Music and Inspiration

Thanks to Spotify I am hearing all this amazing new music.

One day a few months ago I was in my studio with my Spotify on and I heard this beautiful song click here to listen. It was so beautiful I replayed it a few times. The artist is Jacob Banks. Spotify is such that you can listen to all the songs posted by the artist you are interested in. So I have found several great songs by him.

I found out he was coming to Boston to open up for another artist named Leon. I mentioned it to my girl Chantelle who lives in Boston and we made plans to go together.

Fast forward to the night of the show (Feb 1st) which was at the Sinclair in Cambridge. We got right up to the front. Jacob opened up with a kick ass song called Monster, listen here.

After he got off stage we hung out and watched Leon do a few songs. Also a great voice and I like the melodies in her music, check her out here.

We decided to leave early and as we walked out, there was Jacob Banks hanging out near the front of the entrance at the bar! Let’s just say I definitely tried to act as normal as I could. I was most excited to tell him how talented I think he is and that his voice is like no other.

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Sometimes I hear music and it is so beautiful that almost directly I see colors on canvas.

During my time in college I took a class in 2D Design. My professor at the time gave us an assignment to take a piece of music and create a color composition to it. I’ll never forget how psyched I was about this. I wish I could remember the song I chose. I think it might have been an instrumental Led Zepplin song? Not sure. Anyhow it was fun to create, and the memory of this project has stuck with me.

When a song touches me, and if I see colors or designs when listening to it, I save it to my playlist. I work in my studio to music that encourages ‘the flow’ the place where time disappears. It’s like the music is a means of accessing my creativity.

Here is a video I posted recently of me working in mixed media to some songs that I love. The music in this video includes the artists Chillhop Essentials, BeatPete & Jazz Spastiks, George Fields Instrumentals, & Nomak.

As I continue to find new and beautiful music I will share it here.

A few nights ago I was driving home and heard this one by Pablo Nouvelle click here. Just gorgeous music.

For me it’s important to find new means of inspiration. I also feel really connected to the arts more than ever with all that is going on in the world.

Music, the arts, dance, literature, etc, feeds the soul.

It was so great to get out and see a live show, especially with my good friend.

I currently have a giant canvas that is about 2 feet by 4 feet and it’s waiting for me. Maybe it will become a piece inspired by a song or song(s). We shall see.

What are you listening to? What artist makes you drop what you are doing and buy tickets to see them live? How does music inspire your creativity?

I’m Back! Art & Hiking in the Wild West – Part 1

Hello! I recently returned from a trip out west! I visited Montana,  took a quick stop in California, & ended in Nevada. My trip was centered around great friends, nature, & art-making. I had a wonderful time. I want to share pictures from my travels but in two parts, cause I have so many pics! Here is Part 1 :-)

For the first few days of my trip I stayed in Polebridge at the North Fork Hostel click here to visit the website. It was a great place and I had a comfortable stay with a lot of great company. I met new friends and ventured out to Bowman Lake several times. (pictures below from the website)

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Sitting on the porch chatting with new friends, and we were visited by a deer and her baby.

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Bowman Lake was where I took my watercolors to paint. It is located in the North Fork area of Glacier and not commonly visited by most visitors to the park.

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Below is a picture I took off the web of The Mercantile “The Merc” click here to visit The Merc website. I could walk from the hostel to the Merc and pick up coffee and a bear claw – this place is known for the pastries. It was also a gathering place where everyone stopped before heading out on their adventures.

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One of my new friends named Rick had asked me how I had found the hostel. I said I had found it on the web and it looked very inviting. He said, “Well you found a gem, I have been coming here for 32 years with my sons, and now my grandson.”

A group of us went to visit Rick’s friend, Joseph C. Moore, an artist that lives right outside of Polebridge in his artist’s studio cabin. When we arrived we saw that he left a note on his door that he was out running an errand (he doesn’t have cell service, so he leaves notes lol). We walked around his property and I got to look into the windows of his studio to see some of his work. On the outside of his home he displays these faces that he makes with cement:

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I later got to meet Joseph that same evening but didn’t have my camera on me to take a picture with him. He had a gray beard and rosy cheeks. His personality was bubbly and friendly, he leaned in when he spoke to me, and asked me several questions about my art and travels.  He doesn’t have a website and his studio can be visited only through word of mouth. So unless you talk to the people in Polebridge and ask about him, you’d never know he was there. He invited me to revisit that next week so he could give me a tour but I had to say no cause I was leaving the following day.

The North Fork Hostel does exhibit a few of his paintings in the common area.

I wanted to share the picture I took of his view from the backside of his studio… ahhh-mazing:

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My last evening at the hostel I shared pizza and beers at the Northern Lights Saloon about a mile walk from the hostel. There Rick’s son played the blues while his grandson break-danced:

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The National Bison Range in Dixon, Montana, is about a 1.5 hour drive from Kalispell. The NBR is one of the oldest National Wildlife Refuges in the United States. I saw bears, antelope, an eagle, deer, mountain goats, and of course the bison herd…all on a 19 mile loop. Seriously this place was freakin’ cool. So much to see!

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I was longing to hike in Glacier National Park. I didn’t have a hiking partner so I asked around for what trails were most populated and was told The Highline Trail. When in bear country I especially do not want to hike alone.

I got up early one morning and headed for the trail head but first stopped at the Apgar visitor’s center. I talked to a park ranger who suggested the Highline Trail was best for hiking alone and she made sure I had bear spray…yes I sure did lol!

I left and while heading for my car a young woman named Lisa approached me and asked if I would like a hiking buddy? She said, “I overheard you say you were hiking Highline, I am too, and I would rather not hike it by myself” HOW COOL IS THAT?! I was so grateful that Lisa joined me… here are pictures of our hike. In the one with my hands in the air, I am standing in front of the Grinnell Glacier!

BTW this same trail was closed a week after our hike due to bear activity! yikes!

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Lake McDonald is a great hang out spot for relaxing or several water activities. And Amy and I visited the local farmer’s market in Colombia Falls – Beers, food, art, and bluegrass music!
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More to come! Thank you for taking a look at Part 1… Part 2 coming soon!

Xo

Rebecca

Nature, Art, & Meditation…is so Us!

Guys, what do you do when you need a boost of confidence? What do you do to reconnect to yourself and find that inner peace? When that damn self-doubt creeps in?
A blank canvas sometimes can stir up these feelings… all that white space just starring back at you. What will you create? What will happen? How will you do?
I mean seriously, I almost created a workshop called, “Let’s make mistakes!”
I am laughing just thinking about it. Hell I will probably still hold this workshop, cause I need it too! It would be a class specifically for the practice of creating & letting go the attachment to get it right.

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Ever notice in a painting class how everyone makes something different? It’s so very special.
When we are connected to our own uniqueness self-doubts become a whisper instead of a loud voice, they won’t hook us (like Pema Chodrun would say). The route back to our own inner peace becomes easier to navigate.

A blank canvas can turn into an epic adventure of exploring ones soul.

Nature, art, and meditation can free up some of those blocks we come up against. Or I’ll just say it does for me.
Nature stirs up a lot of awe in me. This article by Christopher Bergland describes awe as “that sense of wonder we feel in the presence of something vast that transcends our understanding of the world.” Click here to read more.
The article asks; “When was the last time you had an awe-inspiring moment that made you say…

“WOW!”?”

I’ll show you one of mine and I’ll never forget it. The moment I laid my eyes on the Grand Tetons back in 2008:

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 (image from web, I wish I could say I took this picture!)
All of a sudden I was very small in comparison to these giant mountains. I felt an expansion, peace, and a connection.

I felt connected to something bigger.

The same article mentions William James an American philosopher and psychologist, who would hiking adventures in the Adirondaks:
“After his epiphanies on the hiking trails, he had a new appreciation for spiritual “openings” as a universal key-hole to higher consciousness accessible to anyone.”

Epiphanies guys… Epiphanies.

Last week I went hiking in the Adirondaks, here I am on Algonquin Mountain (can we say ‘perfect weather’):

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Sometimes I like to raise my hands to the sky. I imagine that I am receiving all there is to receive from the abundance of mother-nature. I also imagine that the universe is opening my heart more while I am opened up like this. It feels good.
This is how I reconnect in nature. It’s inspiration, its glory, its magnitude, its reminder to go with the flow, and to give my gifts to the world. Because that is all she does for us, is give and give and give. And if I end up with any epiphanies then awesome.

It’s quite beautiful…

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A tiny flower can bring a sense of awe. (my pic of a Lady Slipper in the forest.)
The point I am getting at is nature is a good coach. Get in nature to feel the flow and inspiration. Its all around us and there for us whenever we need it.

While creating I find that I go to a place inside that is quiet.

Quiet but also very active, active with inspiration. Where time collapses and all my surface thoughts fade. I connect with the consciousness that is me which is why its feels so good to create. It’s why a lot of my friends who regularly make art can’t not make art.  That freedom allows a r-econnection to ‘Self’.
I recently finished the book, “The Untethered Soul” by Michael A. Singer. I recommend this book to get an idea of what I mean here when I say ‘Self’. He is refers to the ‘Self’ without a name, character, or personality… its deep.
The end product of my painting doesn’t matter. Maybe I will create something I will love, maybe I won’t. But the act of letting go during the process is what matters. It’s a place of letting the creativity inside me come through. No blocks, no judgements, it’s free. I feel a high state of re-connection to myself after I paint.
Here are two new paintings that I worked on side by side. I didn’t stop working on them until I felt they were finished. It was exhilarating to paint these, I really let myself go!

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“Be willing to be a beginner every single morning.” – Meister Eckhart

I have been practicing meditation for 3 years. This year I made meditation part of my daily intentions and usually do it in the morning. I don’t fuss about how long, how I sit, when I do it, or even if I miss a day or two. I have grown a love for it. It has many benefits as most people by now know, one of which is re-connection to oneself. If there is a block, meditation helps me in not holding resistance to it.
Here is what sometimes happens during my meditation, my sweet girl Mossie (Mah-see) likes to plop herself right here on my leg – She looks out the window that I sit nearby. As my friend said “our pets know when we are on a good vibe”.

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Here are beginner instructions for meditation from the book “Waking Up” By Sam Harris.  “The goal is to awaken from our trance of discursive thinking—and from the habit of ceaselessly grasping at the pleasant and recoiling from the unpleasant—so that we can enjoy a mind that is undisturbed by worry, merely open like the sky, and effortlessly aware of the flow of experience in the present.
  1. Sit comfortably, with your spine erect, either in chair or cross-legged on a cushion.
  2. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and feel the points of contact between your body and the chair or floor. Notice the sensations associated with sitting—feelings of pressure, warmth, tingling, vibration, etc.
  3. Gradually become aware of the process of breathing. Pay attention to wherever you feel the breath most clearly—either at the nostrils, or in the rising and falling your abdomen.
  4. Allow your attention to rest in the mere sensation of breathing. (There is no need to control your breath. Just let it come and go naturally.)
  5. Every time your mind wanders in thought, gently return it to the sensation of breathing.
  6. As you focus on the breath, you will notice that other perceptions and sensations continue to appear: sounds, feelings in the body, emotions, etc. Simply notice these phenomena as they emerge in the field of awareness, and then return to the sensation of breathing.
  7. The moment you observe that you have been lost in thought, notice the present thought itself as an object of consciousness. Then return your attention to the breath—or to whatever sounds or sensations arise in the next moment.
  8. Continue in this way until you can merely witness all objects of consciousness—sights, sounds, sensations, emotions, and even thoughts themselves—as they arise and pass away.
It’s all a practice just like with meditation. But as my curiosity about all this increases life keeps getting more and more interesting. The blocks tend to be more flexible.

Try a creative project, go for a walk outside, and please try meditation -make the time – its worth it.

If you are interested in practicing with me check out my upcoming event Art & Inspiration at the Inn ~ A Day for the Artist in You I would love to have you!
Thanks for reading and being a part of this community of creators. I don’t take any of you for granted.
Please share your thoughts, what’s new in your world?
To opening and being,
xox Rebecca
P.S. Check out the work by Christy! Created at my most recent workshop where we used script along with mixed media.

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