Artword Daily Creativity Prompts, Week Three

Jan’s ArtWord Daily Creativity Prompt 11

Monday, March 30, 2020

Going into week three.

We are getting tired, but we know the big part of the journey is still in front of us.

Sometimes, all this quarantining can feel tedious. Be careful. Be very careful, tedium can be a trick because we can get complacent.

In this journey, being complacent can take on the voice of … “I think we’re over reacting, I think it’s probably okay to go grab some coffee at the store.”

Or, “I can probably see my bestie for a few minutes and have a cup of tea.”

This part of the journey is one of the hardest, because the journey itself can be like the doldrums for a racing schooner. Experienced sailors know better than to all fall asleep below deck, because squalls can rear-up and catch them off guard.

So, at the beginning of our third week, let’s be careful of complacency, because that, my dear fellow travelers, can be our undoing.

The Heroine learns, at this juncture, to be wise and to wait in the ready. She knows she can create something even out of this time of quietude.

 So try this…   

Writing Prompt:

Try using your mind as a camera. See yourself sitting and waiting quietly, now take the camera lens and get a close-up view of your hands.

What’s in them? Are the holding a book? A piece of wood? Are they wrapped around knitting needles? Do they have a hunk of clay between them? Is there a camera nestled into the palms?

Now back the lens up and get a bigger view. Where are you? In a studio? In front of your computer writing? In a garden on your knees? In front of a window with a view?

Now write about your hands. Think about them in a new way.  Your hands are how you send your imaginative visions into the physical world. They are amazingly functional! Write about themt, see what comes up.

Art Prompt:

Whatever you saw in your hands in the above writing prompt, paint it here. Hands can be tricky to draw so, make an outline your hands in your book and fill it in with beautiful things you would like to see them do. Then make a commitment to your hands.

Not only will you keep them washed and clean but you will also keep them creating.

© Jan H Croteau, 2020

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Jan’s ArtWord Daily Creativity Prompt 12

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Along the journey, there is much to learn. Everyday we learn a little bit more about Covid 19. Everyday we learn a little more about how to protect ourselves.

Yesterday I learned that in The Czech Republic there is significantly fewer cases of Covid 19 virus. (I looked it up and at the time there were only 298 cases!)

What?

They do all the things we are doing … washing hands, social distancing, sheltering in place, but they do one other thing that we don’t do.

They wear masks when they are outside their homes. Homemade, cotton cloth masks over their mouth and nose. And this keeps them from spreading the virus to each other.

So simple.

In the YouTube link I give below, they go on to explain that they can make ten million masks in a three days, enough for their whole county because…and wait for it…the women got out their sewing machines and sewed masks for everyone.

And then I cried. Now those are Heroines, on the Journey, and they are saving their country.

If you would like to see the video, it’s here.

You see, The Heroine’s Journey is not about flying in and saving the day with a super power. No, it’s about the creative way women think, and how they galvanize their resources to save lives one stitch at a time.

So try this,

Writing Prompt:

Think like a seamstress. Put a story together about this for your book. Think of someone in the future reading about masks saving lives during the 2020 Global Pandemic. I think it would surprise them to see that such a simple thing could actually save lives and that women were at the forefront of the movement to sew everyone a mask.

Art Prompt:

Do you sew? There are many ways to sew these masks, just look on YouTube. Sew enough for your family and if you can, do a few for your local hospital.

If you don’t sew, then draw a beautifully designed mask in your book to illustrate your story for today. It could be quite the fashion accessory. Make it fun and interesting.

I love you SweetArts! Be well, stay strong, and keep moving forward.

Remember, quarantining yourself is an act of love. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your commitment to stopping the spread of this virus.

And if you want to share anything with me, I’m here.

XO,

Jan

© Jan H Croteau, 2020

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Jan’s ArtWord Creativity Prompt 13     

Wednesday, April 1, 2020          

Good Morning SweetArts,

The third stage of the Heroine’s Journey is Illumination. We are nowhere near this yet, but let’s remember The Illumination is the very reason we heed The Call at the beginning of the journey. This is the reason we take on all the challenges with as much strength as we can possibly muster.

To receive and stand in The Illumination we have to think differently than we normally do.        

It helps if we train ourselves to think like poets, artists, or songwriters, who can distill a scene into metaphor.

Asking ourselves this question at the end of each day is a step toward the Illumination…”Where is the metaphor in what I experienced today?”

This gives us insight, and helps us to gain a different perspective, but more importantly, Illumination offers us small epiphanies along the way and when we follow those sparks of light we make way for our transformation.

Right now, we are getting weary, but we are fully aware that we are far from the journey’s end. So, let’s start training ourselves to think like the poets.

Poets and philosophers make connections between seemingly disconnected things. We need to revisit the work of great thinkers like Margaret Mead, Jane Goodall and Maya Angelou.

And visit the poets like Mary Oliver, Adrienne Rich, Naomi Shahib Nye, Sharon Olds, Elizabeth Alexander, and Joni Mitchell.

They point their torch light into the darkness and offer us a way through by giving us a deeper way of seeing our experience.

If we use this time to train our minds toward Illumination, we will be more prepared when it comes. We will be able to stand in its blinding light and be transformed.

Writing Prompt:

Think of two things that don’t appear to have much connection; like a desert cactus and the sea, or science and religion, or loud concert music and a silent monastery.  And write about them. A connection will come to you as you write. Or write about your day and find the metaphors within. Writing is a deeply revealing activity. Remember the treasures are always beneath the surface.

Art Prompt:

Draw or paint something that has high contrast, by creating deep shadows and bright light. We are getting ourselves ready for illumination even in our art. You can draw a still life, a mountain scene, a portrait of someone you love, but just give it lots of contrast. You will find out quickly that this is one of the secrets to dynamic art. Make your darks really dark and your lights really light. 

I love you SweetArts! Be well, stay strong, and keep moving forward.

Remember, quarantining yourself is an act of love. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your commitment to stopping the spread of this virus.

And if you want to share anything with me, I’d love to see it. 

XO,

Jan

© Jan H Croteau, 2020

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Jan’s ArtWord, Daily Creativity Prompt 14

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Good Morning SweetArts,   

I read a good article yesterday about dealing with stress during tough times. It was written by a woman who has first-hand experience about upheaval and living through crisis.

In the article her emphases was on how being overly-productive can be injurious to our well-being while we adjust to our new life.

This global-adjustment is overwhelming for everyone and we all have our coping mechanisms.

According psychologists, trying to be highly productive in a time of great stress can be a kind of denial.

I’m not sure if I agree with that, as there are many jobs that have to be done and done well right now, but it did get me thinking.

If you are staying at home and trying to keep everything together, but feel like you’re getting overwhelmed…may I suggest you take naps?

What? The Heroine’s Journey includes naps?

Oh my Gosh, women, all women, know the power of sleep.       

Under these trying times we need sleep more than ever.

If you have children and a partner at home, take turns taking naps, if at all possible.

If you are alone, go for it!

I have been waking up at 3:00 a.m. many mornings. At first, I tossed and turned, and then I adjusted to my nocturnal wanderings.

Now I get up and sit in meditation and prayer until I feel sleepy again, usually around 5:30 a.m.

 I often sleep in until 8:00 or later.

This I know for sure, we all need more sleep right now.

So today, there is only one prompt.

Writing Prompt:

Before you fall asleep, put your writing book near your bed. When you awake, see if you can remember your dream and if you do, write it down. See what your dreams are saying to you.

So, here’s to sleep, perchance to dream, if you possibly can.

I love you SweetArts!

Remember, quarantining yourself is an act of love. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your commitment to stopping the spread of this virus.

And if you want to share anything with me, I‘m here. 

XO,

Jan

© Jan H Croteau, 2020

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Jan’s ArtWord Creativity Prompt 15

April 3, 2020

Dear SweetArts

Friday, oh my goodness, we just completed three weeks of official quarantine here in NH.

And today, we are still in our homes and probably experiencing varying levels of cabin fever. Some of us are looking around for something new to set our eyes on.

One of my favorite genres of art is still life painting.     

I love it because it’s a moment in time. A still life painting is something we find utterly beautiful like a single pottery bowl on the dining room table in the morning light, or a flower in a vase leaning toward the kitchen sink, or the way a cup of tea is letting off steam against a dark wall.

You see, there is great beauty inside our homes.

We’re getting tired of being inside and not seeing each other, but we have to keep quarantining.

So, let’s seek out the beauty in the seemingly mundane.

There are beautiful things all around us.

Try this:

Writing Prompt:

Pull open a drawer and look inside. Then write a story about the contents of that drawer.

Drawers are full of things that we find important. A drawer can tell us a lot about ourselves. What do we treasure so much that we store it in a drawer? What are the things we use daily? The contents of our drawers would be revealing to someone in the future.

Art Prompt:

Compose a beautiful and simple Still Life composition and then draw or paint it. Don’t be surprised if you get hooked on doing Still Life.

I love you SweetArts! Have as good a weekend as you can muster and I’ll be talking with you again on Monday.

And if you want to share anything with me, I‘m here.

XO,

Jan

© Jan H Croteau, 2020