I am always coining words and phrases...Malapropism.


 noun \ˈma-lə-ˌprä-ˌpi-zəm\

: an amusing error that occurs when a person mistakenly uses a word that sounds like another word but that has a very different meaning http://www.merriam-webster.com

I really have to be careful because some of these creep into my everyday language and I risk appearing illiterate. I've mastered the art of switching a few letters that give an entire new meaning...some unprintable, as: Ken'T'uky 'F'ried Chicken. That is one I have to pause and think about the right version before saying in public. Another is 'M'agni'F'y: Fagnimy glass. I think that one is attributable to nephew Josh when he was just learning to talk, but I get credit for adding it to my repertoire! 

One of my supporters on the Hatchfund project, Kippy Hammond, mentioned that she liked the phrase "ZenZone". I might as well claim authorship, because it just popped out as I was talking/writing.

"Mélanger avec Amour"

available for download or print at Lulu.com

Speaking of Kippy, I had the pleasure of co-authoring a book with her "Mélanger aver Amour". It started out as a cooking/translation of her chef, Marc Bost's recipes for Kippy's artist's retreat La Bonne Etoile (under the good star). But, as almost always happens, it morphed into an absolutely charming treatise on the psyche of the artists' brain...how to overcome blocks, how to plan retreats for yourself, lots of inspirational stories from other artists, AND the recipes. This project impacted me so much that "Stir With Love" became my mantra...and I try to slow down and enjoy whatever it is I am doing at the time. Particularly comes in handy when I am exasperated over some task or other when I'd rather be doing something else. I try to re-visit the book every year or more...as a reminder. It is available for download or print from Lulu.com at the link above.

ZenZone. Described as a loss of time and awareness while doing a creative activity. Right Brain/Left Brain switch so the analytical Left Brain doesn't discourage the Right Brain creative endeavor. I can operate in either the Right Side (creative) or Left Side (analytical). This creates problems...I can't do both at the same time which means that for the Right to enjoy a creative process, I have to shut the Left one down. I sometimes call my Left Brain "Victoria". She is critical, argumentative, and encourages "wait and think about it, research it", or "what do you think you are doing", etc.. She is the one who controls my insane drive to "know how to do a technique before I try it". I actually (Axully) have a ring binder full of print-outs (in plastic sleeves, of course) of a site Handprint.com that explores the chemistry of pigments. Yea, Victoria! This before she ever learned which end of a brush to use. 

There are tools used by some artists to make the Brains switch control. One is to listen to audio books. Your Left brain focuses on the words being said, and your Right brain can play. Another is to listen to music through headphones. Same result as the spoken word. Have a routine you do every time you go into your studio. Do a silly dance, wave your arms around, read a positive quote out loud that you have posted on your wall. Make a quiet experience of squeezing out paint. Even organizing your studio is an effective way to "get in your ZenZone". Artists have many tricks.

AND, when you experience it…it is glorious! Time seems to float, and after a successful session you're hardly aware of decisions that were made to create that perfect brush stroke, that masterful color mix, that hazy atmosphere in the landscape you just painted. 

For people using art as a means of healing from some life crisis or other, the ZenZone is essential. Two minutes can bring two minutes of peace. Feels so good you want more. Then five, then ten...when you can build up to two hours...WOW! Better than a good night's sleep.

ZenZone helped me survive my life crisis. After twelve years, my ZenZone shuts "Victoria" up so "Wicki" the Right Brain can play. 

#13 Over and Over

7.5" x 7.5" mixed media

© V.N.Ross

Over and Over Again: Repetition with Variations is a classic ZenZone tool. By repeating some elements, i.e. the size and compositional shapes, releases the pressure to come up with an original idea every time I sit down at the easel. 

The goal for me is to investigate Victoria/Wicki and learn how to play without criticism...without a purpose other than to just show up and put color on a piece of paper in a skilled manner. 

I'd appreciate your visit to the project and follow/share/donate. This is a relatively new manner for artists to justify their existence, and the dollars do add up!

PS: If you are reading this through email as a newsletter, click here to read in the actual blog and see Comment area which is at the bottom of the post. Click on "Comment", then scroll down to see the box. Let me know if this doesn't work...OK?