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ART by e'layne

ART by e'layne

Creativity – It’s in our DNA – Part 2

Posted on Saturday, August 1st, 2015

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I just received an email asking where Creativity-it’s in our DNA-Part 2 was…and I just found a couple of the paragraphs below written over a year ago in a my blog drafts.  I have no idea where I was going with this entry…but I’ll pick up where I left off.

Last week (which is now a year ago…lol) I told you about my creative youth but in my later teens and early twenties my creativity dried up.  I imagine part of my distraction from arty endeavors was my interest in my first love.  It wasn’t a healthy, nurturing relationship and I felt like something big was missing in my life.  I broke off the relationship and wanted to grow creatively.  With the hope of a career in the arts, I enrolled in a junior collage.  In my first art class the teacher told the class we were going to draw an egg.  I raised my hand and said, “what if we are not motivated to draw an egg?”  I was informed if I wanted to stay in that class I would draw an egg.  My degree track changed to sociology.

My interest in the arts was reignited when I purchased a SLR Nikon camera.  Photography trained me to slow down and look at the world in a different way.  It got me out of my thoughts.

A friend knew of my desire to paint and bought me 12 tubes of Liquitex acrylics and several notebooks filled with canvas paper.  The desire to paint swirled in my belly but I was frozen by perfectionism.  I didn’t want to waste the paint or ruin the paper…so I did nothing.  And I didn’t do much creatively for a long time. Actually the things that I was doing upon reflection was obsessing about the size of my thighs, obsessing about dieting, soul searching about what I wanted to do with my life and questioning my life’s purpose.  I was lonely and struggling to shed the perception of who I was in my youth.

And what was happening in this period of my life was quite simply I was creating myself.  So often we take on the persona of our parents desires of who they want us to be, we take on the dogma of the religion in which we were raised and we form the “self” we think we should be.

I kept taking photographs.  I changed the spelling of my name to e’Layne and actually at one point I was give a spiritual name, Sakena, by my Sufi teacher at the time, Pir Vilayat.  I went by the name Sakena for a couple of years.  In a state of moderate terror and with very little money in my pocket (probably about $200) I moved from Florida to the Bay Area.  I jumped and was clueless if a net would appear.  I will end here for now…age 25, untethered from my past, in a strange town knowing not a soul. I was a young woman with fear in my belly and a knowing in my bones that life was way more than what I thought I was.  And it was shortly after this moved that I stated my business Co-Creations…creating art and more importantly creating myself.

…and just maybe in less than a year I’ll write Part 3…or maybe I should write the story of my life in my spare time…lol…big love to anyone reading this.  Do not go quietly when your soul wants a voice.

 

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Catching Up with YOU

Posted on Monday, March 2nd, 2015

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This is published in the March/April 2015 Somerset Studio…my mom is the babe on the right.

How hard can it be to keep up a blog.  Apparently for me it’s difficult!!!  It’s been forever since I’ve made an entry.  The end of last year was certainly emotionally rough.  Lora and I did had a beautiful trip to Maine.  I have a cottage that has been in my family for over 60 years.  Right before we left for our long sojourn north  I had to put down my beautiful Collie girl, Nena.  She was 14 and many of you know her as the third Hip Chics.  Our cats made the long ride with us, Mr. Danny and Ms. Lucy, and had a blast at the cottage.  When we got home from Maine I had to put Mr. Danny down.  He lived 19 long and colorful years.  Lucy and Danny had been inseparable for 16 years so Lucy was crying and totally lost with Danny for a couple of months, as was I.  My mom started a steep decline in November and passed away right after Thanksgiving.  I’m still tender-hearted from all the loss but life goes on in wild and wonderful ways…some days with more tears than others.

This new year has brought with it lots of excitement.  Lora and I bought a beautiful waterfront condo.  It has a huge studio overlooking mangroves with tons of nesting birds.  Also very exciting…the amazing talented and beautiful Lynn Whipple, Kelli Mae-Krenz and I all got into the Fresh section of The National Stationary Show in NYC in May.  So in the next two months I get to birth a new card and small gift line, Choose Good Thoughts.  It always tickles my soul to be published in Somerset Studios and this year I’ve had two articles published, one in the January/February issue and one in the March/April issue, on newstands now.  I am currently working on an article for the Somerset Studio Gallery which will be on the newstand June 1.

I’m off to get at least the first card finished!!! My goal is about 100.  I hope you are touched by creativity, magic and whimsey today.  Many blessings and all good things.

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Miss Nena…aka The Third Hip Chic

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Mr. Danny is on the right…with Ms. Lucy

 

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Creativity…It’s in our DNA!!! Part 1

Posted on Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

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Yup…that is what I believe.  People say to me often, “I wish I was creative like you…I don’t have a creative bone in my body.”  I respectively disagree.  My very first art business thirty-five years ago was called Co-Creations.  The name came from my belief that the same energy which created the universe courses through our bodies.  We are not separate from creativity…creative energy is indivisible.

It’s been over three decades and I have the same belief I had when first naming my business.  Now if we compare our ability to that of Picasso or Van Gogh, we might feel we fall a bit short in the artistic department.  But lets look at the definition of creativity.

Creativity is the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns and relationships to create meaningful new ideas. It’s synonymous with inventiveness, imagination, innovation, inspiration and vision.  We all have the ability to think outside the box, to use our imagination and to be a visionary.

We are born creative beings but I believe the pathways that course creativity through our bodies get clogged by our minds. Life events shut us off from the flow.  We might begin to compare our art or creative endeavors to other peoples or it might have been that someone told us when we were young coloring outside the lines wasn’t o.k.  Our inner critic becomes bigger than life and starts an internal dialogue cutting off our creative expression.

A brilliant mentor of mine, Cultural Anthropologist Angeles Arrien, talks about what indigenous cultures do when people lose the spontaneity and wonder of childhood. An elder of the community asks the person four questions.  When did you stop dancing? When did you stop singing?  When did you loose interest in the storytelling and especially loose interest in the story of your life?  When did you stop being comforted by silence?  I would add a couple more question.  When did you stop belly laughing?  When did you stop creating?

My first memories were designing clothes with my nana and drawing pictures of my poodle.  I took endless craft classes with my mother and my hands were always making something.  And then in my early twenties something happened and my ability to create stopped.  Tune in next week for the explanation of what happened…how I got my creative mojo back…and more importantly how we can all stay in the creative flow.

2 responses to “Creativity…It’s in our DNA!!! Part 1”

  1. beautiful writing. so true. loving the connections of ones soul and how you are circling it all back to connecting. so so love this. hats off to you e’Layne just wonderful!! soaring.

  2. Judy says:

    thank you for reminding me of those life essentials- laughter, love, singing, dancing, and the other basics of childhood . XX

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Decisions…The Winding Road to Happiness

Posted on Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Decision…noun…a conclusion or resolution reached after consideration.  Do you ever feel the enormity of the word and it’s meaning? Every minute of every day we decide.  We decide when to get out of bed, what to eat, what to wear, what people to socialize with, what car to buy, whether to eat a slice of cake or to eat the entire cake…we decide to marry or not marry, to have children or not, to go to collage or drop out of school.

And there are layers inside of layers in decision making.  We set the alarm and intend to get up at 7:00am.  The alarm goes off and again we decide to get out of bed or push the snooze button.  See why I used the word enormity? This is a big deal.  What is even bigger then deciding how we move through the details of daily life is our constant decisions on how we are going to interact and react to people and events in our life.  So often we react to people based on what we think they are thinking.  That can get us in real trouble.

And with every decision we create our life…our physical surrounding as well as our emotional life.  Life is a blank slate until we pull up a thought or observe one floating through our mind and decide how we will respond to it.  It’s unfathomable how many times a day we are faced with decisions. This is a heady conversation and I think “will” enters into the dance called our life, too.  But that is for another day.

Why all this talk about decision.  The other evening I was dog tired and didn’t feel like leaving the house but knew a beach walk would do my body good.  I decided to go for a beach walk and what a wonderful adventure unfolded.  I came upon a group of about 12 beautiful women all dressed in white.  They didn’t speak much English but asked me to take pictures of them.  Photography is a passion of mine so I delighted in this task.  They showered me with gratitude, hugs and big smiles.

As I walked away I turned around to see them looking at their photos and squealing with joy.  I walked about 50 steps and there was another group of about 12 women all dressed in white.  One women was very pregnant and they were celebrating her motherhood.  I asked if they wanted me to take their picture.  Again, such a glorious moment in time…capturing stunning beauty, womanhood and sisterhood.  And again I got intense eye contact, hugs and they took pictures of me with their tribe.

My decision to get my butt off the couch and to go to the beach created a different path down the winding road of life resulting in tons of pictures, a bunch of memories for lots of different people…magic moments in time…created all from decisions.

How do we make good decisions?  We can ask ourselves…Does the decision nurtures our soul?  Is a decision coming from our gut or do we make a decision based on obligation.  Does the decision make us feel free, feel authentic, feel whole and healthy mentally and physically.  Follow that feeling…follow that road…it will lead to happiness and mastery.

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4 responses to “Decisions…The Winding Road to Happiness”

  1. Great post e’Layne. I think most day to day decisions are totally mindless. For me, that’s a good thing, as I take life decisions very seriously. I love taking risks and trying new things, but it’s always a well thought out and calculated decision.
    I’m happy your decision to walk the beach turned out to be such a wonderful experience. Walking always brings me back to center.
    XO, cheryl

  2. AdminE says:

    Thank you Cheryl…yes, I was thinking more about decisions today and there are some tasks that are mindless…like driving. We realize driving on the correct said of the road is a good idea on many levels therefore we just do it mindlessly. Yes…walks are wonderful…and beach walks are my all time fav….xoxoxo e’

  3. Karen Lynn says:

    Wow – two groups of twelve women dressed in white? That sounds like a trend! What a beautiful experience!

  4. Susan says:

    I love that you heeded your heart … and how sweet the reward. Two groups of women in white? What are the chances? So glad you took the walk. A good reminder for that extra half-second to reconsider a decision.

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My Farewell Party from Railroad Square Art Park

Posted on Monday, May 26th, 2014

My position as manager of Railroad Square Art park has come to an end.  This week the park owners, Lily and Adam Boynton Kaye, put on such a beautiful goodbye party.   It was a love fest and I felt so honored and appreciated.  When I moved to Tallahassee 24 years ago I was stunned that a collage town had no cute downtown arty areas like Athens or Berkeley.  Fifteen years ago I began a wild ride of managing the art park with over 80 spaces to rent.  Along with the normal duties of collecting rent and daily bookkeeping there was a opportunity to grow a vital community of artists and store owners.  I gathered a group of people to help pick out vibrant colors to paint the park.  Over time a place that use to be considered “the other side of the tracks” became the coolest destination in town with a First Friday Gallery Hop hosting over  5,000 patrons.  Poised between two universities the growth of Railroad Square  is guaranteed to continue.

Little did I know my background in mental health would come in so handy…something I didn’t realize when I accepted the position as property manager.  I became a keeper of peoples dreams, a facilitator of clear communication, a liaison with the city, a strong leader with soft shoulder during tragedy and a good friend to all.  What I became to the park was not in my job requirement… it was just who I was…and am.  And what I became grew out of a deep love and passion for the arts and for people and an impassioned belief that creativity is the fuel that ignites a happy life…mine as well as all the tenants of Railroad Square.

My biggest take away is the relationships that I savor…the deep mutual respect and heartfelt connections I have always felt from and towards the owners of the park and team of beautiful people I worked with and also for the relationships I have developed with  so many tenants who will remain life long friends.

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2 responses to “My Farewell Party from Railroad Square Art Park”

  1. Lily says:

    What a beautiful and true writing. I love this sentence: “I became a keeper of peoples dreams, a facilitator of clear communication, a liaison with the city, a strong leader with soft shoulder during tragedy and a good friend to all.” You will never be replaced and your impact on Railroad Square and all of the creative minds who have been a part of it will be forever felt. We are so appreciative and will miss you dearly!

    • AdminE says:

      Thank you so much Lily!!! I am now crying…I just realized I spent 1/4 of my life at the park…wow!!! It was a blessing to be in the such an amazing community of people and to work with a brilliant, creative team…and to have your and Adam’s support and trust. big hugs

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