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Chat with Sarah...January

Art is important to me because I experience life through symbols and pictures, through flow in the Spirit, through impressions and gut feelings...and art gives those ponderings expression.  In the past few months, in the spirit of self-care, I took a course called The Fine Artist Summit, through Art MBA, and was challenged to MAKE MORE ART and to SHARE IT. What’s the purpose if nobody sees it? My motto (even if my boys tease me): “Messy bun, and getting stuff done!”

Specifically, I’ve followed the Art MBA algorithm suggestions on social media: i.e. post regularly. With just two posts a day and random (un-figured-out) hashtags, some really cool opportunities have come my way. (More about that below.) While very grateful, I’m not satisfied with simply showing and telling about things I make in my studio solely for the sake of showing.  

I’d like to be part of a conversation that will encourage and inspire us all to think about art, and beauty, and THE big mysteries in a way that brings us to realize WE’RE ALL MORE THAN JUST PASSIVE CONSUMERS.

When naming this monthly newsletter endeavor I looked to my best friend, the thesaurus, to decide if “chat” is the best word to describe what I intend. The alternate words suggested were ones like “babble”, “gossip”, “yak” and “bull session”. (Those options give us a bunch of room to take this wherever we want to go! HA!) What I like about a “chat” is the back-and-forth of it, the engagement, the participation. So much communication is one-way (media, teaching, sermons). We’ve been conditioned to sit and be talked to, to sit and consume words on pages and screens, to sit and watch stories acted out.

Recently, I realized my addiction when going through The Artist’s Way for the third time. Week Four poses a challenge: “Fast other people’s words for one week.” (Shock. Horror!) I decidedly skipped that challenge. It would mean giving up morning books and coffee in my bird-chair, podcasts while cooking dinner, online courses, TV, and movies!!! No way! Basically, I realized I’m in constant consumption of one-way words!

What I mean to say is I’m longing for a bit of back-and-forth.

I’ll put ideas here. Maybe you’d like to give me yours? **(I realize I’m sending to you a letter, which is by definition one-way. I know, I know. But it’s the spirit of the thing…and if you leave comments I’LL RESPOND!)

Another reason I like the word “chat” its connotation of friendly talk between two equals; no hierarchy, no expert - underling situation, just interaction as friends who have an interest in each other. I recently heard a science-talk by a man named Mike McHargue, the contents of which I cannot recall except for the introduction and his opening remarks. As he took the stage the host gave a very eloquent and honoring introduction expounding his accolades and education. Mike took the mic and did something I’ve never heard before, (and I am a self-proclaimed professional and life-long sermon/lecture-listener…10,000 hours? Pshhh!). Instead of immediately orating, riding the wave of legitimacy and honor just given him, he instead invited us to bring to our attention the setting and social cues that might lull us into passive consumption of his ideas: He was on a stage and all the chairs were facing him, he was standing and we were sitting, the lights were on him while we were in darkness, his voice was amplified, and his name and pedigree had been publically announced while we remained unknown. After highlighting those cues that pointed to his authority and superiority, he asked that we look past them, turn ON our brains, and think about what we were hearing.

He asked us to form opinions on the matters discussed...question, wrestle, be inspired - or not.

Then he went on to speak on the subjects he’s studied with excellence.

Not that I have a great pedigree or any kind of authority, but charismatic words put into print can tend to engender undeserved importance. I’d like to stay away from those trappings. I want to share inspiration. I make art, you might too. I have ideas and thoughts about the world, and I know you do too. (You might enjoy spreadsheets, I don’t. Ha!) In other words, this newsletter won’t be preachy but will be a monthly sharing with an invitation think, wrestle, be inspired, or even disagree.

We’re LIGHTS created to burn brightly, fully aligned with purpose, and equipped as we go…because that’s what the whole world needs - each of us LIT from the inside. (Mt.5)

So, I look forward to our “chats”. My hope is that you’ll feel inspired toward wholeheartedness and creativity in your own world as I share mine. Onward we go into a new decade! There is unrest and uncertainty all around us, but there is also beauty.

- Sarah