New Beginnings in the New Year!

If you are thinking about how to shape 2015 to pursue a project, space remains in The Workroom beginning the 12th of January. You could join the friendly, interesting group coming together for this session! (More info here on the blog under “The Workroom” category or at www.katygilmore.com. Please just email me to sign up: herspiritsrose@gmail.com).

I include words from some past participants (and thank them for great comments!), because their feedback explains The Workroom best:

“I LOVED The Workroom. I don’t know that I would change anything…I liked your daily posts very much – they were brief, relevant, and good motivators. I think your comments to our posts were the most helpful part of the course, and the other participants’ comments added much too. The group aspect of The Workroom is definitely important. My expectations were more than met – thank you!” Michelle T.

“I got so much out of the experience. I loved your steady and encouraging posts, the weekly page postings by participants, and all the commenting. I was able to knuckle down and find an area of focus and a new approach to my schedule.” Carol H.

“I allowed myself to take the creative process seriously, as a study or a discipline or a practice, giving myself time, space and energy to pursue the process. It was a permission slip.” Caroline S.

“I liked your ‘themed week’ approach. You were very organized and the way you had constructed The Workroom made a lot of sense. I felt confident – that you had spent time thinking about how this would work best, and that made me feel maybe I could be successful in it.

I very much appreciated the daily themed posts during the weeks. It helped me to have you touching in each day. Helped me to begin building the ‘daily’ muscle, too. Knowing you are doing your daily work helped me to try to do mine.

My expectations were met and exceeded and it was just such a deep pleasure. So many of us (I now believe) have this deep desire to do this/our work and it is worth a LOT to have someone create the space and structure for the support and encouragement to just do it and to understand that there are basic needs to satisfy in order to give yourself a good shot at success: routine, habit, encouragement, someone to point you towards the resolution (inner and outer) that you might need, etc.” Margy C.

“This was a new experience for all of us, and to my mind an incredibly successful one. The most surprising thing for me is the closeness I feel to everyone in the group. And I think that is partly due to your guidance and the way you talked about everyone’s posts. You set a good standard and I think we all tried to follow it.”  Carol B.

“I enjoyed all the posts and definitely all the comments. At first I was leery, resistant to all the computer time. As the time passed, I enjoyed that time and my new skills. I feel like I have a new circle of caring friends.”  Pat H.

“When we started and friends asked me about “The Workroom.” I had difficulty explaining exactly how it would work. Now that we’re done, I ‘d recommend the Workroom to anyone stuck or starting a project.

Your postings have been excellent. So well thought out and very timely. I marvel at how you figured out what we would need and when we’d need it. You integrated inspirational quotes, references, your own ideas very well — sometimes within one Post even. The sideline topics of books, quotes, etc. are helpful since they are easy to access in a glance.

Setting up Weekly Pages for us worked well, too. Your feedback to each of our Pages was very thoughtful in helping us sort out the next step or think of approaching something in a different way.

The success of the Workroom can also be measured by the way everyone participated so creatively with their own projects and also the depth and sincerity of their comments to one another.

Everything worked! I can’t think of anything to change. Congratulations and THANK YOU!”
“I learned a lot about myself and also feel the spirit of kinship with the others. And honestly, I would recommend The Workroom for a lot of people. I told a friend about it yesterday and she said, ‘why with a group?’. And I explained to her the support and creative spirit that comes with reading about other people being creative and then feeling it from yourself.”  Judy R.

“The daily posts kept me going and inspired. The comments from fellow participants were great. Having a deadline once a week and at a certain time meant that there was closure on that week’s work. Thank you, too, for responding to questions so rapidly.”  N.D.

Workroom post

The Workroom in Winter – 2015

A brief interruption in what begins to be the season of red and green all day, every day!

A new session of The Workroom is forming, and I wanted to let you know. Perhaps you’d like to put something for yourself on your Christmas list? The dates are 5 January to 13 February – six weeks to pursue a creative project (and that can encompass many, many things – if you wonder about what you have in mind, please email me at herspiritsrose@gmail.com – I’m betting your project would work).

More information here on the blog, including a little brochure describing The Workroom:

https://katygilmore.wordpress.com/2014/09/02/the-workroom-a-new-session-2/

https://katygilmore.wordpress.com/category/the-workroom/
https://katygilmore.wordpress.com/2012/09/04/her-spirits-rose-the-workroom/
https://katygilmore.wordpress.com/2013/08/08/the-workroom-fall-2013-an-invitation/

Or on my website: www.katygilmore.com

Here’s to new beginnings in January – and now, quickly – back to the season at hand!

SB Project The Workroom page 20-21

The Workroom – A New Session

The Workroom – a sure sign of autumn – the dates are: begin 8 September and end 17 October. Below is a little “booklet” describing The Workroom, and more information, including testimonials from past participants, is available on my website http://www.katygilmore.com. The cost is $60 for the six weeks.

Questions or to sign up, please email me at herspiritsrose@gmail.com.

Having made the blog a sort of Workroom with the Frances project, I’m even more convinced that it works to be accountable. I’d love to see you there!

The Workroom Project ID fourth iteration

The Workroom Project ID fourth iteration2

The Workroom Project ID fourth iteration3

The Workroom Project ID fourth iteration4

The Workroom Project ID fourth iteration5

 

 

 

“Friends for Frances” and the Internet Abyss

During sessions of The Workroom, I’ve watched people grapple with habits that interfere with their prime work time. While encouraging them, I remained convinced myself (classic denial) that I could “look quickly” at email (in case something needed attention) during my best work time. I was kidding myself, of course. If something is pressing, there are telephones and texts.

I like the communicating benefit of email a lot, but for me it opens a sinkhole, caving in the shimmer of fragile thought supporting creative work. If I pretended I could look quickly – I also pretended that I could answer quickly, check this website, read this blog here, comment there, pay a bill, make a plane reservation. I responded to the computer’s Pavlovian dings, allowing random interruptions all morning. But I didn’t seem to notice the energy required to respond – not to mention the time.

I think this habit grew incrementally. My good-natured husband, who is not addicted, not so “connected,” can’t believe it took me so long to admit what had happened to my precious mornings. So all during May, when I’ve been happily working, it’s largely been because of a self-vow taken: no email till one p.m. at the earliest.

Who knows what makes people finally grapple with bad habits? The young writer and I are always going on about the Internet enticement problem (in emails to each other!), and she’s successfully used limiting methods. And the mother of my young friend really made me think when she apologized for being out of touch, saying she was trying to stay away from email and use what little morning time she had for her real work.

It’s hard to express how luxurious it’s been to give this work a few uninterrupted hours. The liberated feeling is enormous. I love to finally look at email after one o’clock, (and most often it is after two). It isn’t discipline so much as substituting a big hit later in the day for a morning of random reinforcement.

So whatever happens with the three-kitty saga, it’s been a gift and an awakening to have this safe work time. During the morning, in tenuous work mode, when I ask what’s next? The answer can only be – something in support of “Friends for Frances.”

Thank you Frances and friends!

FFF Index p 3-1

 

Starting Up – 2014

Is 2014 well begun for you? I am slowly accepting that number, though changing years in the middle of the week discombobulated me. It’s OK really to wait for the weekend to officially accept the new – and eat black-eyed peas!

But now Tuesday of the new year dawns – suddenly the second week. Vague notions percolate about what I’d like to do in January on “Her spirits rose…,” and maybe that’s what this post says – that I’m thinking about being braver about drawing faces, cooking from the cookbook “Plenty,” and writing about the two Skillshare classes I signed up for in the busiest of December days, promising myself I would start in the quiet of January. Thankfully, the month is long.

But mostly I meander around in a recovering from travel and holiday fugue, slowly tackling end of the year tasks, sorting mail piled up, restocking the larder. Reading. And I’m very excited to be setting up the new Workroom session, which begins Monday the 13th – it’s inspiring to make a place for participants eager to do their creative work.

As the fifth (!) year of this blog begins, I want to say thank you, thank you to readers – most specially to those who comment and write emails – your reading sustains me. And writing here makes me focus – I look forward to what will happen because I do!

 

A November Project

This fall it inspired me to watch the participants in The Workroom outline their projects and follow through – discovering power and energy from small steps as part of a bigger whole. And now November begins, a whole month at home, a month ending in favorite festivities – but inviting a project.

The mother of my young friend made drawings for her Workroom project, and those, combined with reading Martin Gayford’s book, “A Bigger Message: Conversations with David Hockney,” put drawings on my mind even more than usual. Hockney has a complicated relationship with photography but an ongoing, long-lasting passion for drawing. He’d approve of drawing for drawing’s sake – not to illustrate necessarily, but to explore.

Then, on a recent Design*Sponge podcast, I heard ceramicist Molly Hatch say that online resources from museums around the world are amazing. So the thought occurred – I could spend November at the Victoria and Albert, London’s world-famous museum of art and design, full of objects from real life, beautiful things, interesting things, inspiring curiosities to draw.

The V&A website offers “subject hubs” for each collection from architecture and design to fashion and textiles. Many of the 1,828,876 museum objects and pieces of art are online with a photo and a written description. Without printing, I could draw from their photos just by browsing the collections. (I wrote to the Museum and received a polite email back, granting permission to use the photos in their collection for reference.)

Sometimes visiting a museum sets up an initial overwhelm, and I’m glad to discover some one area where things have a relationship. A similar experience happened when I began to wander the corridors of the online collections, clicking on individual images, considering categories. I’m always curious about flowers in decoration – both disparaged and beloved – so, in the end, I decided to limit my looking to objects with flowers.

Wanting both a goal (something The Workroom participants were good at setting and achieving) and daily practice, I decided on a post a day. But it seems a lot to dump an email a day into the inboxes of loyal subscribers – so I’ll post a week’s worth next Friday.

Or you can see what treasures I find by following me on Facebook (www.facebook.com/gilmorekaty), or here next week, whichever works for you. And thank you for helping me be accountable!

Journal - Nov Project  Planning

The Workroom – Fall 2013 – An Invitation

If you are curious about pursuing a creative project of your own in the company of similarly directed people, please consider joining The Workroom’s fall session. The course starts in a month and will run for six weeks from September 9 to October 18. I’m excited to start thinking about a new group this fall!

Sometimes it’s lonely to do creative work on one’s own – and a collaborator in our particular endeavor isn’t always possible. The Workroom is a little like childhood’s “parallel play,” because each participant brings a project at whatever stage it exists – whether early or needing some infusion of energy to complete – and is supported by the other participants and me.

Colleagues waiting, even if only virtually, for us to show up and do what we set out to do is very inspiring. Last year’s participants often discovered new things by putting a plan into words and beginning on a path toward accomplishing creative work. Being part of a supportive group makes for accountability and provides inspiration and stamina.

This session offers a bonus! Each participant who completes the course will receive one of my foldbooks – this one inspired by lessons from The Workroom!

More details are available in past blog posts (here and here). On my website www.katygilmore.com you will find comments from past participants. I would love to include you! The group is small, so please sign up now if you are ready or let me know if you are thinking about joining us. If I can answer any questions, please email me (herspiritsrose@gmail.com).

September is a great time for back to class! In the meantime I hope you are having a wonderful summer, full of outdoor time, friends, and family!

Workroom foldbook cover