal Spanish cooking lessons too.

From my first jobs (before college), these were also open to creativity and my favorite job was in marketing, a combination of statistics, analysis and creativity. All fun and exciting.

My point is, all of this training welcoming thinking-on-the-fly taught me it was OK to allow myself to toss out “hairy” ideas like air-filled balloons, on my own or in a group of other creatives, to volley the concept or toss in their own. This ‘welcoming’ environment provided receptivity to receive critique and improve on things. This receptivity was further compounded when working as a creative in a professional environment, redlining became an expected tool instead of an insult. All this exercise made for expeditious and limber thinking.

In more structured areas of study, it seems that free thinking is not welcomed. Structure and procedure are critical to the final proof. Attention to the acute concepts is preferable to the broad scope. Slow and methodical thinking is required and documentation is vital before any idea is presented, not without all the proof already documented, so spontaneous speaking of ideas as they are birthed is not a common habit.

For these reasons, thinking together is key. We should all have a flight plan with permission to think without critical judgement. And allowing and inviting ruthless and creative tossing of ‘hairy’ ideas should be a must.

10-4. Roger that.

Rain Drops

I just finished taking the time to watch one of those slide shows sent by a friend. This one is all about raindrops. The drops are photographed after a rain shower and they are artistically arranged by nature. With beautiful music in the background I was quite touched by the beauty and magnificence. As with many beautiful things, it took me back to a memory.

Last year, I sat in my back yard. It was an early morning in November and I found a sliver of sunshine on the grass. I sat on a blanket with my back to it’s rays at the foot of a banana tree. I crossed my legs and placed my phone in front of me. I was going to do a guided meditation and I played the sound file. I closed my eyes and I proceeded with the meditation. I felt strongly connected to my surroundings. I felt I was a part of everything.

As the meditation ended and I slowly opened my eyes I noticed a small dew drop roll down the banana leaf and land on my phone, right in the middle of the screen. I remained calm and resisted a distant urge to instantly jump and wipe the phone dry.

I looked at the drop on the glass and observed it as it sat on the hard surface of the phone screen. Then I noticed a white spec on the droplet. I wondered what it could be. I began to suspect, could it be?

To test my theory I raised one of my arms and sure enough. I realized it was a reflection of me and the garden behind me in this tiny drop of water. Me and my world were in this little drop of rain resting in front of me.

Thank you David for sharing these beautiful photographs with me. They helped me remember a beautiful moment in my life.

 

 

Sustainability vs. Sustainable Development

Not that these terms are adversarial but I do see them as a bit different from each other. So what are the differences that I see and what does each one mean to me?

I see sustainability as the things that we do to keep us viable on a ‘personal’ level. These may be the processes we follow to produce what we create or the service we provide or how we live. Do we use the most efficient method? Do we avoid creating or discarding waste? Do we use materials that promote the sustainable performance of our vendors? Does our product or service help others be more sustainable? And in carrying out this work, do we do it by creating the least impact? Do we create the smallest carbon footprint we can?

So I see sustainability as the work we do at the ‘individual’ level as a person, company or organization, to help maximize the work of others and expand on the work we do ourselves.

Sustainable Development on the other hand, I see is the collective effort. It is the work we can do together to create an environment that provides for a good quality of life for more people by looking at the future through many and multiple points of view. The future is what we build today but if we are not good stewards, there can be little future. Our task then is to find better and more effective and efficient ways to develop sustainably, and satisfy more people now and tomorrow. An exciting challenge.

How can we develop more sustainably? We have to work together. We have to look to the future and see what we would like that future to look like. It will not be a complete picture but it will help spark our collective innovation and creativity. Perhaps not just on an individual basis but more on a group basis. In other words, my ideas may help you improve yours, and his may help me improve mine, and hers may help improve theirs, all in a more open and contributing effort so that we can learn and improve exponentially, as time is of the essence.

When we look at things through the lense of sustainable development it is to our best interest to pool our human capital and financial resources together to improve our outcome. No one has the total resources to make a single decision to create total change. However, if we use our desired outcome to light the path we want to follow, more people, groups and communities will be able to align in the same direction and we will be able to reach the ‘destination’ more rapidly and with greater economies.

There will be change. There will be casualties from the current point of view. As we advance, we will begin to align in our objectives so that we can measure our decisions with the least detrimental outcomes and most rapid and precise movement for greater collective results.

How will we measure these results? Perhaps we can look at happiness and well-being.

Will that destination be our ultimate goal? I hope not. I hope it is only the marker to our next stop, the next turn of our ongoing cycle of evolution. I hope that as we continue to grow toward meeting that new stop, we are already creatively innovating ways in which we will reach the following destination along the way.

 

 

 

Life-long Learning, an Ongoing Adventure

I am completing a Chemistry of Man course. I’m hurrying to finish because the next course is as exciting as a wrapped present in front of me, it is on Bach Flower Remedies. I am just over the half-way mark of a natural healing program I’ve been working on for about two years now.

Natural healing was a path that called me when I was in college. I began to practice what I call my prescribed new life-style plan to regain my health. I didn’t understand everything specifically so I began to study enough to understand what I was doing and why. After I got married I was excited when my husband, who was a traditionally meat-eating kind of guy said he’d like to join my natural ways. It was a fun and exciting time because we used to just have a blast in everything we did, especially in the kitchen. So good eating, healthy shopping and natural living and healing practices gave us an intuitive health maintenance program that worked.

It seemed natural that I would be drawn to enroll in a formal program that taught many of the things I learned on my own in a more thorough manner and in a self-study program I could pick up in my free-time.

I’ve always been interested in life-long learning, personal development and self-study. I’m disciplined enough that I can stick with something and get it done. Five years ago I took a basic course in German. It was fun to see that my instincts would kick in to respond in French. I learned French as a teenager but never practiced it much after that so I was surprised to see that the language was still stored in the back of my mind, so I got the French course after that. And as I always enjoy a good challenge, I decided that afterwards I would take a course in Mandarin. Then my Chinese friends started including me in their conversations. I would catch a few words now and then. Last year I opted for a course in Greek in preparation for my first visit to the islands. What I also learned is that languages are meant to be spoken or you lose your practice so practice is important.

Recreational learning has always been important to me and How-to books have been on my nightstand or in my carry-all bag as since my school days.

I have taken enough art training to have years of knowledge stored up and ready for practice so I focus on letting it out as much as I can now. I also have an extensive library of books and tapes for many a rainy day, and I do take a class or workshop every now and then just to keep it all current and exciting. It is fun to learn in a social setting as well–what I call a classroom.

I hope I continue to be curious about things enough to learn about new things. For now, it’s time to get back to my book.

 

 

 

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    © Lilibeth André and Art by Lilibeth André, 2009-2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this text, images or content without express and written permission Lilibeth André is strictly prohibited. For permission to license, exhibit or purchase any of the artwork, email info@lilibethandre.com. Links to this site may be made with full and clear accreditation to Lilibeth André and Art by Lilibeth André.