When I come home
the first thing I do, other than necessary
biologicals, is check the list.
I don't know how it is for some of y'all, but you see, I been here
from the gate, seen this community grow, and I got to tell you reading
the list mail, looking at the pictures, just fills me with warm
The world is weird and wild out there, but this is a bubble, a space
we deliberately create to be loving, supportive, funny and intimate.
Hard to think of being intimate with 798 list members but we are. Oh,
remember I told you to hold your breath at 800? LOL. But I digress,
intimacy, ya, that was the thread.
Did you know that laughter releases the same brain chemicals as
So would smiling be akin to a kiss?
Would condolences be as good as a hug?
Would praise and encouragement be as good as a pat on the back or
getting your hair ruffled playfully?
I think so. It's palpable. I can feel you out there. Touching my
heart, tickling my brain, delighting my eyes. Like a warm wave of
affection and compassion. Jeese, I love it. Which is to say I love all
It's about the love babyeee, the love.
First love yourself. Oh not like that, you naughty ones in the back
row snickering. ;-) But love yourself enough to please yourself first
when you are creating.
Ok, negative example. I'll use the generic "you" and not anyone in
If you don't love yourself. You will attract to yourself those people
who will validate your preconceived notion of your unworthiness. Hook
up with folks who will abuse you psychically and physically. You'll
not complete things, sabotage your own development, because it feeds
in to the belief that you are unworthy. Unworthy of love, support,
On the same hand you will turn away from those who do love you. Why?
Because they must be stupid to love someone as unworthy as yourself.
You bite the hand that feeds you, are mean to those who love you
because you don't respect them for loving you. For you know you are
Oh what utter bullshit, but people are caught up in this negative
equation. Look around in your life and you'll see the pattern.
BUT Wait...there's a solution to this common and insidious
psychological malaise, a way out of the madness.
Love your self. God loves you. So you can't be half bad if God loves
you. If you were given a talent, isn't it a slap in the face of your
Creator not to exercise it? I mean, the urge to create is something
that HAS you. You didn't sign up for this duty. You didn't audition
for this incarnation. You just got it. Like brown eyes, or curly hair.
You didn't ask for the torment of getting up in the middle of the
night to fiddle on something, just to create. The urge to create HAS
you and you got to do a special song and dance to quiet it's incessant
nattering in your head, behind your eyelids, when you're trying to
A talent, urge to create, visions of fantasy worlds, the delight of
the senses with just making pretty color designs when mixing clay
colors, all this is Divinely given to you.
Love yourself enough to use the colors you really really like. Even if
that means you're only ordering 5 colors, forever. If you love those
colors use them until they've danced their last dance for you.
I've seen many time here on the list, "I don't know what to make."
Hog Wallow... you DO know what to make, it resides in your own heart.
Love animals, well sculpt them then, do animal face canes. I love
Lexx, so when I play I play in a Lexxy way. Using the actors and
symbols that represent The Lexx to me. Love yourself enough to allow
your creative energy to play with the colors you love, with subjects
Then the practice will be labors of love and not a chore. But it
starts out with loving yourself enough to please ONLY you at the work
That's why I can't work with lesson plans or scripts. That's why I
would rather have people come to the demo with the desire to see X...
fill in the blank. You know what you'd love to see.
What I love is improv. What I love is not knowing what the Demo is
going to be about because my Claymates come up with some very
interesting requests. We kick the idea around, engineering it
together, some Claymates get clay of the same or similar color and
clay along. We are figuring this out together.
That's another thing I wanted to fold into this ramble. As a group,
claying together, attacking clay challenges, in that mini way of ours,
we learn more than if we experimented alone. For new clayers, or those
who have clayer's block (saw that term over on PCC, clayer's block.
When you want to make something, got the supplies and you're drawing a
blank.) Just look into your heart. Ask yourself what moves me, makes
me smile, makes me leer, makes me feel? What are those things? What
colors make me swoon? Ask yourself and then your subject matter will
come up and get expressed through the clay.
But you got to love and respect yourself in order to get an answer
from your heart.
"I found my inner child and I abused it." is what most folks are
We find our inner child and nurture it. Play is important to a child
to discover its world. Well art is grown up play, and the world we
discover is the richness that is in the universe of the mind, the
depth of the heart.
That's why I steer the list to "clay nice". Why I also encourage
heartfelt exchanges, group prayers, condolences, and congratulations.
We can't touch each other physically. We can only touch the mind,
through the eyes, with our posts. Hoping that what the eyes capture,
the mind deciphers, will make it to the heart and let our Claymate
feel the love.
For once we love ourselves enough to allow ourselves the freedom of
our creative self expression, getting a big buzz on that, it's easy to
love others, feel for them, cheer with sincerity with their successes.
For just as misery loves company. Love creates its own company. It
For developing artists it is necessary to feel that where they take
their baby steps, there's folks they know, trust and love there to
help pick them up, dust them off, laugh and share a similar disaster,
and encourage them to give it another shot. That's why the intimacy is
necessary here. That's why the demos are important for I screw up. I
have gone down some clay avenues that didn't turn out as I expected
and you'll still see them on the site with the reasons why I was
But as my Claymates remind me that I told them, "Expectation leads to
disappointment." Look at what you make for what it is, not what you
expected it to be. Remind me when I fall into my ELD syndrome.
Does this make any sense? I ramble I know. Showing technique is a
small percentage of my job here. You can learn how to make a bullseye
anywhere. You can pick up a book, check out other people's tutes, look
at a vid, go to a guild. There's hundreds of ways to learn how to
What we're doing here is changing our brain chemistry, with laughter.
We are bonding with love with those who made an unspoken promise not
to hurt our feelings. We are lining up for the long haul learning
things that take years to master because if we're going to have a long
haul at anything it's good to have those along who can make us feel the love
and make us laugh. Just like having someone feed you sandwiches and
fold the road map when you're driving cross country.
What we're doing here is changing the perspective of who we are in
relation to art, being an artist, being a miniaturist, being a
sculptor, when there's more "important" and "serious"
things to attend
Well gosh darn it and heck, we were given this urge to create. We may
as well work it out with things we love, and if we got to change how
we feel about ourselves, so we get our of our own way, then that's
what we have to do. That is the biggest part of my job here.
Convincing you it's ok to play with clay. It's your right, but it's
also your duty.
Some folks would say, "That's selfish. Only doing what you want to
do." I wish it would be as easy as to tell them "God made me do
When that's the way I see it. I've been defending the right to be an
artist all my life. That's why I have so many theories that will
support my argument that this thing I've been given makes me a steward
of some sort. I have a responsibility as an artist, a writer and a
nurturer to convince as many as I can that this loving the self works.
Makes me get away with it if I got company. LOL, but I'm being silly
So it's good to be home, it's great to see folks bonding, it's
exciting to have so many new folks posting and getting excited about
getting to demo. There's some shy folks who've been writing me
privately and I got to tell them, trust the list, only loving hearts
and hands are here. I wouldn't have it otherwise. It wouldn't work any
Now I'll send this off.