Suggested reading

Value in Women's Voices

Kelsey Le Mesurier teaches poetry in the NSW in Australia and has graciously obtained permission to use my work on the cover of her booklet for school. I opened the booklet to find the first poem is absolutely one of my favorites! Thank you Kelsey!

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Still I Rise

By Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
’Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
’Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise

Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise

Somerset Studio Magazine Contest!

Somerset Studio has graciously offered to give away a free copy of the Sept./Oct issue mailed to one lucky winner! Contest is open to U.S. residents only and simply requires that you leave me a comment on this blog post about which image in the magazine inspires you the most! I will pick the lucky winner (from a hat as they say) on October 27th- 1 month from now. So share this with your friends and help me spread the inspiration! Thanks!

#somersetstudio      @somersetstudio
#giveaway     #mixedmedia      @cpeloquininc

I am a PUBLISHED AUTHOR!!

I can't wait for the Sept/Oct Somerset Studio issue because I am going to have a 10 page spread in it with an article by Rice Freeman-Zachary. So yesterday when I was checking out the July/Aug issue, I was blown away to see my article in it! Back in April I sent a blog post called How Long Does It Take? into Somerset Studio and never heard back from them. I had no idea they had even planned to publish it! I am so excited! My words are published now too!

How Long Does It Take?

The number one question that I am asked by both art patrons and art students is “How long does it take you to do a painting?”  I always respond with “my entire life.” Everything I have ever learned got me to that moment when I created that piece. It’s simple.

I have created pieces that have literally flown out of me. With the music cranked and a song in my heart, I seriously knew to get out of my own way, not think at all, and just draw and paint. Those moments are simply bliss. Those paintings and those moments are why I’m an artist. And I’m sorry to report, that those moments, so precious and sought after, are fleeting and not my norm.

What is normal and expected, is the journey back to that bliss. And I look forward to that with as much eagerness and desire. For when I can’t figure out a piece, I know that I am learning something new. When I can’t draw a smile with the exactness that I want, I know that frustration needs to be replaced with tenderness. When I get so exasperated and collage over a painting that I gave up on, I know that I am willing to let go and not hold every brush stroke as sacred.  Being an artist is about practice, experimenting and effort.  Struggle is where I learn.  Uncertainty is where I grow.

I encourage all my students to simply just keep working.  Get excited and make things! A close friend never judges himself on his last piece but on the last 10 or 20. See your growth with wide eyes.  Learn from all aspects of your existence and do not give up no matter how frustrated or humbled. Every artist was first an amateur.

So how long did Time take me to collage, draw and then paint? I started it sometime around 3 years old when I proclaimed I was going to be an artist and I finished it right here.

   Time  , 48" x 60"

Time, 48" x 60"

PERSPECTIVES ON CREATIVITY

I was recently interviewed by Doctoral Candidate, Dowell Bethea from University of Central Florida for her dissertation titled PERSPECTIVES ON CREATIVITY: THEORIA, PRAXIS, AND POIESIS.  She included some of my words about creativity in her paper and I wanted to share them.  

 

Christine Peloquin, visual artist

I have found that the ritual of the creative process can be very specific and is extremely important to well established artists. In fact, I believe that the sooner an artist develops their own rituals, the sooner they will meet with their own defined success. My rituals surround creating a sacred place and a mind of peace in my studio. My studio is filled with all my personal trinkets from my childhood and travels and the walls are covered in photos and art that inspire me. Weather permitting, I open all the doors and windows to bring the Florida sunshine inside. I usually need the place picked up a bit, then I play music, light candles and incense. I usually collage for days at a time, then draw and paint on the collages on other days. It all depends on my mood.

Many times, I engage my creativity by perusing through art books or Pinterest. Looking at others’ work and creativity can instantly get the energy flowing. I know that I need to honor not just the setting up of my studio space, but the setting up of my creative energies before I can expect any really good ideas to start flowing. I honor the fact that this can sometimes take more time than I wish! And that sometimes, it doesn't happen at all! I've learned not to berate myself for this, but to honor the blockage by taking myself out on an artist date... straight out of the fabulous book, The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. Reading that book and taking it as a class in my 20s completely changed me and made my creative process what it is today.

Artist dates are any venture from your normal routine that wakes up the curiosity and joy in you. Visits to museums or flea markets... farmers markets or picking flowers in a meadow. If you were dating your inner artist, where would you take her? It’s about treating yourself!

So in this busy holiday season, take some time to take your artist out on a date. Treat yourself! Happy Holidays.