We all like to be organised to some degree, I believe.
Sometime ago, I re-organised one of my bookcases. This particular one is in what I like to call my ‘Escape Room.’ It is where I do my Watercolour Sketches; Oil paintings; read, write my speeches do my photographic editing and meditate, hence the word ‘escape…’
The bookcase is 1.83 metres (6 feet) high and contains Art magazines, books on theoretical Art; Photography; Public Speaking; Art ‘How To’; Religion; Leadership; Communication; Writing; Thinking and a smattering of other subjects.
Over time and especially last year when I had 4 committee/leadership positions across two organisations as well as everything else I was involved in, the bookcase became rather disorganised through tiredness which led to a lack of discipline on my part i.e. not returning the books to the appropriate sections. Am hoping that I am not the only one that this happens to…
Recently, I decided it was ’time to re-organise again’ and given that I have divested myself of all those roles I am now reading more again and am enjoying increased time on other enjoyable things like Sketching, Painting and Poetry.
Whilst re-organising the shelves I was able to re-acquaint myself with books that either I had:
It is indeed amazing what we have on our bookshelves. Rediscovered gems.
As I look across there now I see titles that I cannot wait to get my hands on again. So much to read, so much to inspire.
Yesterday, whilst visiting Mum for lunch, I came across a book I didn’t remember seeing there before called ‘100 Great Wonders Of The World’ – A collection of the World’s awe-inspiring places, buildings and landscapes.
As long as I can remember, these sorts of subjects have fascinated me. I love reading and researching them. We have not, at this stage done a huge amount of travelling so until we do get to some more, this has to suffice.
Upon borrowing the book and returning home, an idea came to mind to use the images as reference photos for my Watercolour Sketching practice. I realise I can Google these places anytime and references photos on the Internet are seemingly endless, however, having them all in one book is quite attractive. I still find that, ‘curling up with a real book’ is still far more attractive the scrolling online.
This morning, whilst flipping through the book, another idea came to mind… I have set myself a challenge and that is to write one Poem about each of these ‘Great Wonders of the World.’
I will read about each one, survey the images, go away and think on it and then write a Poem.
The first ‘Wonder’ is ’The Great Fjords of Norway.’ Here is the Poem I wrote:
Flooded by the sea
Flooded by the sea
I think this will be a very interesting challenge as it will help ’stretch my mind’ Poetry-wise and also further inspire us to do more travel when able.
Only 99 Poems to go!
As I set off on my walk this morning, I cued up one of my favourite podcasts, ‘Sketching Stuff’ by Charlie O’Shields, activated RunKeeper and off I went.
I currently live in the suburbs, approx. 60 kilometres (37 miles) South-West of Sydney, Australia and about 20 mins walk away there is a river with natural bush alongside of it.
If I walk early enough, ie before the traffic starts, I can listen to Nature. If I walk later in the day, it’s a podcast followed by music (if the podcast finishes and I haven’t finished my walk).
Upon my return today, I started thinking about my podcast library and looking at the number of podcasts that I had subscribed to over time…(a lot), it seemed to me that I needed to do some culling.
In no particular order, these are the ones that are left:
Daily Breath With Deepak Chopra
Some of these go from as little as 2 minutes to just over an hour. Some I listen to on a regular basis, others, now and then.
There is such a wealth of inspiration and knowledge at our fingertips. I am so grateful that they exist.
What podcasts do you listen to?
Yesterday, I joined Red Point Artists Association Inc at Port Kembla, which is situated 93 kilometres (57 miles), 1 1/2 hours drive from Sydney, near Wollongong and about 45 minutes SE of where I live.
I had visited some years ago at the invitation of a friend, Dulcie Dal Molin who is a former President of the Association and an Honorary Life Member. I have known Dulcie for may years through our involvement in Photographic Societies.
I had been wanting to become a member of RPAA for quite a few years but had too many commitments on my plate. Those commitments have now ended and my love for Sketching and Painting has increased remarkably over the last few years. The time was indeed right!
You might ask, ‘aren’t there Art Societies closer to where you live?’ ‘Why travel that distance to join this Art Community?’
Valid questions. I have always found my visits to ‘Art On The Grass’ which are held every second Saturday of the month, for 11 months of the year, special. There is something that keeps drawing me back to this Art Community that I cannot quite put into words. Perhaps the French phrase, ‘Je ne sais quoi’ would sum it up.
The RPAA are to be congratulated as not only have they found a ’space’ in the Main Street of Port Kembla, they have found a truly inspiring space. A grassy rectangle surrounded by a ‘horseshoe’ of studios, a gallery where the members can hold exhibitions and a cafe with outside seating that all contribute to the ‘Artsy Vibe!’
On the grass and via the studios, members can also sell their Arts and Crafts and the general public can come in and seek out that special gift for themselves or others whilst beautiful music plays in the background.
Workshops and Art classes are also held regularly.
It really presents well as a delightful Community Art Space in a relaxed environment where a variety of Arts and Crafts are practiced.<
For more information please visit the following links:
On Friday, I had great pleasure in receiving my DTM (Distinguished Toastmaster) plaque from Toastmasters International.
As an earlier post indicated, I reached the DTM level in Toastmasters last month which is the highest level.
Since 1924, more than 4 million people have benefitted from the Educational program.
As of 1 July 2020, the new Pathways Educational is now the only educational program in use. There are 11 Paths to choose from.
I joined Toastmasters back in March 2008 and by committing to the program and consistently striving to improve myself, taking on board the mentoring and points for improvement and putting them into practice, it changed my life in many positive ways. It can do the same for you too.
There is still more I can learn and whilst doing that, I can help others along the way, just like I have been helped. I am so grateful for the opportunities.
For more information: https://www.toastmasters.org/
Written by David Johnson
5 July 2020
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