Author of “Eat, Pray, Love” Elizabeth Gilbert: A different way to think about creative genius

Colorful Spaces-small  "Eat,Pray,Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, is one of my favorite books that I have read in the past two years. It made such an impact on me that I gave it as a gift to everyone I know. I even bought copies in Spanish and gave it to my friends and family last June when I visited Buenos Aires.
I have been wanting to write about this book because after reading it
is when something clicked in my mind realizing that I needed to pursue my dream to do my art100%.

The funny thing about all this is that I met Elizabeth Gilbert back when first her nephew and then her niece were my students in kindergarten, She use to pick them up after school sometimes and we would talk about the kids. So to me she was just the aunt of these kids. Well, the kids moved on to the next grade

so I saw her more infrequently now. Just at school events or around the playground after school at times. At the same time my book group decided to read "Eat, Pray, Love". We had the best discussions about the book, It was one of the first books that we all agreed on many of the issues. As I read it and finished it, I had no idea that the Elizabeth Gilbert was the the same woman who I saw at school. To me she was just the kid's aunt. So when I found out, I emailed her and asked her if she could come to our book group. By that time she was so busy that she emailed me back and said she was very sorry but she was not able to put one more thing on her plate, which was ok.
So, why do I love the book: because
Life is too short. After reading it, I felt I needed to make many changes. The biggest change I made was to retire from teaching and do feed my creative spirit. In other words I started creating via a pencil, a marker and a brush.
This book has changed my life. Reading Gilbert's text is a meditation. As you follow her on her journey, you begin to look at your own life, your fears, your  dreams and hopes. Maybe we can't all travel the world to heal our wounds, but this book has healing power. It asks us to dig down deep, to go places we're not sure we want to go, and then it asks us to move on, changed. It is clear that Elizabeth Gilbert wants her readers to experience pure joy, to live our best lives; she cares that much about each and every one of us. The gift she give us is this: as we finish the book, we realize that we care that much about ourselves.

Following you can see a video which I found on TED  Great website by the way. Check it out.


The above painting is one of my new oils: "Colorful Spaces"


“If you have any experience with "Eat, Pray, Love" or with Liz Gilbert, we’d love to hear about it!
Just click on Comments below to add your two cents.”

How Doodling Helped Me Focus

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Red Cheek I am totally enjoying this blogging class! It gives me a great challenge. We even have homework. Yesterday’s homework was to list at least 20 ideas for blog topics. The 1st topic I came up with was about my doodling. I am a doodler. Are you a doodler? Do you know some doodlers?
Being a dreamer (non diagnosed add maybe), focusing was always a challenge for me as a child. I remember being in school looking out the window, looking at the blue sky, the clouds move, and having no idea what was happening in class when suddenly I was asked a question. Have you ever experience that? It’s one of those huh? Am I supposed to know what’s going on here? Well, that was the story of my childhood. As I got older, I realized in one of those “aha” moments that while I was doodling I was listening to what was going on. I was actually focusing instead of dreaming about something totally unrelated. All of a sudden I was able to answer a question if asked. This goes back many, many years ago, probably back to middle school. Guess I made it through college and beyond with my doodles. My best ones in the last few years were done during our weekly faculty meetings while teaching. I am including some of them which I later used as my card designs or to inspire me in some of my paintings. The one above (on the left) started out as a doodle and moved on to becoming a note card (above at right). Following are a few more doodles.

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President Obama is a doodler. Although I bet it is not to keep him focused.These are doodles he made while he was a senator.  Can you tell who he was doodling?  Check this out and find out: President-elect Obama’s doodle in Shore collection

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Adding to this post I will upload some of my work that came directly from my doodles. I painted them with art markers and scanned them to the computer. I used them for greeting cards and for prints.


“If you have any experience with doodling or doodles, we’d love to hear about it!

Just click on Comments below to add your two cents.”


The Art of Blogging

Binder-Cover

Hopefully I am now on my way to the “Real Art of Blogging”.

I really want to get this blog going. It’s been standing still with out any change since back in March. I decided to do something about it and found the best thing possible.

With a commitment to building a more vibrant blog, I signed up for the 4-week Blog Triage class with Cynthia Morrisand and Alyson Stanfield . Make sure to click on their names if you want to read a real blog.

Today’s assignment has 2 parts. The 1st one is to describe who I would like to visit and read my blog.  The 2nd one is to write about what it is that I want to get out of blogging, what are my goals.

So, here we go…who would I like to read my blog?

You! of course, thank you for reading and don’t forget to leave a comment. Maybe you can share it with your friends & family, that would be very nice.

    I would like my readers to be interested in all aspects of the art world, maybe in art education, art/artists from different countries.

    Artists who are starting over and following their dreams, kind of like my life.

    I don’t like to exclude anyone so this is not just for artists. There are many of you out there who love art but not necessarily want to be an artist yourself. So this is for you as well.

    My friends and family, I would love it if you read my blog and see what I’m up to these days as well as take a look at my new paintings.

    I think that my former students would love to see my artwork and read my blog. We had so much fun in art class.

    Today being earth day, i would love to write about the connection between the earth and artwork. What can we do about painting with oils and all the waste and fumes that come along with it. By waste I am talking about paper towels. Rags full of turp are not very safe and can’t really be washed in the washer. I’m sure there some of you out there interested in all this.

    So to go on to the 2nd part, what do I want to get out of blogging:

    One of the things I want to get is being able to connect people with my art. To have them read about who I am, be able to see my art work, hopefully decide to invest in my art work.

    I want to keep creating more so I have more work to put up on the blog.

    I would also like communication with other artists reading their blogs as well.

    I want to feel comfortable about writing and sharing what I write. This is not easy for me, the writing part. I have a feeling that the more I write the easier it will get.

    The main thing is that I want to feel comfortable with the whole process of blogging and getting you and everyone else to visit my blog.

    I want to have a ‘Healthy” blog that is fun to read, interesting, in fact so good…that you can’t wait to read my next post. Then I get lots of comments, meet some wonderful people who enjoy my art work and share it with their friends.

    I think that this affirmation card I made during the Blast off Class goes well with this post.


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    Art in School Auction

    The school where I used to teach is having a fund-raising auction this month. The items that are the big sellers are, naturally,”Artwork” made by the children in the different classrooms. I love all the festivities that surround the auction. I invited  Heidi Schifferli Rozak to be the guest author today and talk about the project that her 1st & 2nd graders did for the auction. So here is Heidi in her words:

    I was so excited to be asked to be a guest author that I was moved to write for Dora’s blog..my first!
    Every other year, each of the classes at Plymouth Meeting Friends School are asked to create something to be auctioned at the school’s biannual fundraising auction.
    In the past my class has created wall art in the form of bead weavings, a quilt, weaving, macramé.  As we are studying Native American culture, this year we (I) decided we would try a facsimile of sandpainting.  Each of the children were given several squares and strips of sandpaper and “Native American” color acrylic paint and were asked to paint a Native American inspired design on each of them.
    I have witnessed for years that, left to their own inspiration, with a minimum of adult “help,” children are incredibly creative.  The mural they created this year exceeded all of my expectations that were, as always, quite high to begin with. It is stunning.  And some lucky someone will get to display this art at home and help the school at the same time.  Talk about “”good giving back to the giver”….

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    I am donating one of my paintings to the school Auction as well. It’s an oil painting 22 x 28 titled
    Colorful Town. It is based on the Town of Jerusalem. My abstract portrayal of it is colorful and bright representing peace.

    Colorful Town

    My trip to Buenos Aires – June, 2008

    Following are photographs that I took this last June in my hometown of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
    If you haven’t been there, it’s a wonderful place to visit. Lot’s of artists, museums & art galleries.

    La Boca


    La Boca, originally uploaded by doraficher.
    This photograph was taken in “La Boca” neighborhood during my trip to Buenos
    Aires, Argentina in June of 2008. La Boca is the oldest, most colorful,
    and most authentic neighborhood in Buenos Aires. The neighborhood was
    settled and built by Italian immigrants that worked in the warehouses
    and meatpacking plants in the area. La Boca is partly an artist colony,
    and mostly a working-class neighborhood. All the houses in this
    neighborhood are painted in very bright colors. This is the home to the
    soccer team “Boca Juniors”. The Boca Juniors is one of the biggest
    soccer teams in Argentina and happens to be one of the clubs that the
    soccer great Diego Maradona played for. Their stadium, La Bombonera, is
    not so surprisingly located in the La Boca barrio.

    Mate


    Mate, originally uploaded by doraficher.

    Mate
    is the national drink in Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay, and a common
    social practice in parts of Brazil, Chile and eastern Bolivia.
    The
    drink is served with a metal straw from a shared hollow calabashgourd.
    The straw is called a bombilla in Latin AmericanSpanish, a bomba in
    Portuguese, and a masassa in Arabic. The straw is traditionally made of
    silver. Modern commercially available straws are typically made of
    nickel silver, called Alpaca, stainless steel, or hollow-stemmed cane.
    The gourd is known as a mate or a guampa, while in Brazil it has the
    specific name of Chimarrão or cuia.
    As with other brewed herbs,
    yerba maté leaves are dried, chopped, and ground into a powdery mixture
    called yerba. The bombilla acts as both a straw and a sieve. The
    submerged end is flared, with small holes or slots that allow the
    brewed liquid in, but block the chunky matter that makes up much of the
    mixture. A modern bombilla design uses a straight tube with holes, or
    spring sleeve to act as a sieve.

    Man with bicycle & flowers


    Man with bicycle & flowers, originally uploaded by doraficher.
    Walking around Buenos Aires this past June I ran into this gentleman trying to
    carry flowers on his bicycle. It was such an interesting site that I
    spend a while taking photos of him.

    Wednesday, February 4, 2009

    Is it ever too late to fulfill your dreams?

    Do you think it’s ever too late to fulfill your dream or dreams? Do you
    think there is an age limit to do what you really love? to do your
    passion? What kept you back from not doing it earlier in life?
    I
    am 57 and I am now doing my art full time. Do I wish I had done it
    before? I don’t know. I did many other things during the process and
    now I’m here. Are you happy with your current profession? Is there a
    dream you want to attain?

    I feel very fortunate to be able to dedicate my time to doing my art full time. This has been one of my dreams for a long time.

    I have been taking this amazing online class: with Alyson Stanfield, author of I’d Rather Be in the Studio!
    The Artist’s No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion. This is helping me
    learn to promote myself as an artist. I first read the book and loved
    it. Which took me to her website where I learned about her classes. You
    should all check out Alyson’s blog (Click on her name).
    We are now
    on day sixteen and I have been learning so much about myself, my art
    and how to promote it. This class has me so excited that I don’t want
    to stop working at night and can’t wait to get up in the morning to
    continue. I am so excited about all this that I signed up to take two
    art classes at the Fleisher Foundation in Philadelphia:
    http://www.fleisher.org. The Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial, the
    nation’s oldest tuition-free art school, is guided by the spirit of its
    founder, who first extended an invitation in 1898 for “the world to
    come and learn art.” They offer an exciting selection of tuition-free
    classes and low-cost workshops for adults and children. Starting next
    month I will be participation in an oil painting studio class and a
    watercolor class.

    So back to following your dream, or fulfilling your dream, do you think it is ever too late?

    Is it ever too late to fulfill your dreams?

    Is it ever too late to fulfill your dreams?Hope

    Do you think it’s ever too late to fulfill your dream or dreams? Do you
    think there is an age limit to do what you really love? to do your
    passion? What kept you back from not doing it earlier in life?
    I
    am 57 and I am now doing my art full time. Do I wish I had done it
    before? I don’t know. I did many other things during the process and
    now I’m here. Are you happy with your current profession? Is there a
    dream you want to attain?

    I feel very fortunate to be able to dedicate my time to doing my art full time. This has been one of my dreams for a long time.

    I have been taking this amazing online class: with Alyson Stanfield, author of I’d Rather Be in the Studio!
    The Artist’s No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion. This is helping me
    learn to promote myself as an artist. I first read the book and loved
    it. Which took me to her website where I learned about her classes. You
    should all check out Alyson’s blog (Click on her name).
    We are now
    on day sixteen and I have been learning so much about myself, my art
    and how to promote it. This class has me so excited that I don’t want
    to stop working at night and can’t wait to get up in the morning to
    continue. I am so excited about all this that I signed up to take two
    art classes at the Fleisher Foundation in Philadelphia:
    http://www.fleisher.org. The Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial, the
    nation’s oldest tuition-free art school, is guided by the spirit of its
    founder, who first extended an invitation in 1898 for “the world to
    come and learn art.” They offer an exciting selection of tuition-free
    classes and low-cost workshops for adults and children. Starting next
    month I will be participation in an oil painting studio class and a
    watercolor class.

    The following post was transfered from my original blog site. Thought it would be fun to have it here.
    My first blog

    by on 1/19/2009 1:15:30 AM

    Shape Design

    Welcome to my blog. In fact my first blog. I am very excited about it.  I have been taking this amazing online class: with Alyson Stanfield, author of I’d Rather Be in the Studio!: The Artist’s No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion.


    We are now on day nine and I have been learning so much about my art
    and how to promote it. This class has me so excited that I don’t want
    to stop working at night and can’t wait to get up in the morning to
    continue. I have been organizing my office/studio so I know where
    everything is. I am working on a new website for my “Fine Art” pieces: And I continue working on my greeting/note cards website. I am also working on another blog. Come and visit!

    One of our assignments for the Alyson Stanfield class was to make our
    own “Affirmation cards”. I was having so much fun that I ended up
    making a whole bunch for different areas of my life.
    Here are some of mine:

    This is one of my constant affirmations, to stay healthy and walk to
    raise money for research. Being a 23 year Breast cancer survivor, I
    have been involved with the 3Day 60 mile walk for about 5 years now. I
    walked the walk 3 years in a row and will walk again next October. My
    Team and I raise a lot of money for Breast Cancer Research. Check it
    out in your city: http://www.the3day.org

    Here are a few more.

    One of the other
    things that happened because of this wonderful class is that I signed
    up to take two art classes at the Fleisher Foundation in Philadelphia: http://www.fleisher.org/. The Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memori
    al,
    the
    nation’s oldest tuition-free art school, is guided by the spirit of
    its founder, who first extended an invitation in 1898 for “the world to
    come and learn art.” They offer an exciting selection of tuition-free
    classes and low-cost workshops for adults and children. Starting in
    February I will be participation in an oil painting studio class and a
    watercolor class.

    8 Responses:

    2/3/2009 4:43:35 PM
    Alyson B. Stanfield wrote:

    Dora, congratulations on your first blog post! I posted a link to this on my blog. Thanks for sharing with the world!
    http://www.artbizblog.com/2009/02/blast-off-students-share-affirmations-and-visions.html

    View Commentor’s Web Site


    2/4/2009 6:43:28 AM
    Julie Brown wrote:

    Dora,
    I love your affirmation cards. They are very inspiring! I normally just
    write my affirmations down on a piece of paper. Boring! How much more
    fun it is to see them with charming, colourful drawings. You have
    inspired me to do the same. Thank you for sharing!

    View Commentor’s Web Site


    2/4/2009 3:40:10 PM
    frumi wrote:

    I
    like the look of your blog. Mine is so boring. and i like the left hand
    side listing…its so clean and clear….great stuff i can see why that
    woman wrote to you…fc

    View Commentor’s Web Site


    2/5/2009 6:22:26 AM
    manon doyle wrote:

    Hi Dora!
    My name is Manon Doyle and I was in the same class as you! Congrats on your new post!! I love your affirmation cards!

    View Commentor’s Web Site


    2/6/2009 6:40:53 PM
    Lynne Friedman wrote:

    Nice work – lots of good luck!
    lynnefriedman.blogspot.com

    View Commentor’s Web Site


    5/9/2009 6:00:26 PM
    Vickie wrote:

    This
    is impressive for your first post – complete with lnks. I have had a
    blog since last fall, and finally figured out how to do the links
    TODAY! I have done the 3-day walk too. It rained the first day and
    flooded our campsite, so we ended up sleeping in a high school both
    nights. I never had a blister during training, but really had them
    during the walk. I was a zombie at the end, but never felt better!!!!!
    Maybe someday I’ll attempt it again!

    View Commentor’s Web Site


    5/10/2009 12:00:32 AM
    Dora Ficher wrote:

    Hi
    Vickie, Thank you for your comment. Actually I have not been using this
    blog since I did Alyson’s Blast Off class back in January. So you had
    blisters during the walk? That happened to me the 1st year and then I
    learned to put lots of “Glide” and “mole skin” so the last 2 walks I
    did ok. It is an unbelievable experience! I am a 23 year Breast Cancer
    survivor so it means a lot to me to do the walk. Check out the blog I
    am using:
    http://www.doraficherblog.com

    View Commentor’s Web Site


    5/12/2009 10:56:11 AM
    Gretchyn Bailey wrote:

    Dora,
    I love this site. It’s very clean and easy to navigate. And a blog!
    I’ll return frequently to see what you have to say…because you always
    have something to say! I love love love your affirmation cards! I
    particularly like the card showing the supportive people in your life.

    Keep going, Dora! 🙂