Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The I Believe In Art Manifesto

Painting it black in my art studio. I Believe In Art T-shirt available here.

Recently I was out and about wearing my Art Fairy “I Believe In Art” T-shirt when someone asked me, “What does that mean?”.

Uh-Oh Toto, I've a feeling we're not in the craft store anymore, I thought to myself. This was true, of course, because when I wear this shirt at the craft store people get it. They compliment it and give me knowing smiles and fist bumps and high fives (okay, maybe they don't actually give me fist bumps and high fives but they want to). Nobody at the craft store would even think of asking me such a question. Which, quite frankly, makes me not want to go anywhere but the craft store ever again.

But I digress. I'm sure you're wondering what witty and insightful reply I gave to this person.

It was this: “It's an artist thing.”

As soon as the words left my mouth I realized how wrong they were. Fortunately this person was not offended by my ridiculous answer and moved on but I knew that it was a cop out. So for the next couple of days I thought about how I could have answered that question better. How could I have succinctly expressed why I believe in art, or what I believe about art, so that even non craft store people would understand?

I could have said that I believe that making art is an act of self care or that I believe that glitter pens are magic wands or that I believe that painting with bright colors helps me see the bright side of life, because I do. But that still made my belief in art “an artist thing” and the more that I thought about it, the more I realized that you don't have to be an artist or even a craft store person to believe in art. So I asked myself what I believe about art itself and I came up with the following five definitive statements:

I believe that art can transmit joy.
I believe that art can transform sorrow.
I believe that art can change minds.
I believe that art can heal hearts.
I believe that art is magic.

And thus, my I Believe In Art Manifesto was born:

The I Believe In Art Manifesto By Victoria Lynn Hall
The I Believe In Art Manifesto

If you would like to print it out for yourself (for personal use only), you can access it here for free, or help support this blog by purchasing a poster of it here.

So, I guess I really owe a thank you to the non craft store person for asking what turned out to be an inspiring question and for reminding me that sometimes we meet our muses just outside of our comfort zone.

Peace, Love & Art,

Victoria

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Blog and Job Title Change

When I gave myself the title “Slave To The Muse” it was an effort to free myself. It was my permission slip to give myself over to the creative impulses I had previously feared were frivolous, strange or selfish and exalt them to priority status. However, the title itself was indicative of this struggle and the fact that I had a long way to go in understanding my relationship with the forces of creativity. Clearly, calling myself a “Slave To The Muse” implied a lack of awareness of the rewards of regular creative practice. The point was to commit to that practice regardless of outcome or rewards and yet, as I discovered along the way, the rewards were many.

Obviously, I don't regret giving myself such a title as it proved to be a very effective tool for me but I do feel that I have outgrown it. In accordance with this and my new and better relationship with my muse I will no longer be referring to myself as a slave to the muse and this will no longer be the slave to the muse blog (it is now the I Believe In Art blog).

I would also like to acknowledge here that using the term slave may not have been the most politically correct or sensitive choice I have ever made. Hopefully it is obvious to my readers that the concept and practice of human slavery is something that goes against everything I stand for and believe in.

I was recently reminded that although slavery is now illegal everywhere in the world, it still exists in many forms and in many places. For more information and to learn how you can help, please visit FreeTheSlaves.Net or AntiSlavery.org

Thank you for reading and for your encouragement and support throughout my creative journey.

Peace, Love and Art,

Victoria Lynn Hall

Friday, October 16, 2015

Big Magic and My Anti-muse


"You can believe that you are neither a slave to inspiration nor its master, but something far more interesting - its partner - and that the two of you are working together toward something intriguing and worthwhile." - Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic

I just finished reading the book “Big Magic (Creative Living Beyond Fear)” by Elizabeth Gilbert. Actually I should say, “we” just finished reading it because I read almost the whole thing with my anti-muse (aka my inner critic) parked like a little devil on my shoulder, heckling it.

My anti-muse hated this book on sight but I didn't recognize this at first. I just remember feeling really excited when I heard about "Big Magic" and then all of a sudden feeling oddly resistant to it. I went from, “I should pre-order this.” to “I'll just put it on hold at the library.” to “Maybe I'll wait for the reviews”.  When I did read the early reviews, I latched on to the most cynical among them. “Maybe this book isn't for me.” I concluded.

Then late one night last week I was perusing my Amazon wish list and again experienced that odd mix of curiosity and resistance when I saw it there. It was too strong of a reaction for me to ignore. “Well, crap,” I thought, “I guess I'm going to have to read it.”

It arrived on Sunday. I read the first few pages and was immediately engaged but it felt too heavy somehow. I had other things to do. Did I really want to get into all of this right now? No. I put it down.

I sat down with it the next day in my favorite chair in the sunny corner of my art studio. Again I was immediately engaged but it wasn't long before my cynical thoughts began again. “She's just preaching to the choir,” they said, “You already know all of this, you don't need to read this.”

I put it down but the next day my sunny corner beckoned me and the book was already there so I bravely picked it up again.

That's when the cynical voice in my head started to get really nasty: Are you kidding me? This is a joke, right? This chick is out there! Who does this woman think she is?

Finally, I realized that these weren't my thoughts. They were too familiar and too frightened for me to not recognize them for what they were.

“Okay. I heard you.” I said to my anti-muse and to all the other voices she represents. “I disagree with you and I'm going to keep reading this book, so you can shut up now.”

Only she didn't shut up. She was on a serious mission to discredit Elizabeth Gilbert and every word written in “Big Magic”, working every angle from cynicism to nastiness to feigned indifference.

And she was outwitted at every turn. This book had an answer for all of my anti-muse's gimmicks and tricks. I actually started to feel a little sorry for her. This stuff was really freaking her out and of course her fears were my fears.

But it was all going to be okay, I told us and Liz told us and by the time I finished the book, about five minutes ago, we were both transformed. My anti-muse was no longer my enemy on some imagined battlefield of creativity but a small, wounded creature that needed my care and attention. And I have officially decided that I am no longer a slave to my muse or my anti-muse. I'm just a girl who likes to make stuff.

And that is Big Magic.



Sunday, August 23, 2015

My Many Muses: Rick Springfield (2015)

"His Best Self",  Acrylic On 14 X 18 Canvas

It's been awhile since I posted on this particular blog but I thought this was the most appropriate place to share with you my latest painting and wish a Happy 66th Birthday to its subject, the one and only Rick Springfield.

Rick Springfield is a lot more to me (and many others) than just that good looking guy who had a hit with "Jessie's Girl" back in the 80's.  He is a gifted songwriter, an amazing musician and performer, an engaging actor and a compelling storyteller.  His music, creativity and persistence in the face of personal and professional obstacles have inspired and motivated me throughout my life.  I am so glad he is in this world.

Rick is currently starring on the big screen with Meryl Streep in the movie "Ricki and The Flash" and recently had a role in HBO's True Detective.  You can also catch him performing his music on tour and he has a new album coming out soon, I can't wait!

By the way, the title for my painting came from a recent interview with Rick by ABC Australia that you can find here.  There is also an inspiring video with Rick by Rolling Stone that you can find here.  

Oh and if you haven't checked out my new home and lifestyle blog, The Cabbage Blog, head on over to Cabagelow.com and give it a look.

As always, thank you for reading.


Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Cabbage Blog

The Cabbage

Hey, guess what?  I have started a new blog!  It's called The Cabbage Blog and it will feature posts all about my home, The Cabagelow, aka "The Cabbage" and things inspired by it.  I hope you will visit it at Cabagelow.com or you can also read and subscribe to my blog via BlogLovin'.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Guest Room Revisited



One of my resolutions for 2015 was to not travel.  As much as I enjoy visiting friends and family, I felt that my time, energy and resources would be better spent closer to home this year.  This led to my decision to revisit the function and decor of our guest room.  I wanted it to be a place that provided true comfort and hospitality for our guests while at the same time giving myself a space where I can "get away from it all" through the magic of books and art.  I think I accomplished that.

Here's what the space looked like before:


Our Guest Room In November of 2014

And this is what it looks like now:


Our Guest Room Revisited

I'm really happy with my decision to switch out the pull out sofa for the far more comfortable and functional twin beds.  The adorable Jenny Lind headboards are from Target.


Headboard Wall In Evening

I designed the "Be Our Guest", King and Queen and Butterfly Throw Pillows (available here). Hippie helped me make and install the ledges for my favorite art and decor books.  The mirror and nightstand were flea market finds.


View Of The Fairy Nook

Because the former closet, now fairy nook, is not original to the house, the windows in this room are off center.  This bothered me enough that I decided to extend the curtains from wall to wall.


Wall Of Curtains

I purchased both the sheer and faux silk curtains through Target online and found them to be good quality for the reasonable price I paid (they were on sale, of course).


Back Of The Door Hanging Space

Turning the closet into a fairy nook meant sacrificing hanging space, so Hippie helped me make and install a small hanging rod behind the door.  I purchased the vintage Pullman hanger through MillCityVintage on Etsy.


Poster Collage and Book Shelf Wall

I had been working on creating a gallery wall in here but I eventually decided to ditch the frames and make a collage of all my Arthurian and Pre-Raphaelite posters and such.  It was one of my crazier ideas but I really love how it turned out.


I May Not Travel This Year But I Can Always Visit Camelot

In fact, I really love how the whole room turned out but it was a lot of work.  I think I'm going to need a little vacation time to relax and catch up on my reading before I start my Spring gardening projects.  Lucky for me, I now have the perfect place to do just that.

See more photos on Instagram and Facebook.

Visit The Cabbage Blog for more posts about my home.


Be Our Guest (Or Custom Text) Pillow
Be Our Guest (Or Custom Text) Pillow by Cabagelow
Check out more Hospitality Pillows at Zazzle

Camelot: King and Queen Pillow
Camelot: King and Queen Pillow by Cabagelow
Browse more Myth Pillows at Zazzle




Queen Guinevere Maying Poster
Queen Guinevere Maying Poster by VintageSpot
View other Queen guinevere Posters at Zazzle.com

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Birds, Branches and Blossoms

Early Spring In My Backyard

I was hoping to be able to share with you my completed guest room this week but, as usual, it's taking a little longer than expected to wrap up that project (you can peek at my progress on Instagram or Facebook).  Hopefully, it will be complete in time for next week's post.

In the meantime, I thought you might enjoy some pictures I took this week of the birds, branches and blossoms in my yard and garden:


A Blue Jay In Our Red Bud Tree


A Tufted Titmouse In Our White Red Bud Tree


Roadside Blooms


White Spirea & Red Bud Tree

Flowering Quince and Forsythia

Our Old Oak Trees Bridges The Gap Between Dogwood and Forsythia

These Stairs Lead Back To My Perch Up On The Deck
Where The Lilacs Lead Poster
Where The Lilacs Lead Poster by time2see
View custom art Posters & Prints at online Zazzle

Branch Out & Blossom Art Canvas Print
Branch Out & Blossom Art Canvas Print by Victoriart
View other Growth Canvas Prints at Zazzle.com



Dogwood Photography Postage
Dogwood Photography Postage by time2see
See more Victoria lynn hall Stamps at zazzle.com

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Guest Room Revisited: The Fairy Nook

Before: The Guest Room Closet

I really don't have anything against closets, I swear.  In fact when I first saw the spacious closets that were in the two spare bedrooms in this house I thought, "Score!  More storage for me!"  However, over time they just started being real troublemakers, swallowing all my stuff, taking up way too much space and throwing off the architecture of their rooms (they were not original to this house).  I still think getting rid of the closet in my art studio was one of the best decisions I ever made, so it was only a matter of time before the guest room closet became my next sledgehammer target.

However, when it finally came time to start demolition, my muse decided to grace me with another vision.  So, instead of destroying the closet, I proceeded with the challenge of turning it into a nook.  Originally it was going to be just a book nook but when I started revisiting the guest room layout I realized I also needed a new spot for my vanity.  So it became the vanity and book nook, but we are now calling it "The Fairy Nook" for reasons that will become obvious once you see the picture below.


After: The Fairy Nook

It turns out it would probably have been much easier to just demo the whole closet but instead, Hippie and I somehow managed to widen and reframe the opening.  The whole design was inspired and dictated by the lovely old corbels at the top.  I bought these awhile ago at an antique mall and was really excited to get a chance to finally use them.  They also allowed me to create the perfect home for our reading fairy.


Corbels Before Painting and Installing Them


Our Reading Fairy Is Right At Home Here

By the way, thanks to the internet I can't see this fairy now and not think of this:


Source

Makes me smile, every time.  Anyway, though it means I am still short on bookshelves (always), I'm really glad I put the vanity here.  Our guest bath is very small so I think it is important to have one in this room.  This one I actually scored at a thrift store years ago and I'm still in love with it.

My Thrift Store Vanity In It's New Home

The larger antique mirror in the center was a birthday present from Hippie and I adore it.  The pink stool/ottoman found me at Target and made me take it home.

Irresistible Pink Stool From Target

Oh, and we can't forget the bookshelves.  Hippie helped me make and install these, though I was on my own when it came to painting them and everything else.  The color inside the nook is "Mermaid Treasure" by BEHR.  The corbels and trim were painted with Annie Sloan paint in graphite and a gold metallic glaze.

Fiction Shelves

Non Fiction Shelves

And here's a few more details:

Welcome Banner, Cool Cat Reading, Thrift Store Lamp & Accessories, Pink Unicorn & More

It was definitely a challenge but I'm so glad we created our fairy nook and I'm glad it's finally done so I can move on to "revisiting" the rest of our guest room.  Look for that post in (hopefully) a couple of weeks and thanks for stopping by!





Thursday, March 5, 2015

My Art: Heart And Soul

"Heart And Soul" Acrylic On Canvas

"Goodbyes are only for those who love with their eyes. Because for those who love with heart and soul there is no such thing as separation." - Rumi


In Loving Memory Of Our Baby Boy

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Garden Views: Winter

My Garden In Winter

My plan was for my garden and I to spend this winter apart.  I thought we could use a break from each other but of course I was wrong.  It turns out that warm or cold, snow or shine, my garden is a place where I can always find solace and inspiration.

Here are a few more photos I've taken in and around my garden this season:


Winter Guardian


Snowy seating

Snowy Sign

Snowy Shed

Some early signs of Spring

Garden Angel "I'd Rather Be Gardening" Bumper Sticker
Garden Angel "I'd Rather Be Gardening" Bumper Sticker by Victoreeah
Check out more Garden Bumper Stickers at Zazzle