Archive for the ‘writing’ category

YIN Art Exhibit at Hillside House Gallery in Nassau, Bahamas

November 8, 2018

YIN.exhibit.logo.signatureDelighted to be part of this group exhibit with five Grand Bahama artists—Chantal Bethel, Claudette Dean, Laurie Tuchel, Del Foxton, and me, Paula Boyd Farrington—celebrating feminine energy and spirit, opening November 9, 2018, from 6 to 9 pm, at Hillside House Gallery, #25 Cumberland Street, Nassau, Bahamas. Bring a friend and enjoy our new art, live music from Shelley Carey-Moxey, and handcrafted Bootleg Chocolates flown in from Grand Bahama’s chocolatier. An Artist Walkabout with the artists on hand for an open house to talk about their work as you browse through the gallery, will be on Saturday, November 10th, 2018 from 10 am to 2 pm.

Our thanks to artist Ilene Sova, Hon BFA, MFA, Ada Slaight Chair of Contemporary Drawing and Painting, Ontario College of Art and Design University, for her writing about the work.

Yin Calls Forth a New World of Feminine Transformation

I’ve always said the fact that all women aren’t stark raving mad is a complete miracle because to live in a world where basically every bad thing that happens to you, you’ve somehow brought on yourself by being female … it’s just like, come on, man! It’s like … to the least of us, whatever is going on, it’s happening to all of us.”

Callie Khouri, screenwriter of “Thelma & Louise”

The past two years have been extraordinarily difficult on the psyches of women around the globe. Newsfeeds are full of disturbing stories of sexual assault, the falls from grace of several male celebrities and cultural icons, and the pulling back of dark curtains revealing immense pain and abuses of power in all sectors of our society. Social commentary abounds on how the enormity of this abuse was allowed to go on for such long periods of time. Women from all levels of society began to speak out in large numbers, bringing what was hidden behind closed doors, out into public view. Secrets of violence whispered to each other in back channels were suddenly being blasted loudly on cable news; relentlessly dissected, cast with doubt, and denied by powerful men. How does this onslaught affect our consciousness? How does bearing witness to these damaging stories change the way we view ourselves and the women around us? How will these revelations and their ubiquity change how we interact with one another? What does the future hold for the human relationships we hold the dearest? These questions and versions of them are swimming about in the public consciousness.  Although it is much too soon to know the answers, what seems clear is that if we are to have a way forward; we need a hand in the design of what we want our future to look like. We will need to be creative, manifest new ways of being with one another, and imagine possibilities that bring us back into a healthy balance. 

In this exhibition Yin, Chantal Bethel, Claudette Dean, Laurie Tuchel, Del Foxton, and Paula Boyd Farrington work towards this seemingly impossible intention. Through a visual journey into a return to balance, these women begin to show us, through art, a time of harmony, a return to respecting the sacred feminine and the healing it has to offer the world. Upon examining these works, one can imagine these women in their studios working past the misogynist upheaval through the vehicle of their artistic practices. Around them, as they move in and out of creation, the mass media amplifies stories of environmental disaster, men overpowering women, reactionary politics, and sanctioned state violence. However, in this sacred space, they create as artists, a new visual language that calls forth a beautiful world where humanity can return to harmony. A world that manifests celebrating women echoed in organic shapes, sacred patterns and communal collectivity. As one moves through the space of this exhibition, forgotten is the angled hard world that values the impersonal, and the individual. The world that protects the abuser and defames the storyteller is banished. The hard angles and the rough edges of a society that value power, and worships what is keeping us off balance, fades into the distance. It is instead replaced by a new warm, beautiful future where the Goddess reigns supreme. 

Is it possible to manifest a new world through the creation of art? In her book Outlaw Culture: Resisting Representations, bell hooks states that  “The function of art is to do more than tell it like it is—it’s to imagine what is possible” (hooks 281).  These women compose this declaration clearly, stating that their work is a celebration of “each a half of the harmony of the Universe, balancing sun and moon, light and dark… homages to the empowerment of women as vessels of love, healing, and transformation” (Yin Artist Statement). In Tuchel’s naturalistic portraits of senior women, we see a homage to the faces that are relegated to the sidelines in our patriarchal worship of the young and nubile. Her larger group painting brings women back together in a dancing collective that become one with each other through colour, gesture and texture. In Del Foxton’s sculpture of women from across the globe, they stand in a group sharing their compelling stories on a path to healing. Their shoulders hunched in a communal discussion. As viewers, we can imagine these women walking away upright with the strength of their stories straightening their backs and empowering their way forward.  A coming together of collectivity is echoed in the figures of her doll-like cutouts that hold hands, dancing across the recycled paper that, in its very existence, shows us a new way into a future of environmental sustainability. Small cut out daughters held in their bodies travel with the figures along with a new path in the community. As we move onto Chantal Bethel’s work, this concept is reflected in her sculptural and painted vessels that call forth rebirth, reincarnation and the new life that we yearn for. The lotus flowers, water symbolism, birth and rebirth that exude from each piece immerses us in a return to nature which provides us with the answers of how to begin again. Bethel calls forth in three dimensions women’s power and a human kinship with the natural world that once lost can be found again. Claudette Dean carries this narrative through her work as we see the divine feminine, head down and meditating. We can feel her protagonist magically imagining and drawing forth a new world. The vaginal openings in her tree focused paintings centre the viewer on the cycles of the earth and the blossoms that represent the rebirth that spring will bring through a universal womb. As we work through her paintings, this rebirth she tells us will have women as the metaphorical gatekeepers; enormous and powerful in stature, branches reaching up to the heavens. In Paula Farrington’s work, we see the manifestation of a new world in the visual form. She illustrates through vibrant colours, glittering shapes and reflective surfaces, the universe bringing forth a new way of being. A new world in which the Earth Goddess is returned to her rightful place of the sacred. We feel the movement of our positive thoughts through splashes of colour that move in and out of one another. The beauty of her saturated colours stand in direct resistance to the oppression and darkness of what is being revealed in the movements of Me Too and Times Up. Organic shapes, complex colour symbology, groupings of symbols and subjects, intricate patterns that live alongside free intuitive ones, metaphoric vessels and literal vessels, water, land, earth and sky all communicate with one another between these artworks. Yin takes us on a journey to the answers to our burning questions. It asks us to remember the power and value of women; to bring our lives back into balance by protecting and respecting the land and water. It tells us that the answers are all around us and inside our humanity.

In the book, When God Was a Woman, Merlin Stone writes that ancient goddess worshipers believed their deity was “creator and law-maker of the universe, prophetess, provider of human destinies, inventor, healer, hunter and valiant leader in battle” (Stone 11). Out of the studio and into the gallery, the artists of Yin bring forth a deity that battles oppression with visual expression. A prophetess that tells us a story of a new way of living and being that is coming in our future. A healer that literally and figuratively births a new harmonious way of being that is balanced and respects the environment that we inhabit. She is a hunter that goes out on a journey and brings back the qualities of love for oneself and love for others through intention and imagination, collectivity and collaboration. Magical in its optimism, the Goddess that Yin manifests will provide the viewer with a new space of transformation. She provides us with a space that shows us what is possible when we come together in community to honour women and the communities that they bring forth. 

Ilene Sova, Hon BFA, MFA

Ada Slaight Chair of Contemporary Drawing and Painting

Ontario College of Art and Design University 

Work cited:        . hooks, bell. Outlaw Culture: Resisting Representations. Routledge, 2008.
                           . Stone, Merlin. When God Was a Woman. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1978.

 

The exhibit continues through early December. Our thanks to Antonius Roberts and Paula Roberts of Hillside House Gallery, The Charitable Arts Foundation of The Bahamas, and our husbands, families, friends, and YIN sisters everywhere for their support.

108 Double Stitches

November 3, 2016
Dear Fellow Kaizen Muse Creativity Coaches +  Creativity-Loving Friends,
baseball-a

I am still in the thrall of that AMAZING 2016 World Series Game 7 that I got to watch last night between two of the best-matched and incredibly talented give-it-all-you-got baseball teams: the Chicago Cubs & the Cleveland Indians. WHAT A GAME!!! I’ve never seen anything like it.  It had all the elements of an epic movie:  action, mega-suspense, dramatic pauses, laughter, tears, heroic perseverance in the face of fatigue, big league Pressure with a capital P—plus—an unforgettable ending … it was all that and more. Beyond WOW.

Both teams had a lot on the line.  Both teams have been a long time between bringing home the pennant.  Both teams played their hearts out.  I wanted to give each of them a trophy, but having lived in Milwaukee many years ago (and been a frequent visitor to Chicago), I was also cheering for The Cubs to break their 108-year ‘losing’ streak … I wanted them and their fans to be like Bill Murray in that wonderful Groundhog Day movie and wake up to a new day.  To see either of these teams win felt like it was somehow an homage to the sheer joy of playing the game, of going about the day-to-day business of throwing and catching and hitting the ball and running the bases … and having a damn fine time doing it.  That’s what any game is about.  Including the game of Life.

Jill Badonsky knows this. And she brings this same wholehearted “joy of the game” to life in everything she does—including her new Finding Über Bliss program coming up in Delray, Florida, January 19-22, 2017   I am so looking forward to this. It will be a terrific chance to be with Jill in person and experience this work for yourself as a participant. You can deepen your game and adapt it to your own individual playbook—or—put yourself in Spring Training to get to be one of the first coaches to share this lighthearted, centering, and inspiring work with your very own creativity group!

It’s also one of the most reasonable investments you can make in learning new techniques and creative exercises that will serve you in any group you’re putting together, or in your one-on-one coaching.  Or just in letting you feel firsthand, in a memorable and deeper way, a fuller engagement of the creative principles that can lead to having more fun along the way, more home runs or base hits, less crankiness in general. (to borrow one of my favorite Jill-phrases! 🙂 )

Talking all these baseball metaphors also has me thinking about another favorite movie, A League of Their Own.  It’s about another set of teams that played their hearts out. I love movies. And sitting in the stands. And being out there on the field, athletic or not. This one makes you want to get out on the field more. Or take a road trip. And so does Jill.

If you’ve been thinking about getting out there more for yourself or for your coaching, I hope you’ll look at the information here and join this new team of Finding Uber Bliss guides that’s coming together. There’s a few spaces left and a whole lotta fun to be had. And some warm-winter days to enjoy in Florida!

Delray Beach is close to either the West Palm Beach International Airport or Fort Lauderdale International Airport. The retreat will be held at Duncan Center, which is tucked into a quiet corner with a pool, labyrinths, zen space to breathe and meet and be, lodging and meals included (except for an outing to one of the many lovely restaurants in a jazzy little shopping area that’s just a 10 minute drive away). A beach jaunt, smart phone camera techniques, no-pressure drawing, creative writing, creative rejuvenation among kindred spirits, and the whimsy and mojo experience that are part of Jill’s stadium of wisdom and wonder, are also doing a little crowd wave to you in hopes you’ll join us!

It took The Cubs 108 years to win a World Series pennant. I read this morning that there are 108 double stitches on a baseball.  There’s a certain magic in baseball.  There’s a certain magic in all the ups and downs of playing the game and finding more joy and Uber Bliss along the way. Mox nix if you’re a baseball fan, just wanted to say I hope to see you in Florida with Jill, Team KMCC!!!

with ramped up survived-hurricane-mathew-and-just-got-internet-and-power-again renewed gratitude for the basics, and a little happy dance,

Paula
uber-castle-and-title

Finding Über Bliss: A Wildly Creative Journey to the Present Moment

June 21, 2016

Jill.UberBliss.Graphic

Excited to announce that this January 19-22, 2017, I’ll be collaborating with one of my most favorite, brilliant, and fun-loving mentors, the inspirational humorist/author/illustrator/yoga teacher and Founder of the Kaizen Muse Creativity Coaching Training program— Jill Badonsky—to offer a warm-winter retreat and joy-centered learning experience in beautiful Delray Beach, Florida: Finding Uber Bliss … A Wildly Creative Journey to the Present Moment.  It’s an amazing opportunity to hang out with Jill in person and discover more ways to deepen your own imaginatively-inspired life as an Artist of Being Alive. You’ll be guided through stories of wisdom, creative adventures & writing, smart camera art, drawing, painting, brushes with the absurd & sublime, and enlightened contemplation … all in a gentle, non-pressurized, rooted-in-playfulness environment.

Imagination.Freedom.GRace

For KMCC coaches, it’s an ideal chance to ground yourself and learn in-person as you become certified to lead your own Finding Uber Bliss groups or classes. And for any creativity-loving attendees (artists, writers, gardeners, non-coaches, musicians, spiritual-seekers, everyone welcome!), it’s a wonderful way to amp up your awareness, more fully embrace your own distinctive creative thinking, deepen peace-of-mind practices, meet more mirth, and enhance the ongoing layers & blending of your own daily collage-of-life.

Jill.Badonsky.Inner.Sanc

Inspiration is an awakening, a quickening of all man’s faculties, and it is manifested in all high artistic achievements.” ~Giacomo Puccini

Anyone at all who is known for having found a path to consistent, recurring joy — cites staying present as the essential teaching.” ~David Cain, Author of You Are Here

Living creatively, you don’t constantly manufacture a future, you grow the life that is present.” ~Thomas Moore

If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.” ― Amit Ray

“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each MOMENT. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.”  ― Henry David Thoreau

“The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.” ~Henry Miller
 
“And I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.” ~Kurt Vonnegut

Jill.Badonsky.Creative.Voices

Why the name “Uber Bliss”?

(A note from Jill Badonsky about Finding Uber Bliss beginnings)

“Über” is a German word meaning “over”, “above” or “across”. 
 
“Uber” crossed over from German into English in 1883 when German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche coined the term “Ubermensch” to describe the higher state to which he felt men might aspire. Mensch means “man” in German.
 
The name of this program, “Uber Bliss”, was a spinoff of an explanation Dr. Seuss gave when people asked the question, “Where do you get your ideas?” He invented a fictitious account involving a hamlet in Switzerland called Über Gletch where he claimed he went every August to get his cuckoo clock fixed and while waiting, strange people would give him his ideas. It turned out to be an explanation that was as absurd as the question, “Where do you get your ideas?”
 
“Where do you get your ideas?” is a confounding question to most artists and writers because the genesis of ideas is elusive; there often is no explanation that the conscious mind can grasp. Because he was so imaginative, Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss), was frequently asked this question and rather than get annoyed, he invented a description, which showed us his tongue-in-cheek resourcefulness, his ability to rise above predictability, and his comfort with being imaginatively absurd. (All handy elements in the creative process as well as in life.)
 
The Greeks, who were known for inventing myths to explain the unexplainable, invented Muses to justify where ideas come from. So you see, Muses and Uber Gletch have a common theme—not to mention, the reference to “uber” as aspiring to a higher state.
 
When the transportation network, Uber, created a new association to the word, I was concerned people would be think Uber Bliss was related to a taxi service and considered changing the name. Instead, my inner Dr. Seuss helped me get resourceful, which was easy since both the Uber transportation network and Finding Uber Bliss, “transport” people to places that will make them happy.
 
Consider that you are about to get a lift to a new way of existing in your world. – Jill Badonsky

 

Jill.Badonsky.Deeper

Uber-Bliss will be held in a five-acre wooded retreat center (Duncan Conference Center) in warm-winter Delray Beach, Florida, where peace and serenity abound alongside delicious and nutritious food, two labyrinths, a heated swimming pool, and state of the art meeting space.

KMCC grad, artist Victoria Bronfman, who lives close by to the conference, will be guiding us to some extras at the Jaffe Center for Book Arts, and a nearby Greek restaurant where we can allegedly dine AND dance on the tables if so inclined. (Opa!) www.victoriabronfman.com
 
Fort Lauderdale International Airport is the closest major airport to the conference retreat center.
Register with the links below for an Uber-Wonderful experience that includes Duncan Center lodging, and most meals. Choose Option A to be Certified, or Option B to simply come and go through the Journey to unleash your creativity for more joy and peace of mind.
A. Certification Cost with the Journey
Early Registration $1285
After November 19, 2016 $1385
Option One
Deposit: $400 (receive early registration cost when balance is paid off by November 19, 2016 ) (ask for a payment subscription)
Option Two
Paid Full Balance Early $1285
After November 19, 2016 $1385
Rate includes a private room with private bath and free wifi.  All meals are included except Saturday night’s Greek Taverna outing.  Sunday breakfast and lunch included. Also includes license to use the Finding Uber Bliss name and materials, promotions and goodies related to Finding Uber Bliss, and a hard-copy manual with step-by-step instructions on running classes, workshops, logistics and marketing. Also, inclusion in the Finding Uber Bliss network.  
B. Florida Journey Experience of Uber Bliss Without Certification:
Option One
Deposit: $400 (receive early registration cost when balance is paid off by November 19, 2016 ) (ask for a payment subscription)
Option Two
Early Registration $985
After November 19, 2016 $1085

Includes all the above except no license, Hard-Copy, or network.

Sign up for Uber Bliss with a friend and share a room together to each save $100 off your registration! Email Jill at the address below for that arrangement.
Duncan.Center.Lodging.Photo

Duncan Conference Center Room

 Duncan.Retreat.Center.Pool
Limited Enrollment for this in-person training! If it fills, we’ll put you on the waiting list for the next training. This Finding Uber Bliss training will be offered through Zoom Teleconference in 2017. However, I highly recommend the in person experience—the off-time socializing and bonding is rich and a lot of fun.
Any questions, please contact Jill Badonsky at info(at)themuseisin.com
Jill and I hope to see you there; oh-what-fun!!
Jill.Paula.Bliss.Circle.web.A
Uber-jazzed,
Paula

 

Get Started: Revving Up Your Creative Energy

July 30, 2013

kmcc+poster+bad+draft

I like this quote. It’s a great reminder for me, and for anyone who wants to rev up their writing, art, business, or any creative endeavor—including life!  Lowered expectations at the beginning of a process helps obliterate the paralysis that comes from expecting yourself to be unrealistically amazing all the time. Is there somewhere you can lower your standards in order to get started? Can you trust (even just a little) that simply starting will lead you to take the next small step, and then the next … and that whatever you’re working on will develop (sort of like a Polaroid coming into focus), sharpening and getting clearer and more polished along the way?

I know that lowering expectations helps me get started. It will also help me get this quickly posted right now, in the midst of several other projects, rather than waiting for a more perfect moment to write a longer post about the many enthusiasms I have for the gentle and deceptively-powerful Kaizen Muse Creativity tools and philosophies—creative support and va-va-voom that I’ve already written about glowingly here! Enjoy …

The Muse Is IN: An Owner’s Manual For Your Creativity … A High Octane New Book by Jill Badonsky

January 17, 2013

The.Muse.Is.In.coverIf you’ve ever wondered how to get your creativity running like a well-oiled machine, Jill Badonsky’s just-released book is like having an ace mechanic by your side helping you power up your genius and re-engineer common creative malfunctions such as procrastination, perfectionism, self-sabotage, and overwhelmed thinking.

I was lucky enough to run across Jill Badonsky’s solidly lighthearted approach to the creative life a few years ago, and have been on the bandwagon of her powerfully playful philosophies ever since. She’s the reason I became a Kaizen Muse™ Creativity Coach. She’s also the reason I’m having even more fun with all my jazzbo projects, and helping others find more va-va-voom with theirs.

I’m delighted Jill has stopped by here to talk about her fabulous new book—The Muse Is In: An Owner’s Manual For Your Creativity.

Hi Jill … This new Owner’s Manual seems to provide the missing instructions we all needed growing up … is creativity something innate we’re all born with?

Yes, I believe we ALL have the ability to “create” according to the definition with which I operate and encourage others to go by. We create our work, our relationships, our experience of life using the modalities of attitude, perspective, and even grace. Many people associate being creative with being artistically talented. Anyone can forge into the world of writing, art, music, and dance.  
 
From my book:

“Some people think we are either born with creativity or we’re not.

Many people are indeed born with an innate talent.  When they cultivate that talent through many, many hours of practice, amazing works of art, literature, music, what-have-you are brought into existence.  But really, do you need to BE that person in order to discover the bliss, benefits, and rewards of creativity? No.

You can develop skill with practice, but the process is what makes life more wonderful.  Talented people are not necessarily happy;  the ones who are also happy, know how to create joy within themselves. 

Passion,  curiosity, healing, need, problem-solving, angst, joy, amusement, reckless abandon – these are ALSO drives that result in creativity.  Everyone has the ability to be creative in these ways. 

Everyone gets to be creative.”

That’s such a great fine-tuning way of looking at creativity … as something we all get to be in life. What about maintaining our creativity? I read recently that the word “maintenance” is from the French word maintenant, which means now. Can you talk a little about the best practices for maintaining a high creative output without giving sway to burnout or overwhelm?

  • Everyone is different in this regard. Asking yourself, “What works for me” is a good place to start. 
  • But what works for many prolific creative people is: making creative time a habit rather than forcing through resistance every time you want to show up, asking small questions, taking walks, exposure to works that inspire, making sure you take a break to let ideas incubate, fooling around,  meditation and just allowing the process to take you places.

First.Step.MuseIsIn

How did you keep things fun for yourself while doing all the wonderful writing and colorful art for this book?

  • Writing and art just are inherently fun for me. I stay in a mode of childlike curiosity about the flow of surprises that emerge when you make time to just explore ideas.
  • If my writing gets too dry I just remember that one of my favorite voices is the irreverent one and it’s a lot of fun for me to go back and tweak what I’ve written to make it more entertaining. 
  • One of the favorite parts of my thinking is how quirky I am so I’m always surprised with what I come up with. I think everyone can approach their work in this way.

 I love that — remembering to embrace the quirkiness and keep a childlike curiosity about what emerges. It seems to me this book is like the ultimate GPS … mapping out the best routes and scenic stops—and helping you find your way if you get lost.

Yes, as an Owner’s Manual it’s packed with tips, gizmos, conditions for best operation, care and maintenance and troubleshooting. There’s lots of little pieces of added humor in both the illustrations and the writing, making it playfully practical. Start your engines!

Jill, thanks for stopping by the lane-less-harried here at Paula’s Paradise, and for writing such a beautiful and incredibly helpful book that fuels you with creative inspiration on every page.

Jill.Badonsky.Muse

Jill Badonsky, M.Ed., is an illustrator, humorist, nationally-recognized seminar leader, and creativity consultant. As the founder and director of Kaizen-Muse™ Creativity Coaching, she consults with filmmakers, comedians, artists, writers, business leaders, and anyone who is experiencing procrastination and other blocks to positive change. She is the author of The Nine Modern Day Muses (and a Bodyguard), and The Awe-Manac: A Daily Dose of Wonder. She lives in San Diego, CA. Visit her at www.themuseisin.comwww.kaizenmuse.com, or on Facebook and Twitter.

AweManac.9ModernDayMusesWe love comments. Tell us about what keeps your creativity revved. Or stalled. If there’s more than 10 comments here, Jill will do a drawing and giveaway one of her new books to a lucky commenter. We’re all lucky to have Jill’s expertise and entertaining encouragement as we go along life’s highways and byways … thank you, Jill!!

Yellow Butterfly of JOY, I Salute You

December 31, 2012

Yellow Butterfly of JOY

 

Yellow Butterfly of JOY, I Salute You

You dance through the wild blue skies

where sunshine floats

asking nothing more than to be noticed

your vivid essence of daffodils, golden butter, and dappled dawns

flits across my radar screen

and the world stills

as I embrace the wonder of you

aflutter, holding you deeply in my heart

a sunlit reminder of the serendipity

and lightness of being that flows freely

as we gather the nectar of flowers

timeless and fleeting all at once

Wings of YES

Wings of Ooh

Wings of Love

Wings of Praise

Gratitude & Grace

Dazzling Days

– Paula Boyd Farrington · 12/31/2012

Happy New Year All!

Poetical Works: The Art of Reading The Language of Nature

November 25, 2012

11″ x 14″ Mixed Media Collage on Canvas by Paula Boyd Farrington © 2012

Recycled paper, stamps, torn magazine pages, gift wrap bits, ARTchix Studio images and ephemera on canvas


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