from crayon box to powering my soul… color defines me

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With Gratitude

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I’ve done training in the corporate world for years… harassment prevention, drug-free workplace, violence prevention, supervision training, conflict resolution, et.al. and I love it! I’ve taught Human Resources at SDSU College of Extended Studies Certification program, specifically Performance Management courses. But, when it comes to my creative work, I’ve invited co-workers to meet a couple of times and taught them what I’ve learned about creating mixed media canvases. Any donations they made towards supplies were added to my Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation fundraising efforts. As previously mentioned, I started dabbling with paint and texture about 2 years ago when I took my first ever online art workshop with Christy Tomlinson from ScarletLime.com.

Most recently, I have officially been unemployed from my “day job” for 4 weeks now and I am surprised at how busy I have been… looking for a job truly is a full-time job. The last time I was unemployed was in 1999 and that change motivated me to leave Louisiana and return to San Diego, which turned out to be the best decision for my career and for my son. Within a few weeks, I found an amazing job in my field working as H.R. Director for a small-sized electronics manufacturing company, I bought a home locally, and sold my home in Shreveport. I always felt the change was meant to be. So, with this current situation I keep reminding myself that I will look back on this one day and say it was the best thing that ever happened to me.

Meanwhile, I have a bit more time to focus on my art. Yesterday I taught my first “paid” gig centering around my canvas art. I have started a series of girl art canvas board classes that I teach at EverAfter Scrapbooks in Vista, CA.  These girls were inspired by my love of J. Ruth Gendler’s “The Book of Qualities” and the courage it took Ruth to get the book to it’s original printing by creating Turquoise Mountain Publications when other companies were not interested in publishing her work. Ruth lived in Omaha, Nebraska, where I grew up, and now lives and teaches art in Berkeley, CA. Read her Artist’s Statement to be inspired, too!

The Book of Qualities by J. Ruth Gendler

The Book of Qualities by J. Ruth Gendler presents over 70 qualities — including Pleasure, Anger, Terror, Beauty, and Change — as everyday characters who live among us. Both personal and impersonal, the Qualities convey a variety of human emotions in a simple and entertaining manner; readers are inspired to reflect on their own qualities and communicate their feelings with new clarity.

The Book of Qualities Original Cover, Turquoise Mountain Publications printing 1984

The Book of Qualities Original Cover, Turquoise Mountain Publications printing 1984

I, for one, am grateful that Ruth Gendler persevered to get the book’s original printing published. This book has been a favorite gift of mine for friends and I read a portion of “Joy” from the book at my son’s dedication, 22 years ago! The book has been set to life on stage and I remember years ago purchasing a calendar with 12 months of Qualities, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I found two additional books by Ruth and have ordered them at my local bookstore. I also learned that the Book of Qualities has been translated into German: Das Buch der Lebensgeister: 76 Qualitäten, die in uns wirken – sehr gut!

I do so love the underdog-type story that turns out even better in the end. Along similar lines, Mannheim Steamroller had difficulty getting a recording company to promote their music, thus creating American Gramophone and the rest of their story, including their Fresh Aire series, one of my favorites Classical Gas by Mason Williams, and amazing holiday music we all love to hear, is more Omaha history! Their website talks of new Christmas music.

Back to yesterday’s class, I thoroughly enjoyed working with my class participants and the new store owners, Sandy and Kyle Christie. Some of these people I know from our fundraising efforts at Survivor Crop and a couple were new acquaintances; all of whom were a delight to have in class. I was so enchanted with how everyone encouraged and complimented each others’ efforts… it was quite empowering! We took photos, of course, and delighted at how unique each completed canvas turned out.

I was tickled that we ended right on time, everyone completing their projects. I was also thrilled that many of the class members signed up for December’s Joy Girl canvas. The class will be at EverAfter Scrapbooks on Sunday December 8, 2013, from Noon to 4 p.m. Call the store to register… I would love to see you there! Here’s Joy Girl:

December Joy Girl Canvas Board Class

December Joy Girl Canvas Board Sample
Quote reads: “Joy is a girl who loves the scent of cinnamon and evergreen”

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4 thoughts on “With Gratitude

  1. Oh Carla, what a roaring success! And can I just say, I’m ASTOUNDED that was your first creative paid gig, and that everyone finished, and on time! I’ve literally never been to a creative workshop where everyone finished, and I’ve been to a lot of em! lol You go, lady! And the women all have such a gorgeous piece to remind them what special creative creatures they are, and of their many blessings. Here’s wishing you MANY more opportunities to shine, and teach others to twinkle creatively (and a way to make some moola doing it!). And congrats to your students, who all did beautiful work. 😉

    Hugs & Hope,
    rachel of OddModicum

  2. your honesty and heartfelt comments are refreshing and certainly inspirational. Plus your classes look like lots of fun!

  3. Excellent post, Carla! They were a talented lot in your class!

  4. What a wonderful post! I can feel the beauty in action and sense the joy weaving throughout the event and the lives of those you touch. Your work is truly inspiring!

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