Art with Cause

Copyright notice: All original photographs, images, designs and text appearing in Art with Cause Blog are the property of J.Murray and are protected under United States and international copyright laws. The images may not be reproduced, copied, stored, or manipulated without the written permission from the Artist: Jessica J. Murray. No images are within Public Domain. Use of any image as the basis for another photographic concept or illustration is a violation of copyright.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Looking forward to St. Valentine's Day...

I have been the usual busy, that I always am. I like to fill up my days.
I've recently updated all my online accounts, blogs, and social media. And of course the usual job hunting and interviewing... But I always take time out to be creative.
I have made a few more crocheted things, CLICK HERE TO SEE.
I have partially reorganized my studio.
I have been ignoring my paints - sigh... I need to get back into them!

But I have been working on Valentine's crafts. My son and I always hand make each other Valentines and make a special meal to share... and our special dessert... that my mom actually used to make for me growing up. The St. Valentine's Day Float!

St. Valentine's Day Float
You will need:
a tall glass
1 or 2 scoops of Vanilla Ice Cream
red or pink soda
(finding soda that is red or pink is always the problem... start looking for it right away... but I found a red cherry soda this year so we are set!)
and a straw

Scoop ice cream into tall glass. Pour soda slowly over it till glass is full. Pop in the straw.
Please note that these drinks seldom taste good. We have done it every year and never have I been able to drink an entire glass. Children on the other hand - they can drink it. My son looks forward to it!!! (and since I already have the soda, my son is really looking forward to Valentine's day!)

Check out a St. Valentine's Craft idea HERE.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


I have updated the look of this site. Please let me know what you think of it. Feedback is always welcome!!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Interesting Quote

Along my way on my personal quest for the understanding of creativity and my pursuit of all things creative... I stumbled on this advertisement.
Let me share the quote... but I squished a couple words that should be removed and in [and in the color pink] I added a few words. I did this so you can see how I read it.

Quote from:
"Creativity comes more naturally to some than others. Even if you are the most creative person on Etsy [in the world]—by itself, that doesn’t get you very far. You must be able to harness that creativity to work for your Etsy [your] success in practical ways.

"Etsy is full of copycats and lack of creativity is the primary cause. Truly successful businesses [and creative people] are innovators both in their products and the way daily operations are performed. Innovations come from creativity—creativity can be performed in a more intentional manner to encourage your personal success. Additional creativity never hurts anyone!"

Disclaimer - I do not have an Etsy account nor do I promote or have any affiliations with Etsy or Handmadeology. I also do not have any issues with Etsy or Handmadeology. All I am saying is I like the quote.

If you'd like to buy the book that this quote is advertising follow the link above to it.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Where do they come from?

I remember my first assignment given to me by my 3D/Sculpture professors at Parsons School of Design. She set us up with (what we all thought was) a rhetorical question:
Where do ideas come from?

Literally and scientifically it comes from a chemical reaction in the brain. But exactly how an electrical pulse becomes a cognitive thought is still quite a bit of a mystery. Like a computer reading code? Sort of, except the computer doesn't have independent thoughts and understanding... it reads code and computes. And an Idea isn't an electrical pulse but a cognitive thought.

So that magical, unknown and abstract place that creates cognitive thinking... is that where ideas come from? Possibly.
I have spent many hours there trying to come back with a good idea - just part of the creative process, I guess. But I have been there when NO ideas have come to me.
So maybe that is just a meeting ground where we go to meet the ideas. We come from here. They come from... where?

The assignment was to answer the question. We could write a report. We could paint it. We could sculpt it. Some aspect must be presented in 3 dimensional form. (...and of course you need it to be good, if you want that A... so no lame answers)

I thought about it in excess, with no great understanding and no idea how I was going to complete the assignment, until the night before the class. I had asked the other students what they came up with and wasn't satisfied that they truly answered the abstract question. I was tired, and time was running out (but I was also running out of clean clothes). So I took my laundry to the buildings laundry room, I grabbed a drink, a snack, and my sketchbook. I sat there on the washer for the longest time with no idea where ideas came from, staring at my blank page, nibbling on my cheerios, and listening to the rhythmic thumps and vibrations of the machines.

Some time between then and sun rise, I had an answer that surprised even myself.
I arrived to class with a box painted to look like a washer, big enough to be a washer. I had a few classmates help me: one sat inside, two sat behind, and I sat on top...
I read a poem that I wrote, while one friend blew bubbles around me, the other tapped on the box rhythmically like a drum, and the friend inside shot cheerios out at the classmate who looked on. I read the poem in a rhythm that matched the drumming beat or did the beat match the poem? Soon everyone watching was tapping, drumming, beating along with us...
Everyone was entering into the experience I was trying to share with them...

"Where do ideas come from?
I sit
of the washing machine
eat a cheerio

Where do ideas come from?
I look
soap suds
and the drying machine
eat more cheerios

Where do ideas come from?
they come
in the stupid machine
eating cheerios


The poem went on for a full 2 minutes, like a song, with breaks and pauses, and even a drumming solo.
At the end the teacher asked me if I felt a answered the question... as she wrote down my grade. I said...
"yes, ask a silly question, get a silly answer.
Ask and abstract question, get an abstract answer."

I got an A...
but I still don't know Where Ideas Come From.
Do you?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

"All right, let’s do it now and make it work. See, you learn from everything that happens. There’s no such thing as mistakes.” — Bob Ross, 1986

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I painted until I was exhausted. Then I forced myself to do another and it was the best thing I've done for weeks. (Joseph P. Blodgett)

Thoughts for 2011

Where do ideas come from?
What is creativity? Where does it come from?
What is art?

I am planning to explore these concepts this year. I think it is worth some thought.
I am not sure where it will lead but I am hopeful that it will be a wonderful place.

I know the negativity kills the creative flow. Careless words dropped can be painful and pain can jam up the creative flow.
What is meant when someone says something, what they actually say, and what the listener hears can be three different things. So I think I will explore the definitions of terms I say carelessly that might actually mean something different from what I meant.

This come'n from a starving artist (meaning: hasn't actually sold a million dollar artwork yet). Although you may hear: I am actually quite poor regardless of selling my art work - oh poor girl. But in my mind a 'starving artist' is just a term for a true artist, someone who struggles to make art their entire life. (This includes those fortunate enough to make a living creating art, but hasn't become a millionaire from the endeavor. I mean, let's face it... if you choose to live a creative life, then don't expect to be rich. Most artist worth their weight in creativity don't get paid what they are worth.) Just saying.
But because I am actually quite poor, at this time, I will not use the term 'starving artist' for all true artist who are waiting to be discovered. I know now that artist who get paid a regular paycheck for their art don't want to be in a classification with me - since some days I am actually starving.

So let me try to define terms and concepts - let me explain a few creative ideas. Let's try to speak the same language.
It's just an idea...

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Back to my normal creative life...

Well, I survived the Holidays. I made 32 handmade gifts this year. Phew (Posted pics on Facebook)
Unfortunately I waited till the last minute to start working on them. So I did the usual mad creative dash. Not that I mind - I love the rush of creativity. The beautiful decorations and wonderful holiday feeling is a great inspiration to create!
Not to mention how much I love to give to others and see joy in their face, when they open a handmade gift. (Not everyone got a handmade gift this year - I am sorry. It cost more to make most things than to just buy them and with the economy I just couldn't afford it.)
So it took me a few weeks to unwind and reset my head. (I felt lost after the rush.)
I crocheted a few things and made a doll to help ease me back to reality. (I have a few requests for those colonial dolls)
And now I am working on balancing out... back to my normal creative life.

Big plans for 2011!
Finish the painting series of faces.
Finish painting the Kitchen and the bathroom (why can I do a room makeover in a weekend but it takes me YEARS to paint the kitchen?!)
Help start up a Artist's Social Club: for musicians, poets, and artists of all types... including a gallery!
And so much more!

Stay tuned, it should be a great year. I am happy to be share'n it with all of you!

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