A Question of Focus

aquestionoffocus A Question of Focus

Crickets. That’s all you’ve been hearing lately from me. The crickets started cricketing last summer and they’ve been buzzing for quite a few months now. (My last post, Great Power and Beauty Await You, was way, way back in July…cricket season!) For me, it’s been a question of focus. A question of focus with my art, life, faith and creativity. I’ve simply been focused on larger projects requiring greater time, energy, faith and focus than ever before. I know many of you will benefit from them, but since many of you have been long and loyal friends to this Art, Life & Faith blog, I am sorry for my silence. It really has been a question of focus… of where I believe God has uniquely made me to make my best contribution. I’m also learning a lot about my limitations. What I can and can’t do. And the reality that I can’t do it all.

Jeff Walker, a favorite author and market strategist I follow, recently wrote about focus in his book Launch. “Your most scarce resource is focus, ” Walker writes… and here’s why!

18 Reasons to Save Art Education in Elementary Schools

18reasonstosavearteducationinschools 18 Reasons to Save Art Education in Elementary Schools
Every year in California and across the nation, we see more and more cuts in art education in elementary schools. This is a deep and pervasive problem. As Calvin College art professor, Jo-Ann VanReeuwyk, states in her list of highly insightful reasons to save art education in elementary schools, “The arts teach problem-solving, risk-taking, creative thinking, collaborative thinking, innovative thinking. Indeed all of the higher level thinking skills.”

If you’re a parent, artist, or art educator interested in cultivating creativity in kids, I’d like to encourage you to read Jo-Ann’s 18 Reasons to Save Art Education in Elementary Schools, which she generously allowed me to share with you today. Even if you’re not an artist, you will find Jo-Ann’s points will expand your knowledge and appreciation for the arts. Why is arts education in school so important? Here’s why…

Meet Our Artist Friends at The Grove

Grove Gathering Outside Meet Our Artist Friends at The Grove

For the past week, we’ve been hammering away on creating a lot of great new content on The Grove Center for the Arts & Media’s website. Now, I’d like to introduce you to many of our artist friends who are a part of our Grove Community. One of our goals with The Grove is to become a collaborative, creative hub for artists to develop greater community with one another. We do that through our monthly Grove Gatherings, Artists Getaways, and creating Grove Online Classes & content for many of you who don’t live in Southern California. We want to share our friends with you so you can enjoy their creative work and share it with your friends. On The Grove’s new Artist Pages, you can…

Can Age Produce Beauty? Artistic Legends at Work

canageproducebeauty Can Age Produce Beauty? Artistic Legends at WorkIf you want to see artistic legends at work and the undeniable truth that age can produce beauty, you’ll want to check out this brilliant photo series in the recent issue of Time Magazine, When Age Produces Beauty. In my previous post, Creativity and the Art of Living Longer, I wrote about artists doing what they love and still thriving in their seventies, eighties and nineties. Today, I want to share these living artistic legends with you and their thoughts on creativity, art, and cultivating a beautiful life.

I love this picture of Mark Di Suvero, cutting steel and welding at 86 years old. Considered America’s greatest Constructivist sculptor, Di Suervo still puts in a full day’s work with steel girders and blow torches. Is this guy committed to his craft or what? Doesn’t seem too concerned about his golf score… Listen to what these other artistic legends have to say about work, creativity, art, and the human spirit. Read on…

Creativity & the Art of Living Longer

creativityandtheartoflivinglonger Creativity & the Art of Living Longer

On a recent flight home from Atlanta, I read a fascinating article in Time magazine entitled, The Art of Living: It May Be No Coincidence that So Many Creative Types Have Long Lives. The article focused on creativity, longevity and how doing what you love can add years to your life. Whether you’re young or middle-aged, if you want to cultivate a beautiful life long into your later years, now is the time to pursue your creative God-given gifts. It is no hidden fact that the active, busy and creative brain stays lucid far longer than the “sedentary, bored and depressed” brain. Consider the lives of these artists and creative types who pursued creativity long into their later years. Read on and be inspired…

Your Elusive Creative Genius – Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the bestselling Eat, Pray, Love that came out a few years ago has some remarkable things to say about creativity, genius, writing and the creative life. Though I wasn’t a big fan of the book and all the accompanying merchandising that came with the movie, I do appreciate her honest search for integrating her creative and spiritual life. Read more…

Have You Read Oswald Chambers, The Artist Writer?

haveyoureadoswaldchamberstheartistwriter Have You Read Oswald Chambers, The Artist Writer?For those of you who are fans of Oswald Chambers and his classic spiritual book, My Utmost for His Highest, did you know Oswald Chambers thought his original calling from God was to be a visual artist and musician? Oswald Chambers had a deep love for God, creativity, and the arts. Though millions have read and loved My Utmost for His Highest, many do not know that Chambers studied at London’s Royal Academy of Art between 1895-1896. A gifted artist and musician, Chambers sensed God’s calling to be an ambassador for Christ in the world of art and aesthetics. To encourage you cultivate a more beautiful life in Christ, I’d like to share a few thoughts and favorite quotes from this beloved writer and artist…

Have You Seen The Grove’s New Website?

visitthegrovewebsite Have You Seen The Groves New Website?

[F]or the past eleven years, I have led a ministry called The Grove Center for the Arts & Media. I have the incredible privilege of working with a lot of creative and amazing artists: writers, filmmakers, musicians, singer-songwriters, visual artists of all kinds, poets, dancers, photographers and just about every kind of artist imaginable. The mission of The Grove is to cultivate the spiritual growth and creative work of artists. We do this through Grove Gatherings, Getaways, and Generosity.

Here on Art, Life & Faith, I haven’t told you much about The Grove because I wanted to wait until I could show you in a visually compelling way what our ministry with artists is all about. So now, ta-dah…I’d like to invite you to visit our brand new website. I’d love your thoughts and feedback. If you really like it, I’d like to ask you to consider sharing it on Facebook, Twitter, your blog…whatever social media sites you favor. Read on…

Art Has Failed to Humanize Our Country

arthasfailedtohumanizeourcountry Art Has Failed to Humanize Our Country

I recently read A Global Perspective, a fascinating interview in the LA Times with theater director, Peter Sellars. Sellars is an UCLA professor of world arts and culture where he teaches Art as Social Action and Art as Moral Action. ​

When asked, “You’ve said that ‘art over the past 25 years has failed to humanize the country.’ How do think it can accomplish that?”​ Read on…

Question of the Week #10: What do You Find Truly Life-Giving?

Welcome to the Question of the Week #10: What do you find truly life-giving? Answering this question just may cause you to seriously rearrange your life, schedule and priorities. If I were to peek at your “life-giving list,” there’s a good chance a lack of sleep, lack of exercise, reams of conflict and a hurried, hectic schedule would not be on your list. At least I hope not. The things you find truly life-giving are essential for cultivating a deeper, richer life. Read on…

artlifefaithquestionoftheweek10 Question of the Week #10: What do You Find Truly Life Giving?