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Archive for the ‘Creativity’ Category

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Leonardo da Vinci is arguably one of the world’s greatest thinkers, artists, philosophers, and innovators. He was centuries ahead of his contemporaries. I’ve been so fascinated by him, he actually plays a role in my time travel novel – or will if I ever finish it. 😉

A few years ago there was an exhibit here in Denver celebrating the works of da Vinci. It is by far one of my favorite field trips I’ve ever led. We got to try out models of his inventions and learn about the rivalry between Leonardo and Michelangelo. I was especially impressed with his war machines, which he designed then purposely left key elements out of the printed plans so the machines wouldn’t work. We spent hours reading, touching the models, watching a film about him, and of course the tour ended in the gift shop. I bought each of my kids a “Think like da Vinci” rubber bracelet, and this book:

how to think like da vinci

His accomplishments are amazing. His creativity is inspiring. I can’t think of a more diverse man in history. He was the archetype of “Renaissance Man.”

You can read more about him here: leonardodavinci.net

Visit the other challengers here:

Don at https://donhillson.wordpress.com/

Beckie at http://free2b2much.blogspot.com/

Tracy at https://countyroadchronicles.wordpress.com/

 

 

 

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I have a confession. I am not a groupie. There isn’t a band on the planet I’d wait in line to buy tickets for or put up with a huge crowd to see them in concert. My daughter begged me to attend some music festival – Warped Tour? I think my audible sigh was heard all the way in Wyoming when she told me her friend’s mom said she’d take them. Thank. God.

I don’t have anything against concerts or people who attend them, I just prefer a more intimate setting, like my earbuds in place. 😉 I have enjoyed smaller settings like living room concerts and jam sessions, and we just finished up the Resound Conference two weekends ago which is a worship conference featuring some great speakers and bands with an audience of less than 500 people. I can do that. That’s more my speed.

Confession #2: I’ve always had this annoying habit of falling for bands (their music and sound) without being able to name the band members. I mean no disrespect, it’s just not my thing. Maybe it should be. I can aspire to that, I guess. Is that surprising considering I’m a people person? If you want to know band member names, ask my daughter.

I LOVE MUSIC! I have tunes to suit my every mood. I’m friends with a lot of musicians and love them dearly. I even remember all of their names. Ha! For time’s sake, I can’t promote them all in this post, so I chose just one. My friend, neighbor, and the most peaceful man I’ve ever met. He’s one of my favorites:

davewilton1 by Jarrod Reno

Photo by Jarrod Reno

Dave Wilton

He’s an incredible musician, songwriter, music producer, and recording/mixing/mastering engineer. Dave plays in two Indie Rock bands, A Boy & His Kite and Loud Harp. If you’re my real-life friend, you’ve heard me mention both many times.

Loud_Harp_Piano by Ray Rushing

Photo by Ray Rushing

In 2011, Dave and Asher “accidentally” formed the band Loud Harp. I’m so glad they did. Their music soothes my soul! You can read all about them on their site: loudharp.com (Asher is amazing too! Check him out!)

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Photo by Jarrod Reno

In 2012, A Boy & His Kite’s single, “Cover Your Tracks” was included in the film and soundtrack of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2:

Dave’s lyrics and music embody such depth of soul and spirit.

I don’t know how he feels about his Twilight fame, but I can tell you it is his joy to make great music and help others do the same. He is currently building a new studio and running a Kickstarter campaign to finish it. Want to kick something in? Click here: http://davewilton.com/newstudio/

We’re nearing the end of the challenge! Have you been checking out my other challenger’s posts?

Don at https://donhillson.wordpress.com/

Beckie at http://free2b2much.blogspot.com/

Tracy at https://countyroadchronicles.wordpress.com/

 

 

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Spirits by the lake

I don’t remember where I first saw Leonid Afremov’s paintings, but I remember being caught by surprise by the emotions they evoked. I typically like soft colors, and not being a fan of yellow, I didn’t think I’d be drawn to an artist who uses yellows and other bright colors so liberally. But I am. He won me over.

the-beauty-of-dance-leonid-afremov

Mr. Afremov has been hailed a modern day Impressionist, which might explain another draw for me as one of my best friends absolutely loves Monet – even painting her bathroom like his water lilies. I like Impressionist art. While I don’t think I’d be able to fake my way through a gallery talk, I know just enough to say I appreciate the movement, reflection, and light Mr. Afremov captures with his work.

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“Leonid Afremov keeps the majority of his art politically neutral. His paintings are not offensive to anyone nor send any hidden messages. The paintings usually reflect certain personal memories and emotions. Leonid Afremov tries to draw the viewer to have a certain feeling rather than tell a story via the painting, or have the viewer see the world how he sees it.”

Fascination

I love art. Mr. Afremov is one of many painters I admire. I hope you’ll check out more of his work on his website, especially his dancer paintings!

 

For more great artists, check out my friend’s posts:

Don at https://donhillson.wordpress.com/

Beckie at http://free2b2much.blogspot.com/

Tracy at https://countyroadchronicles.wordpress.com/

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Donald MillerThis is Donald Miller. Several years ago a friend asked, “Hey! Have you read Blue Like Jazz  yet?” They lent me their copy and I stayed up late (as I often do) finishing it in one sitting. It was deeply moving, and if you haven’t read it or any of his books, I recommend them all. My favorite is Searching For God Knows What. There were several times I paused to pull the book to my chest and whisper the word “yes” into the night. I found another kindred spirit in Don Miller!

I had the privilege of attending his Storyline Conference in Nashville in 2013. I was there alone, for about two seconds until I met Jennifer. I adopted the philosophy a long time ago that everyone I meet is a potential friend, so Jennifer, who was also attending alone, became my conference buddy. It was great to have someone to process with everyday. We were both inspired by amazing speakers like Bob Goff, Shauna Niequist, and Joshua DuBois. I sat in on a breakout session with Christian recording artist, Brandon Heath as he played a sweet song for us that wasn’t on any of his albums and graciously answered everyone’s questions about life in the spotlight and living out your faith. Don’s main sessions had me scribbling hot pink notes all over my binder. At the end of the day I said goodbye to Jennifer and went back to my beautiful condo across from the Grand Ole Opry – a timeshare gift from a generous couple in my life – and wrestled with everything I was learning. Over the course of four days, I mapped out the beginning of my new life plan, then flew home to share my conference stories with anyone who would listen.

But back to Don. As I was thinking through the weekend and going over my notes, my thoughts kept returning to him. He has a team of people who help him pull off these conferences. He has a contact list full of movers and shakers he calls friends. He has several books under his belt. He started a ministry aimed at helping the fatherless. He’s done a long list of worthy things that have earned him the admiration of thousands of people, but that’s not what stands out for me. Don himself stands out because he realized life wasn’t about him and when he embraced that, he found the happiness that had been eluding him. Like solving a puzzle he’d been working on for years, Don found his passion then found a way to use it to help me find mine.

262161-Blue+like+jazz+quotes++++Isn’t that one of our first wake-up calls as we mature? That we are not the center of the universe? It’s not always about us? I admire Don Miller because he’s teachable, he learns, grows, and does better, and he lends courage to others to do better. His whole Storyline franchise is about helping other people tell a better story with their lives. It’s about all of us and the stories we tell ourselves, and the stories we tell others. He had the courage to stumble through the process first.

One of my favorite lessons I’ve learned from him can be found in this post on the Storyline blog: 4 Words That Changed My Career.

I have a psychologist friend who, after hearing me speak at a conference, pulled me aside. At the conference, I talked about how I’d written 1/4 of a novel and thrown it away because it wasn’t good enough. He said, “Don, I think I know your problem. You’re being too careful. When you first started as a writer, readers loved your work because you said what you felt; you took huge risks. Now, you’re always so careful. We miss the Don who wasn’t careful.”

I am too careful.

I admire Don for going first and giving me a tool box to build a better life. Because of him, I’m learning to tell a better story. I’m learning to be less careful and take more risks. I’m growing in my ability to be my fierce self without the fear of being too much and not enough. His courage gave me courage so I could give you courage. Pass it on! ♥

I had a difficult time choosing who to write about today. With the flip of a coin, Don beat out Brene Brown. No worries, I’ll write about her before this challenge is over. 😉

Go ahead. Flip a coin to see which challenger to visit next:

Don at donhillson.wordpress.com

Beckie at free2b2much.blogspot.com

Tracy at countyroadchronicles.wordpress.com

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Catching you up on the photo challenge pics:

10-ArchitectureDay 9 “Architecture” – The Denver Central Public Library is a 540,000 square foot monstrosity of “public happiness.” Designed by world-renowned architect Michael Graves, the library opened its doors in 1995. The building is a work of art, but nothing compared to the beauty it houses. I took this photo on the top floor.

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Day 10 “Sign” – They missed one. 😉

11-StrangerDay 11 “Stranger” – Taking pictures of strangers isn’t that strange for me. I was coming out of the movie theater and saw this girl standing against the wall reading my friend Kim’s book. I was so excited, I asked if I could take a picture to send to Kim. She was gracious enough to let me. Strangers don’t scare me, but I might scare them.

12-View from your windowDay 12 “View from your window” – Greetings from inside the car wash.

13-reflectionDay 13 “Reflection” – See me twice? Try to look me in the eye.

14-treeDay 14 “Tree”

unnamedDay 15 “Vehicle” – Frontier Airlines flight into Kansas City, MO. My favorite transportation this week.

16-AnimalDay 16 “Animal” – This is a rescued sea turtle living at the Kansas City Sea Life Aquarium. You can’t see it in this photo, but he’s missing his front right flipper.

17-Itty BittyDay 17 “Itty Bitty” – How does anyone write in something so small? The second one is more my style.

18-musicDay 18 “Music” – Music moves me. I play several instruments poorly, but I play this one the best. She was a gift from my love. She spends way too much time in my closet these days.

 

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Yes, I know I’m killing the mood on this whole drawing challenge. It’s tax week and I’ve been sick. Yuck. I spent a couple of hours today catching up.

Day 8 – Amusement Park

I’m not a fan of long lines, over-priced food, and sunburn. It reminds me of being a little kid and waiting in a line that seems to never end, only to spend 10 seconds scalding your backside on the metal slide before landing in a puddle. I’ve been missing my Draw Something matches with Don, so I drew this in that style, only allowing 30 seconds to draw the whole picture to get my point across. 🙂

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Day 9 – Your “Spirit Animal”

Spirit animal? Like I believe in that stuff! If I were going to compare myself to any animal, it would be this one:

30 Day Challenge 002Day 10 – Hometown Memory

Grandad Bluff is the closest thing I had to a mountain when I was growing up. It’s a mesa that towers over LaCrosse, Wisconsin at a whopping 590 feet above the city, and 1183 feet above sea level. It was the backdrop to my childhood. I rode my bike all over the city, looking up and imagining what it would be like to be in real mountains. It’s where I went when I snuck out to watch fireworks on New Years Eve when I was 14. I “parked” there with a boyfriend. I took my out of town friends there on touristy trips, attended birthday and graduation parties there, and even climbed past the fence and sat on a rock (don’t tell my mom), dreaming about the day I would leave LaCrosse behind. Now I live in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains – my dream come true – and honor the place in my heart for Grandad Bluff, the mountain of my youth. 30 Day Challenge 003

Day 11 – Last request if the world was ending

Easy. My last request will always be that EVERYONE will come to know how much they are loved by God, and choose to embrace His grace and mercy as the sons and daughters they are.

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Day 12 – What did you want to be when you grew up?

I traced the hard lines then filled in the details because I’m trying to hurry and get caught up on this challenge.

Imagine a red-headed Wonder Woman. That’s what I wanted to be. 🙂

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Day 13 – Favorite Mythical Creature

I blogged once about living the mermaid life. You should read it. 🙂

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Go check out the other mythical creatures doing this drawing challenge:

Don Hillson
Zoe Nowell
Bill Davis
GirlyGeeky
Free2B2Much
Notes From The Backseat
Niki Turner

Marilyn Quinsaat [posting on Facebook]
Kimmy Haines [posting on Facebook]

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Day 7 – Favorite Bird

Birds? I’m not a fan. Sure, they’re pretty and some of them have beautiful songs, but when I think of animals I like, birds don’t make the cut. Except for this one. 😉

30 Day Challenge 001Today’s challenge is for the birds. That is, the birds these folks drew:

Don Hillson
Zoe Nowell
Bill Davis
GirlyGeeky
Free2B2Much
Notes From The Backseat
Niki Turner

Marilyn Quinsaat [posting on Facebook]
Kimmy Haines [posting on Facebook]

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