enjoy the satisfaction only a guillotine can provide



On a chilly Friday afternoon, Kaia and I made art cards as a Slow Learning project.

The intention: Take something precious, like a painting or a drawing you’ve made, and chop it to pieces.

Our process:

1. Create a painting on card stock. (Better yet, find a drawing or painting that you once thought was something special.)

2. Take the painting to my favorite art tool: the almighty guillotine-style paper cutter.  Turn the card image-side down (you want to be surprised later) and prepare to chop to a uniform dimension (I like trading card dimension, 2 1/2″ by 3 1/2″ because they fit so nicely in the little plastic sleeves you can buy at hobby stores)

3. Execute.

4. Try not to cut your fingers off. (The next step is much harder if you do.)

5. Turn the cards over and see the beauty that emerges.

I’m always taken by how clever the compositions of my new-found paintings are when I chop them up at random.

Kaia pointed out that the framing of the trees outside by the windows reminded him of the framing made by the paper cutter.

Framing, it seems, is everything.

What do we do with our cards now?  Read about my card obsession in an earlier post.

You have the right to learn what no one can teach.

You ask yourself the question, and then you answer it.

Slavov Zizek


Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.

Oscar Wilde


creativity on the hook

From A Slow Learner’s Bill of Rights.

You have the right

  • To work with people who find you and your visions fascinating
  • To work with people who are fascinated by your brilliant visions and will hold you accountable to do what you said you would do

Sunday is usually a lazy sort of day. But out of the blue, I receive an email invite from Tricia Postle :

I had an idea for a “COTH” group – creativity-on-the-hook! because the goal is to get those creative impulses into the boat, on the grill, and served with lemon slices for general consumption. Hedonistic enough?
I’m thinking, meeting every two weeks for a 90 minute session.
15 m check-in/catchup, wine/whine as necessary
15 m outline of what’s going on with one person’s projects
15 m feedback, priority-setting
30 m ditto above
15 m what are we on the hook for, before next meeting
Sessions after that would include a review of what we did and didn’t do, with a solve-the-problem, not-the-blame approach.

Normally these kinds of invitations require time-consuming back-and-forth negotiations of  location and calendar,  and sometimes never grow beyond idea phase. But more and more often I’m finding that Slow Learning is Immediate. Within an hour we were drinking tea, dreaming and scheming and testing Tricia’s COTH process with each other.

We both came away from the afternoon with a list of goals that, with each other’s help, we had refined and clarified into actionable items. (Among other things, I will refine my elevator speech about Slow Learning, and she will start outfitting her  Troubadour Hope Chest)  In a month we’ll meet again, and see what we’ve accomplished.

Tricia reminded me that a Slow Learner is a whole person, not just a person with goals and a to-do list. So we talked about taking care of ourselves, of considering work, relationship, physical and emotional health as part of the COTH process.

Since I have a tendency to beat myself up when I don’t accomplish what I set out to do, I find Tricia’s “solve the problem, not the blame” philosophy confronting and refreshing.

What are Slow Learning friends for?

a time to incubate and a time to hatch

As mentioned in A Slow Learner’s Bill of Rights, we have the right

38. To incubate and hibernate
39. To be in action and produce measurable concrete results
40. To learn how to discern between the time for #38 and #39
41. To work with people who have some distance and perspective and can help you with #40

We’ve taken our time. We’ve dreamed big. We’ve planned and schemed. Now is the time take action.  Thank you Dexter for inspiring us all.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGcumgYoBVM&hl=en_US&feature=player_embedded&version=3]