The Carving Consortium

Facing Misautoglyphic Misalignments - or -
What do you do when you go for a long time and produce nothing you like?

The following is a compilation of Linda Berman and Mary Bartop's lists. (to be taken lightly) :-)

1. Get a new pair of glasses (your images are fine)

2. I do understand and respect your feelings, so have fun with it - feel those feelings intensely.

3. Get a change of perception, direction, focus . . .

4. Get some distance.

5. Remove all constricting garments.

6. Find something you like less.

7. Read a book like "The Artist's Way".

8. Imagine something impossible.

9. Embrace an activity you used to say "no" to.

10. Face fear of failure.

11. Carve - just for fun.

12. Scribble.

13. Crumple it up and throw it in the wastebasket.

14. Dig it out and cut out a part to use in a new project.

15. Learn a new technique.

16. Display the old carved images that you like.

17. Give thanks for your special talents and abilities.

18. Have a warm cup of tea.

19. Get a massage.

20. Do something artistic just for yourself.

21. Use a new paper, ink or tool.

22. Recognize that the image doesn't have to be perfect; it's just your interpretation and what you put into it is the important factor.

23. Don't try to keep up or compare yourself with other people; this is not a race or a beauty contest!

24. Show or teach someone else the basics of carving. It's astonishing how this will prime that inner pump!

25. Start a new style of your work - like "the blue period".

26. Set your clock back . . .

27. Take a walk.

28. Get in touch with nature.

29. Be physically flexible - move / stretch / reach / grab / bend / rotate

30. Dance

31. Make music

32. Give up, let go.

33. Sleep.

34. Start over.

35. Fling some paper around.

36. Fling some carving material onto an inpad and have it rebound onto a piece of paper and take pride in the masterpiece.

37. Cry a little.

38. Laugh a lot.

39. Remember fond memories.

40 Do the opposite - clean up or make a mess.

41. Smile and giggle knowing there's more to life.

42. Trust yourself and give thanks for all you have.

43. Expand your horizons.

44 Know that there's an image in that carving material and just remove the other stuff.

45. Change something . . . anythiing.

46. Collect a To Do box of clip art/drawings for the future.

47. Sort the stuff in the box

48. Try a new medium.

49. Try an old medium again.

50. Take your old stamps out and STAMP them.

51.Try stamping a really simple stamp into the superthick embossing powders like Ultra Thick or Amazing Glaze piled on three layers thick. This what I'm (Mary) doing for the April monthly swap. Mine was carved from that same misautoglyphtic space. <G>

52. Use a WAY different tool than you usually use.

53. Hit the library for books on carving/printmaking/art.

54. Look inward and see what else is blocked up. Maybe it's not the carving that needs clearing.

55. Put the music on and turn up the volume.

56. Take a class, even if it's a different topic. It feeds the soul.

57. Keep carving.

Let us know if you can think of something we missed.

Inspiration for Stampers Block; by Linda Berman

I can't seem to find my notes on who asked this question, but here it is:
>>My stamps are idle, I can't get started,
>>please give me some ideas. I don't feel like I am artistic enough.
>>I'm too critical of my work. When I see the stuff you do I feel
>>inadequate. Help! Give me some help!

INSPIRATION? It's inspiration you want? Okay, sit back and I'll let it roll...

First take all the "I can'ts" the "I won'ts", the "I'm not good enough's", the "I'm too critical's" and all the "inadquate" thoughts and lay them to rest. Put them aside. Stomp them out! They sap your strength and tell your inner self lies.

Of course, YOU CAN... as soon as you let yourself. So begin by -KNOWING- that you can create. Actually, create is all that we can do, we keep doing it repeatedly just like stamping our repetitive stamped images. So, we can create the possibility of the "I can'ts" or we can create the possibility of the "I can's" and it's all a matter of focus and what you choose for yourself.

So, KNOW that you can create and allow yourself to create. Take other people's judgement out of it, because beauty is in the eye of the creator. Dance to your own tune. Do what pleases you. After all, you are more important to yourself than anyone else. You are the one with the story, the picture the image...even moreso you are the one empowered with the artisitc urges. So, you get to play in your own ballpark. Anyone who wants to play with you has to respect you and your talent. Your talents are a special gift that has been given to you and they are for you to use and when you do you are expressing yourself. That's how you honor that gift, and that's important.

If you keep dancing to other people's drumbeat you're ignoring your own tune. If you do that for a while you begin to ask yourself "when do I get to dance to my tune?" So, begin to explore your creative urges with freedom. See the points of beauty in whatever you do. Expand upon it. Let it flow from you. Learn techniques, share techniques. Please yourself. Smile at your personal accomplishments. Treasure the visual images. Praise yourself and dance with glee. Embrace the person you truly are. Let her shine through your eyes.

There are two ways to look at all things. You can shut down and focus on your limits or you can open up and see the possibilities. You are the one empowed to make that choice. It's a matter of where you place your focus.

Start by splashing some paint, ink or color of some sort on some paper, add something else to it if you'd like, then if you like it keep it around you where you can see it. So just begin where you are. Privately praise your work yourself, just let it flow, do something, if you don't like it, you adjust it to be what you like; and do something else, refine it, improve it; and you'll grow with it. Do what you love and you'll be rewarded with those creations of love that surround you.... how better to comfort yourself? Fill your life with the things you love. Get to know what you like. Play, explore and experiment... make it your game to get to know yourself.

Our creations have to do with matter; it has to matter to you to bring it from a thought into physical form. KNOW what matters to you.

I would say that it's your choice and your responsibility to express more fully exactly who YOU are. As my son would say it's a matter of attitude. Live as if you know you are the artist. Art is a form of self-expression... expressing yourself, your wishes, your desires, your truth, your beauty, all that and more from your inner-self, your thoughts; to your outer self, your physical reality.

Don't ask others what they think of your work, they can only give your their opinion which is designed for and by them. Look to yourself about what you think of your work. The question is does it please you? Ask others for techniques, ask them about tools, ask them to show you things... take what they offer and apply it to what you know is true for you. Perfect your skills, not because they are wrong in someone elses eyes, but because you are being the best person you know how to be.

Allow yourself to expand beyond the boundaries you once set for yourself. See yourself in that new light. Do it for yourself and then watch as others begin to get pleasure from your works.

You yourself are a works in progress, don't stop yourself. Remove the boundaries and allow more for yourself and watch yourself blossom... you can do it. :-)

Your comments are always welcome: