All The Dreams I’ve Yet to Dream

All The Dreams I’ve Yet to Dream

What is the best thing you’ve ever made?

I put this question, or some version of it, to friends sitting in my cold basement. We are sipping wine and turning philosophical.

Our answers turn us backward, pulling out relics for show and tell. We are older now. I wonder if we’ll always see our best moments in the rear view mirror, glazed over with the false fondness of memory?

Are your greatest achievements in the past or in the future?

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Art Scene 13: Night of Artists, Mornings in Sweatpants and Art in Between

Cirque Du NOA poster from  Night of Artists website here .

Cirque Du NOA poster from Night of Artists website here.

Art Scene 13: Night of Artists, Mornings in Sweatpants and Art in Between

  1. The Bleeding Heart is forming a team to walk for the homeless on Feb 21 as part of The Coldest Night of the Year. The walk supports Hope Mission and is part of a nationwide event. I’m looking for my creative friends to ‘represent’. We need both donors and walkers to take part. You in?
  2. The Creative Practices Institute (CPI) is a new(er) artist run centre in Oliver. Meet the people behind the centre and the community that has become a part of it at their second Open Studio evening - Saturday February 7 from 4 to 8 PM. CPI also offers professional development workshops for artists. The next workshop, on Feb 17, is on bookkeeping for artists. But I’m sure you have no problems with that, right? Just in case, here is the link.
  3. From the local to the international, Sufjan Stevens has a new album coming this March. Carrie and Lowell is being called ‘the return of Sufjan’ - as in, the return of Sufjan with a guitar in his hands and folk in his heart. Not that I minded Sufjan’s experimentations, but so far I like what I hear
  4. A musician just slightly closer to home has just put out his new record. Aaron Strumpel, who co-wrote the song we featured in last week’s Storm the Perfict Podcast, has just released Bright Star. A video from that album, for Coming After You, is featured at Relevant TV.
  5. If you are reading this, you are into discovering great art and artists exploring faith, hope and love. And if you are into that, you’ll be into Image Journal. And there’s not time like the present to get into Image Journal, with 60% off a new subscription.
  6. Future Station, the massive 2015 Alberta Biennial of Alberta Art, is open at the Art Gallery of Alberta and sprawls across 3 other venues. Be sure to visit and feel the pulse of contemporary Alberta art. Oh, and watch this video to find out about the real ‘ghost' LRT station that inspired the show’s curator.  
  7. Night of Artists is bringing us Cirque Du NOA on March 6-8 at St.Albert’s Enjoy Centre. Experience "Three days of astounding visual art from all over Alberta on display and for sale by some of the finest artists in the province.
    Not to mention galas and daytime festivities full of stunning costumes, choirs, opera, gypsy jazz, country, folk, blues etc."
  8. Want to know exactly how to feel miserable as an artist? Keri Smith has 10 ways right here, and the list will inspire you.
  9. If you like lists, you should also check out this one from Maria Papova of Brain Pickings - Seven Life Learnings from Seven Years of Reading, Writing and Living.
  10. If you are into the bright and the bold, look at this work from Winnipeg artist Yisa Akinbolaji, shared on the Imago blog. Imago describes this as " work that captures a celebratory note as though it is an expression of thanksgiving, an overflow of joy."
  11. "I don't know about you, but when I'm in a hurry, I "don't have time" to stop and pick up all the good fruit around me.” - read this whole article on slowing down from The Grove Centre.
  12. If you have an hour this week, listen to Austin Kleon, author of Steal Like an Artist and Show Your Work, being interviewed on the Unmistakable Creative podcast. It’s packed full of good advice for creatives.
  13. If you have only a few moments, perhaps you could attempt to meditate in your sweatpants, like poet Stephen T. Berg.


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Friday Finds: Meet Some Folks Who Are Moving Forward Anyways

tiny-gold-squares-1As more of you sign on for our Grow Your Art Challenge this year, I’m keenly aware of the ‘challenge’ part of the project. For me, setting a goal is the fun part. The real challenge begins the morning after. It is now up to us to drag ourselves out of bed, get into the studio, or in front of the computer, and do the work. And there is no magic in that. Or is there?

This week I’ve found great encouragement and tips from the shared struggle of others online, working towards some creative goal and overcoming obstacles to do it. Perhaps you’ll find inspiration in their stories as well. Perhaps you’ll even find some tools for the journey.

Meet Michael Nobbs and Do One Thing Today

Michael Nobbs produces the One Thing Today podcast. Michael Nobbs would tell you that much can be accomplished, over time, by doing just one thing today. He is incredibly right.

Michael Nobbs suffers from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. This means he has very little energy. This means that he rarely ‘feels like’ engaging in creative work (or even play). His website, Sustainably Creative is an inspiration to me, as I often face free time without the energy or drive to use it well.

Here are some tips Nobbs has learned to get push through and build a creative life, regardless of his challenges.

"Slowly, over the past decade or so, as I have built up a creative career I’ve learnt that the way to have a sustainably creative life takes three basic things:

1. Working little and often (perhaps for just 20 minutes or less a day). 2. Focus. 3. Recognising what has been achieved."

You can view an introductory video by Michael Nobbs, read more, buy books and subscribe to resources on his website,

(I discovered this site thanks to the good folks at - you'll notice that's a theme this week)

Meet Joe Gebbia and Start With a Small Single Step

In this 99u Conference talk from one of the founders of AirBnB (the best way to travel, in my opinion), you’ll move through an exercise that helps you visualize your desired future, and then take one small step towards that future. Not a bad way to spend 20 minutes.

Meet Brad and Work Your Strengths

Edmonton is so full of innovative, positive ideas (just consider It’s one of the reasons I love it here.

Brad is a small business owner in Edmonton. Brad is 25 and has autism. This is a challenge. But Brad is very good at building things. This is a strength. Brad put his strengths to work to start a business assembling furniture. Brad can make your IKEA visits stress free. Something about this whole idea just makes my heart smile.

Find Brad’s business at

Meet Your Creative Support Group

Another wonderful piece from encourages us to find a ‘Creative Support Group’, by reminding us of the Inklings, that magical fellowship including CS Lewis, JRR Tolkein and others.

In How Your Friends Affect Your Creative Work, David Burkus distinguishes between online sharing of work, and face to face sessions with trusted friends. He counsels,

"While we can broadcast our work to the entire world, perhaps we all need to first carve out a space in our life to broadcast on a much smaller scale to a trusted group of folks we respect.”

His brief piece, encouraging us to find valuable critique for our work, is well worth the read here -

While we’re talking about sharing your work with friends, you are coming to our next Arts Potluck on February 7, right?

Meet Your Self, Three Years Ago

Tiny-Gold-Squares-949Sometimes it is helpful to look in the mirror of the past and recognize what you have accomplished. We can so easily forget where we’ve been, like the ancient Israelites feeling abandoned by God after he’d parted the sea for their safe passage.

As I’ve been looking ahead to a year of making music and meeting my creative goals, I’ve been reminded of my Tiny Gold Squares. A few years ago, I wanted to paint my bedroom wall gold. It was covered in wallpaper, and that wallpaper was full of a pattern of raised squares, about 2 inches across. I couldn’t find gold wall paint, but I did have gold craft paint, and I thought it’d look pretty cool to paint each of these tiny squares gold, leaving the muted sandy hue behind. I was right, but painting those squares, by hand, took hours. And hours.

The whole project of my wall was overwhelming. Unless I painted it one square at a time. Several squares a day. Over days and weeks. I had to work little bits at a time. I had to be content with that. I had to be patient. And in the end, I finished.

Here is the piece I wrote about the experience upon completion, back in 2011.

So, if you haven’t taken the Grow Your Art Challenge yet, please sign up and join us. And when you do, remember to break things down into small steps, work your strengths and paint at least one Tiny Gold Square today.

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