Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Lesley Riley

Whatever you can do, or dream you can do begin it.
 Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.

am the mother of six children, who now have children of their own. I was the primary caretaker of my 88 year old legally blind father who passed on last year. I maintain a household, cook, (he cleans) for my husband and I. To date, I have 9 beautiful grandchildren. All but two live nearby and I spend quality time with them frequently. 

From 1983 to 2003 I worked full time with my husband in our own real estate appraisal business. In 2001 I decided I wanted to return to college (part-time) to complete the undergraduate degree I started back in 1970. I finally graduated (magna cum laude) in 2001. 

I clearly remember the day I realized that it was time for me to start living the life I desired. It was the summer of 1983, July. I was sitting in a darkened theater with my husband watching Field of Dreams.  It was my defining moment.  I was 36 years old and I didn’t have time for excuses anymore.  After many busy, but unhappy years not creating art (because I thought I didn’t have time or talent,) I came to the simple realization that making art made me happy. My happiness was dependent upon my finding a way to fit art into my life. Discovering how to do this didn’t come all at once, nor was it an overnight process. That’s another story. Today I am talking about TIME – finding the time to make my dream of being an artist come true.

Fast forward to the winter of 1995. My youngest was 8 months old. As part of my journey to become an artist, I was taking an evening class called Unlocking Creativity. The homework assignment was to turn a negative into a positive. The negative was obvious – NO TIME for art. But how could I turn that into something positive? I knew I was going to have to find time, perhaps even make time. Could I really create time? And how could I do it in a tangible way to complete my assignment.  The solution was not to make time, but to make use of the time that was already present in my day.


That week (and to this day) every five or ten minutes of free time I had I did something art related.  I decided to see how much art time I could actually create in a week. In order to have something tangible to show to the class, I recorded those minutes on blocks of wood left over from the ongoing renovation of our house – visible blocks of time!  At the next class I presented the teacher with a box full of my blocks of time. In 5 0r 6 days I had accumulated over eight hours of art time.  Those little blocks of time added up. The secret is the piecing together of seemingly disparate blocks to create a wondrous whole – like in making a quilt or collage.  The key is to be ready to create art on a moment’s notice and to do the kind of art that lends itself to spontaneity.  

Since that time, I have created over 50 handmade cloth dolls, written 8 books, created artwork for those books and contributed projects or art to over 30 other published books. I have written over 25 magazine articles, filmed 4 DVDs, made 5 TV guest appearances. Since 2001 I have travelled worldwide lecturing and teaching art to thousands of women (and a few men). I’m not telling you all of this to brag but to make a point. 

If I can fit art into my life, I can assure you that you can too. 
It is never, never, too late to take time for yourself and your dream. 
At 63,  I still feel like I'm just getting started.

If you want to know Lesley a little better here are some links:


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Sally Connors

I came across this video, courtesy of Aroha Philanthropies,  that is the epitome of a creative Late Bloomer.  
Watch the video below.  When she shows her books for the first time listen to her sincere enthusiasm and then pay close attention to the joy that lights up her face. 
I sure hope I'm like this when I'm well into my 80's.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Kathie Chicoine

For as along as I can remember, I've loved going to art exhibits and galleries.
I never considered being an artist.
I didn't feel I had any talent.

So...I received a BSN degree and began my nursing career. 
I thoroughly enjoyed working as a nurse manager on Alzheimer units for over 20 years. 
When I retired, my husband bought me a digital camera and
I discovered my hidden talent.
 Photography and Digital Art have since become my passion.
I've always been especially inspired by color, texture, and shapes.
I love the textures and shapes of buildings, especially old homes and barns and enjoy driving around the area to photograph them.
I especially enjoy taking photographs of nature–especially flowers. I started by taking my camera with me to the botanic gardens and arboretum.
I began to branch out into other areas.  I started "tweaking" my photos by adding textures and using various tools and filters to give them a softer, more painterly, look.  These images I call artistic photography.

After awhile I found that by layering several of my photos and experimenting with various tools and filters, I could create entirely new images that bore no resemblance to the original photos. These images I call photographic art.
When  I discovered digital art, I began to create fun, joyful images directly from the computer.  My digital art frequently has a whimsical, childlike quality to it.  There is a loose, free feel to the images because I use my non-dominant hand when painting.
Next I discovered fractals and now use several programs on the computer to generate images that I can then manipulate and/or layer to create a unique image.      
My latest interest is taking unposed photographs of people as they go about their business. 
 I edit the photographs so they are not quite so recognizable by using several different image editors. 

I call this series "Glimpses of Ordinary Life".
It seems as though each day brings new ideas that I want to try out and new techniques to experiment with.  I'm a self-taught artist; constantly looking for new ways to express my creativity.  I've discovered through my photography that creating art brings me joy and I am truly blessed to be able to do wha I love.

I've had 3 solo shows at:
     *Ethical Humanist Society in Skokie, IL.
     *Palatine Library  in Palatine, IL.
     *Bartlett City Hall Gallery


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Saturday, September 13, 2014

I'm looking for...

I feel there are many creative people out there who have stories to share that would be inspiring to others.  I know for certain there are people reading these posts who want to step out of their comfort zone(s) and start creating  Your story just may be the one to help them take that step.  But... we will never know unless you tell your story.

According to Wikepedia, " a late blooming adult is a person who does not discover their talents and abilities until later than normally expected".  I certainly fit into that category.  Notice the definition doesn't give an age.  Why?   Because your age  isn't the determining factor.  If you feel you discovered your talents and abilities later in life than You Are A creative Late Bloomer.  I want to share your story.  I did not know that I could paint or draw until age 58.  All I had to do was take that first step out of my comfort zone.  Now there is no stopping me know.  I am fill with gratitude!

I have the pleasure to share stories of other people who feel the same way.  Take a moment to check out some of the stories  http://www.imalatebloomer.com

So... IF you fit or IF know someone who fits the Wikepedia definition contact me at: www.smileee001@gmail.com. 
Let's fill more vases up with creative Late Bloomers.



Saturday, May 17, 2014

George W Bush

Here is an article that I retrieved from People Magazine of our former President who fits into the category of being a creative Late Bloomer.  It doesn't matter democrat or republican... he is a creative Late Bloomer.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Kelly Diemond

Nobody was more surprised than me...

A little over a year ago (at the age of 41), my hidden artist snuck out of the closet.  It seems that I am a creator!  This is a part of myself that I never really paid too much attention to, but as I started to listen to what I really enjoy and to follow my own inklings of glee, this is where I was led.
I have always journaled and when I discovered art journaling online, I was curious.  I had never thought of bringing art into my practice.  My curiosity found it's way to intuitive painting, a form of painting based on tapping into your inner wisdom to create.  Learning that it didn't matter what the painting looked like, that it is the experience-the contact with intuition, the deep learning that can be found, is what freed me to begin to create.  Knowing that it didn't matter what it looked like shut up my bossy little critic who always said I wasn't good enough to make art. Having permission to paint like a 5 year old freed me and I began painting intuitively every day. Then a month or two after I started painting I held my breath and dove into an intense, year-long teacher training class which I'll be finishing up next week. It's been a wild year!
It seems like I woke up a sleeping creative giant that does not want to rest.  I want to soak it all in.  In January I took a jewelry making class and the next day I went out and bought all of the supplies to start making and selling my own earrings. I realized I have sold 46 pair of earrings in 3 months!  I'm pretty excited as I am just really at the beginning of this.  I even signed up to teach a jewelry making class for adults this fall and winter through my school district. 

This past Spring I began teaching art classes to kids that I call "Saturday Art Adventures".  We hike out to a Yurt to make art and play games (I'm a Recreation Therapist so this is a natural fit for me, to bring the art into the mix).  I want to help kids to realize that they are creative and to hold on to that creative spark, even when they think they aren't good enough.  We focus on having fun and making art that feels good-not on perfection or neatness or staying in the lines.  We explode paint, we paint with things we find in nature.  We play goofy games.  It's a great time that hopefully they will carry with them into their serious, structured classes.  I'm hoping they remember the joy that can be found in making art.
I love what painting is teaching me about myself. I've journaled my whole life, but I never knew that painting could hold up a mirror and allow you to clearly see yourself and your patterns.  I recently read that 'how you do anything is how you do everything' and I'm starting to believe that is true.  How you approach the canvas, where you get stuck, how much you're willing to be daring or brave.  It all shows up in your painting process.  It's really amazing to see it in yourself and others.
I'm starting to build a life for myself that includes making jewelry and art, teaching classes for kids and supporting other artists who are on a similar path.  The support peice comes through my blog and through women's circles that I'm participating in and plan to start facilitating as well.  I think it's really important to encourage and support other women and to let them know what they're doing made a difference to you, that it mattered.  So I'm focusing on sharing the greatness I see in others to both support those who are doing it (like you) and help those aspiring to similar greatness to know where to begin.