Big Things Happen in the Arts

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Remarkable things happen when you allow yourself to become fully engaged with creating art or performing music. At every level, you learn how little things make big things happen. The arts allow you to experience things from a global perspective and to bring real world meaning to basic knowledge and skills.

Imaginative Possibility

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As you walk through the many museums in Arizona, you learn that the history and cultures of Native American people of the area are inseparable from their expression as artists. From various symbols to geometric designs, there are similarities that inspire you to want to learn more.

Arts Illuminate the New Year

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Happy New Year! Perhaps similar to your own experiences, I found myself at the end of 2015 reflecting on the past year and new year simultaneously. Instead of resolutions and lists of changes, I considered the potential of the creative process found in the arts.

Be Bold and Begin

Arts Awareness

It’s an exciting time for me. My book—Arts Awareness: A Fieldbook for Awakening Creative Consciousness in Everyday Life—is now available. For many years, I’ve kept notes about a wide variety of experiences in the arts.

Ode to Joy

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The recent Phoenix Symphony Orchestra performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125, was an important reminder for everyone present of the value and beauty of contrast.

A Leap in the Dark

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Highly creative artists do their work in a world of unpredictability. They don’t force a clear picture of the end result. While they may set restrictions and principles, they don’t create such strong boundaries that limit flow or their ability to move in new, more inspired directions. They trust themselves and the artistic process.

Creative Space—A Canvas to the Imagination

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Artists are open to the world around them. That openness allows them to see, hear, and feel things that may go unnoticed by others. It allows the creative space for observations and ideas to develop with artistic outcomes that are often surprising and unique.

Make Momentum a Priority

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Artists know how to create momentum in at least two ways. First, there is a sense of movement in nearly every work of art, whether visual, aural, physical, or a combination.

Begin with Your Senses

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As I entered a familiar room recently, I realized the multi-sensory impact of the music that was playing in the background. The room not only felt different than before, but there was a definite quality in the room mingling among the others that called to mind the sights, smells, and even tastes of past experiences… Read more »

Fresh Start

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Every time an artist begins a new work or prepares for a performance the world is wide open. There is a level of excitement about that moment that’s invigorating. It’s a fresh start.

Winter Journey

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This week begins with the official start of winter in the Northern Hemisphere. It’s a time that’s filled with nature’s handiwork—snow covered neighborhoods, icy streets, long cold nights, and short cloudy days.

Celebrating Diversity

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The recent CALA International Festival in Phoenix, Arizona, showcased the way that artists investigate the world around them. Festivals like this one take place all over the world, and they’re particularly advantageous to individuals who participate as artists, but also to the communities that support them.

Freedom

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Opportunities to engage in the artistic process are important for everyone in this increasingly complex world of the 21st century.

Arts and Ambiguity

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Images, movement, and sounds in works of art can be understood in more than one way. In fact, most artists know that appreciation and interpretation from multiple perspectives is an important characteristic of their work.

Just Do It

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Musicians, painters, dancers, sculptors, and actors know that the artistic process requires you to keep at it—to constantly create and maintain momentum.

A Full Spectrum

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Visual artists see variations in color that others don’t see. While everyone may sense the effect of color, non-artists miss the subtleties of the full spectrum.

Wonder and Insight

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Artistic expression is much more than a skill or a line of work. It’s an imaginative, inspired, and innovative way of communicating and living life.

Flexibility

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The artistic process requires flexibility—the willingness to let go of something and to take a new direction. Artists are well poised, through their ability to stay open, responsive, and resilient, to adapt to complex challenges in their own world as well as in the world at large.

What’s My Line?

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Line is one of the most fascinating and essential elements of artistic expression. Artists create emotional impact in their works by exploring the visual and aural qualities of line, which can be short, long, straight, curved, thick, thin, horizontal, vertical, diagonal, zigzagged, combined, or implied.

What’s the Point?

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Pointillism is an artistic technique that allows the viewer or listener to step back and see how individual points can come together to create a whole. The term is most closely associated with Georges Seurat and particularly his most famous work, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.