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artsmart . Imagination Exercise 2

How to strip away gray noise and hear single notes.


Imagination rises in a symphonic wake of what you have passed through on your individual journey. The flow of imagery and general quality of the “Life in your day” is lifted and made more vibrant when you pay attention to the larger world. These notes, while making your day spark like chili flakes in a zippy curry are efficiently filed in your massive library of recollection neighboring nose and ears.

Imagination is deeply hooked into all our senses.  That is why we each react to things uniquely. Reaction and ideas are tempered by volumes of what we remember and feel. Imagination is not just about pretty pictures and new notions. It is a lifestyle choice of being aware, noticing and  appreciating. But one step at a time.

This week quiet yourself and listen.

Notice the music of a ceiling fan oscillating.

The slap of a car door shutting.

The tinkle of silverware jostled when you pull out a spoon.

Wings over water. A sink draining. Someone walking briskly down the hall.

If you want to sit down with yourself and study; start a work book/journal and write down sounds that delight you followed by what images they bring to mind. Do likewise with sounds that grind at you or cause discomfort. The strongest gift of imagination is empathy; slipping into another’s story and  listening so deeply you may grow to understand what escaped you before. Little steps forward in a big world.

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artsmart; How To Do it . The sad chair goes to the prom

Sometimes I launch into doing things that may or may not go well. This is the basis of invention.

Failing is an option, but you always get a story to tell. Follow rules 1-3 and you will be fine.

1. Don’t be afraid

2. Imagine how to make it happen

3. Enjoy the process no matter what the outcome

paint chair

PROBLEM: a pleasant upholstered chair discolored by time and late evenings to a level of yuck.

ONCE i sat on a lovely couch in my friend Steve Swan’s house and remarked on it’s fine pleather texture and lovely hue. He said proudly:” I paint-rollered that couch like 5 years ago.” I said,” dang” and filed that info away.

A one color chair is easier and feel free to do that- however should you encounter a down on it’s luck striped chair here is what worked remarkably well:

Choose a color of latex paint that is close to what was and try a test to see how it flows onto the fabric. You don’t want it too dense or it will be tedious to apply and not blend into the texture of your upholstery. If you add water, give it a good stir. (an egg whisk is super for this) Apply in a less visible area of your chair. You want it to flow on easily and cover but not be so watery as to bleed out or be drippy. Your tools must be your friends-so make sure you have a good paintbrush- about an inch wide with flexible brush that you can turn side wise and pull forward to get a crisp line. Practice on some paper if that is helpful. Get comfy and prepare to go into a focused, content state which will empty your mind of extraneous issues like whether the fish is defrosting so you can loose yourself in painting calming stripes- each one more glorious then the last. From time to time you may become overcome by your own genius as the chair turns into a prom queen or at least someone who doesn’t have a bra strap showing in the after photos.

paint chair2

The best result of having secretly rescued furniture such as this is that when someone does catapult their glass of red wine into the seat of your newly lovely chair you are unconcerned- and further because this delightful chair is now coated in a thin layer of plastic based paint merely get the sponge, wipe and return to your evening.

Remember to relax.

paint chair3

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