Hoofer: noun. Slang. A professional dancer, especially a tap dancer. (Dictionary.com)
When I did my Fosse imitation a few weeks back, Karina, one of our commenters, suggested that I try to do a Gene Kelly imitation. I’ve tap danced before, I thought. No big deal. Continue reading Hoofer→
I spend a lot of time upside down. It increases the blood flow to the brain, so it really helps your creativity.
We’ve already talked about photography in the mundane, but how about photography from another angle? What if you took pictures of the mundane and did it while being upside down? For example, it’s easy to photograph a table, but have you ever tried from being underneath it?
Did you know that Charlie White also plays the violin?
Earlier this year, he promised the Today show that if he won gold, he’d play violin on their show. They made sure he kept this promise.
In honor of our fabulous ice dancers, I decided to take one half-hour violin lesson from a friend. I spent the first seven minutes just trying to figure out how to hold the bow correctly and still be loose enough to move my arm.
One of the issues that plague a lot of writers is the feeling that everything you write is terrible. And that leads to not writing from fear. Brienna talked about this a few weeks ago, and what applies to poetry, applies to writing.
One thing I’ve learned from Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird (besides having “crappy” first drafts), is to just do short assignments in order to get into the habit of writing. Now don’t cringe – these aren’t awful homework assignments but writing prompts. A major problem that many of us face when it comes to writing is just sitting down and doing it. Writing prompts are meant to pull you from that slump and just have fun with writing.
We’ve been talking a lot about art you can do yourself. Sometimes, it’s just as rewarding to enjoy art that other people have created. This can get expensive (opera tickets aren’t cheap), so here are five ways you can experience art in the Minneapolis area without breaking your bank.
1. Visit an Art Museum
The Minneapolis Institute of Arts is a free museum where you can see jade sculptures from ancient China, portraits by nineteenth-century Romantic artists, and contemporary abstract paintings.
2. Hear a Concert at a Coffee Shop
The Coffee Grounds is a local coffee shop that brings in musicians ranging from folk to hip-hop on every Friday evening for a free concert. Sometimes they even have comedy troupes.
3. Watch a Ballet
The Landmark Center offers free ballet performances by members of the St. Paul City Ballet on Tuesdays at noon. They also have free classical music concerts and art exhibitions.
4. Listen to a Reading
The Loft Literary Center brings in local and national authors to read poetry and prose, sometimes from one author’s book, and sometimes from several authors’ works about to explore a theme or celebrate an award.
5. See a Film—Fifty’s Style
The Riverview Theatre still has the architecture, decorations, and furniture it did during the 1950s. While not completely free (tickets cost $2), this theatre makes you feel like you stepped backward in time.
Remember how fun craft time was when you were a kid? There was something so wonderful about being able to pull out the paint supplies and go wild, without any pressure to create a fantastically beautiful piece. Today’s art burst is about recreating that feeling.
As I mentioned in last Friday’s post, my paintings tend to look the same as they did in kindergarten; however, I do love the feeling of a brush in my hand, so for today’s post, I decided to paint rocks. This is a pretty flexible activity since paints and brushes aren’t hard to find at Target or Michael’s and little stones are scattered all over the place. (I dug mine out of the snow in front of the dorm.)
Even if we’re involved in art, we tend to stick to mediums that are familiar. For example, my college campus has a ceramics studio in their art building, but I have never been inside in all my three years at this school. Until now.
This weekend, I strapped on an apron and got my
sister, who is an art minor, to give me a tour. She began with the bucket of wet, slimy clay (called “slip”). After this clay has the excess water removed, it’s usable for projects. Next, she took me to the wedging tables, where artists knead the clay until it’s solid enough to work with. When I tried wedging, I was surprised by how fast the clay dries out.
Then I got to try wheel-thrown pottery. First, my sister showed me how to center the clay by bracing my palms on the rapidly spinning wheel. I couldn’t get my lump centered. Then I pushed too hard and pulled it completely off the wheel. After a couple more tries, we decided I should just make my object by hand.
Did you love face painting as a child? Were you one of those kids at the fair who begged your parents to pay for a tiger-face paint job? Did you get into your mom’s make-up when you were little?
If you’re like me in that you like to use paint, but you’re terrible at it, then this short art burst is for you. Using your face as a canvas is a lot easier than paper. Plus, you can use your fingers. Double bonus.
Some people naturally appreciate modern art. I am not one of them. Several times, I’ve found myself standing in an art gallery, staring at a painting called something like “Red Line on White Canvas,” and thinking, “I could do that.”
Today, I actually tried it. I got out my colored pencils . . . and had absolutely no ideas. I hadn’t realized how hard it would be to create art that didn’t look like physical objects.
To give myself some inspiration, I browsed the work of two abstract expressionist painters, Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman. Rothko’s paintings depict colored rectangles. Newman’s works feature bright colors with thin vertical lines running through them. I’m not a very good artist, but I decided to imitate both of these artists. How hard could it be to draw some lines and color blocks?
It was much harder than I thought. Drawing the shapes was fairly easy, but it was hard to create a picture that was visually pleasing. I couldn’t explain why, but my pictures were less interesting than the originals. My rectangles looked like random blobs. My lines weren’t very striking.
This reminded me of a conversation several of my friends who are art majors had about abstract art. They said that it was hard to create good composition with such limited subject matter.
While I still don’t understand modern art, I gained a new appreciation for artists who can make such a simple structure hold the viewers’ attention. It’s a deceptively simple art form.
Today, my optimism and energy seemed drained away by some invisible force. For some odd reason, every artistic idea flopped that I contemplated doing for this blog. How was I suppose to write about creativity when all I wanted was to get through the day in one piece?
Thus, I decided to take on a new identity for a short time. This evening, my friend invited me to a tea party. Instead of sneaking away and hiding behind a novel, I will attend and chat with others. However, every sentence that I say will be in a different voice or accent.