Friday, April 12, 2013

Finding Your Artistic Inspiration

So why do I always find creative solutions and answers to life's questions when I run? Well, apparently there are many reasons to back up my theory behind the power of running and be solving issues or questions at the same time!  It may be different for everyone but read this insightful newsletter that we subsribe to and get artistically inspired, whatever your medium may be.

We subscribe to the Robert Genn newsletter and even if you are not an artist, or don’t think you are one...we still find it a great read every week! Here is what we gleaned from the most recent newsletter and thought it was worth sharing:

When do ideas happen?

Recent research, aimed at finding specific triggers that result in good ideas, better solutions and bouts of creativity, has confirmed my own favourite times when stuff happens. Here are a few:

When we step away: Focusing at your workstation doesn't always work, particularly if you do too much of it. Leave your cubicle or studio and step into a new environment. Great stuff is ready to grab out there, floating in the ether.

When we're in transition: Waking up, falling asleep, showering, tubbing or going to the bathroom are hot times for new ideas. We need to trust the possibilities of fleeting brain waves at these times and take the trouble to knock them down for further study.

When we're drinking: Moderate drinking gives confidence and gusto. A 2012 study at the University of Illinois at Chicago found that students who drank enough to raise their blood-alcohol level to 0.075 performed better on tests of insight than sober students.

When we're doing chores: This may be one of the reasons why so many artists prefer to have their studios at home. I absolutely don't want this sort of information passed around, but I personally find stimulation in washing cars, taking out the garbage, and helping our gardener move bags of manure.

When we're satisfied: A relatively fulfilled life calms the mind and enriches the ground for idea growth. I've tried frustration, anger, disappointment, tiredness and misery, and they all work to a degree, but joyous satisfaction and a sense of élan work best.

When we're daydreaming: It turns out that daydreaming is one of the most valuable things that creative people do. Even the fantasizing of chicks that bedevils a lot of men apparently hastens bubble-up ideas from the subconscious that have nothing to do with women. What women need to fantasize, I'm not sure.

When we see green: Green surroundings, whether green-painted walls or the green outdoors, suggest new growth, rebirth, fertility and renewal--just one of the reasons why a walk in the park can be so fruitful. Feeling non-creative in the studio? Squeeze out some green.

Best regards,


PS: "When students were given creativity tests, those whose test-cover pages had a green background gave more creative answers than those whose pages were white, blue, red or grey." (Sue Shellenbarger, reporting in the Wall Street Journal)

Esoterica: Personal and unique fetishes can be useful as well. For a steady flow of creativity, easel-time foot-massage has been recommended, as has military marching music played loudly. I notice slight rises when I consult or share minor triumphs with Dorothy the Airedale. She is non-confrontational, always eager, never critical, and I know she's quite fond of me. Sometimes she likes my creativity so much she sleeps on it. In other words, she's a low-maintenance muse. 'Scuse me, she just came in, and now she wants out.

Read this letter online and share your thoughts about triggers for good ideas. Live comments are welcome. Direct, illustratable comments can be made at

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Meet Seth...

We have the most interesting visting faculty one of them.  Seth Apter will be here in May offering two back to back Mixed Media workshops.

Here is a link to an article we found on Seth and helps you get acquanited before his workshops begin:

By the way, we still have spaces in both of his classes:  Mixed Media Dossier May 15-16 and Mixed Media Memoire May 14-14th.  Here are the links:

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

It's Scholarship Time!

One of the most rewarding activities of the Pacific NorthWest Art School, aside from the 80 plus workshops we offer and free community events, is our annual awarding of scholarships to well-deserving students. This year we have been pleased to honor three students with scholarships.

New this year is our Betty Jane Miller Watercolor Scholarship. Betty Jane was an active member in the early days of the school and her estate has left the school a wonderful legacy in the gift of scholarship funds specifically for watercolor students. We are proud to have awarded our first annual Betty Jane Miller scholarship this year.

Also, another beloved and well known artist in our community was Joan Brosnahan. This year we were thrilled to award a scholarship for a Mixed Media student who has received the “Joan Brosnahan Scholarship”.

Finally, in the medium of photography, we were able to award the “Marilyn Winter” photography scholarship to a deserving scholarship applicant.

We are also actively seeking donations for these three scholarship funds as well as for our Coupeville High School Scholarship and our Youth Art Scholarships. In order to continue to give the gift of art we need the support of the community to perpetuate these funds. If you would like to donate to any of these funds, we have made it easy for you! Simply visit our website at and click on “Donate”. You will be taken to a page where you can donate any amount to a list of scholarship opportunities.

Consider leaving a lasting legacy by setting up a provision in your estate planning by making a gift of art education. We are located at 15 NW Birch Street, Coupeville and we encourage you to stop by and visit us.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Art of The Container...


The Art of the Container

Steve Atkins, Instructor

April 27, 2013 (1-3pm)

Cost: $25

Bring your own outdoor container, dirt, plants and your imagination. Steve will provide the inspiration, the ideas and examples of what you can do. Steve is the owner of Root Design and Landscape located here in Coupeville. Steve’s “canvas” is his own home and client’s homes on the Island and in Seattle. He is knowledgeable, personable and will help you create that perfect container plus give ideas on creating more!