In the Artist’s Studio


My art studio is a place to celebrate, contemplate, examine and perceive. The creative process continues today .

My name is Jan Kirstein and I invite you to look at the Artist’s Journey through my eyes.

My new inspiration for creating in my studio still spins from reading Nancy Hillis’ inspiring book just out called “The Artist’s Journey.”



The journey down stairs leads to the studio where the painting with sumi e ink begins.



I move on to other painting media and collage with Japanese rice paper.
















Thanks for joining my on my journey. I hope you feel an inspiration to create wherever you can find a small space. I used to complain that I didn’t have a studio. Now I call the world my studio!!

Jan Kirstein

Advertisements

The Wellness Movement That’s Empowering Older Adults to Become Artists


Courtesy of Newark Museum Collage Program, New Jersey, and Aroha Philanthropies Seeding Vitality Arts U.S. Initiative.
Courtesy of Newark Museum Collage Program, New Jersey, and Aroha Philanthropies Seeding Vitality Arts U.S. Initiative.

On a recent Thursday evening in Brooklyn, a handful of older adults clustered around artist Ebenezer Singh in the basement of Williamsburg’s Leonard Library. They watched intently as he deposited several dollops of paint onto a palette, picking up his brush to mix Indian yellow and sepia with a few droplets of water. “See how much water I’m using?” he asked, his small audience nodding affirmatively.

Singh dabbed the resulting golden-yellow wash onto the paper as a base layer, leaving strategic swatches unpainted to mark a tree and the bank of a pond. “Let the paint and the paper breathe,” he counseled. Soon, he deemed his class ready to select their own landscapes to paint from a stack of glossy printouts.

In summary, it was a typical amateur watercolor course. But it’s also part of a quiet revolution helping to redefine how we grow old.

Singh’s class at the Brooklyn library falls under the umbrella of “creative aging,” defined by executive director of the National Center for Creative Aging (NCCA), Jennie Smith-Peers, as “any opportunity for an older adult to be engaged in a meaningful opportunity to express themselves through art.” It isn’t limited to the visual arts; creative aging encompasses theater, dance, music, poetry, and more.

Courtesy of Aroha Philanthropies Seeding Vitality Arts U.S.  Initiative. Courtesy of Aroha Philanthropies Seeding Vitality Arts U.S.  Initiative.

 

The key element is that the classes teach a skill, rather than simply asking someone to construct a pre-made kit; they push for mastery instead of busywork. Sonia Lopes, one of Singh’s students at Leonard Library, echoed this sentiment. “He teaches like an artist, not like it’s arts and crafts,” the 56-year-old told me.

As recently as 20 years ago, this would have been considered a novel approach. “Historically, both science and culture in Western societies have focused exclusively on the negative sides of aging and ignored the positive,” wrote Gene D. Cohen, a pioneering geriatric psychiatrist, in the introduction to his 2005 book The Mature Mind. The prevailing belief was that getting older meant a decline in brain function and an inability to learn new things.

Cohen, however, challenged these assumptions with a series of groundbreaking experiments. In 2001, he received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to study 150 adults in Washington, D.C., aged 65 or over. The “arts group” met weekly for much of the year, participating in something akin to a college arts course that incorporated at-home practice and a final project; the control group did not take part in such a program.

After two years, the arts group reported better health, made fewer visits to the doctor, used fewer medications, felt less lonely and depressed, had higher morale, and were more socially active. Experiments conducted in Brooklyn and San Francisco showed similar results.

 

Courtesy of Space One Eleven Drawing Program, Birmingham, AL, and Aroha Philanthropies Seeding Vitality Arts U.S. Initiative. Courtesy of Space One Eleven Drawing Program, Birmingham, AL, and Aroha Philanthropies Seeding Vitality Arts U.S. Initiative.

These findings, published in 2006, laid the groundwork for the nascent field. Soon after, Maura O’Malley, a caregiver with a background in arts education, was asked to join a committee considering how creative aging might be implemented in New York’s Westchester County. While there, O’Malley reconnected with a previous acquaintance, Ed Friedman, then-deputy director of the Bronx Council on the Arts. Together, they identified a major issue: “There was essentially no infrastructure for developing and delivering arts programming for older adults,” explained O’Malley. It was difficult to find trained teaching artists, and even existing programs displayed ageism by assuming “that older adults are not creative or learners,” she noted.

So the pair founded Lifetime Arts in 2008, with O’Malley serving as CEO and Friedman as executive director. Today, they provide practical training and support that has allowed a wide range of community organizations to build up their own independent creative aging programs. But in their early years, they worked primarily with libraries, piggybacking off a system that already offered free resources to local communities. Most library programming for older adults at that time focused on topics like navigating credit cards or understanding Medicaid, said O’Malley—“all very important end-of-life issues,” she acknowledged. “But there was very little, if any, programming around learning or creativity or engagement, aside from the sort of one-shot deal, passive entertainment. You know, your macaroni-on-cardboard kind of stuff.”

Lifetime Arts also began to train teaching artists to work specifically with older adults. “The majority of teaching artists across the country are working in the K-12 arena, and have been for the past 40 years,” O’Malley said. (Singh, a longtime teaching artist, said he works primarily with children through Agnes Gund’s Studio in a School program.)

In fact, O’Malley points to children’s programming in libraries as a prototype for the creative aging movement. “Thirty to forty years ago, librarians weren’t particularly interested in having kids running around libraries,” she said. “And now, every library in the United States has storytime many times a week, and there is an enormous amount of professional development and program funding and advocacy around early literacy and public libraries.”

The Brooklyn Public Library’s creative aging program—of which Singh’s watercolor class was part—came about through a collaboration with Lifetime Arts that began in 2011. The program is now independently funded, making it “a kind of a model exemplar of the work that we want people to be able to do,” said O’Malley.

 

 Courtesy of Grafton County Senior Citizens Council Multimedia Program, New Hampshire, and Aroha Philanthropies Seeding Vitality Arts U.S. Initiative.

Courtesy of Grafton County Senior Citizens Council Multimedia Program, New Hampshire, and Aroha Philanthropies Seeding Vitality Arts U.S. Initiative.

The NCCA also offers training and resources for those institutions ready to embrace the benefits of creative aging. “We’re seeing it become more and more a part of the culture of community centers, of long-term care facilities,” Smith-Peers, the executive director, said. “It’s no longer an afterthought. The arts are what make these places for older adults a more interesting, meaningful place to engage in and to live in.”

A program called EngAGE is perhaps one of the most high-profile examples. Tim Carpenter, EngAGE’s founder and CEO, collaborated with Meta Housing to build several “artist colonies” across Southern California. These affordable apartment complexes feature a robust slate of art courses for residents, as well as dedicated studio and theater facilities.

Creative aging programs, O’Malley noted, can be roughly divided between those that focus on “lifelong learning” and those dedicated to therapeutic work. (Lifetime Arts focuses solely on learning.) Therapeutic work includes programs for people with dementia or Alzheimer’s. Museums are often involved in this work—Meet Me at MoMA, for example, has invited caregivers and dementia patients to the Museum of Modern Art in New York for tours, and has led to measurable benefits for participants.

Although the field of creative aging has undoubtedly grown since the early 2000s, both Smith-Peers and O’Malley noted that it’s still quite small. To keep up with the rapidly aging generation of baby boomers—between 2005 and 2030, the number of adults aged 65 and older will practically double, jumping from 37 million to 72 million—they will need more hands on deck.

 

Two creative aging program participants at a watercolor class held at a the Jefferson Market branch of the New York Public Library. Photo © Herb Scher. Courtesy of Lifetime Arts, Inc.

 Two creative aging program participants at a watercolor class held at a the Jefferson Market branch of the New York Public Library. Photo © Herb Scher. Courtesy of Lifetime Arts, Inc.

While there have been additional studies since Cohen’s original experiment, a 2013 report from the NEA identified problems with the academic literature. Samples are often “too small, nonrandom, and poorly defined,” there’s often no adequate control group, and it can be difficult to replicate the experiments.

“When you look at other fields, like expressive arts therapy, they’ve done a really good job at building a critical mass around their work and why it’s important and what it affects. I think we still have a little ways to go before we get to that space,” said Smith-Peers. “We need more research in the community wellness space and the public health space. How does our work affect the social determinants of health?”

But she’s certainly seen the benefits of these programs first-hand. During one of her first jobs in creative aging, with the Brooklyn-based program Elders Share the Arts, Smith-Peers recalls participants saying, “I can’t take that class, I have nothing to offer.”

“I would encourage them to try it once,” she said. “And then I would watch them come back the next week, and by the end, they stuck it out 12 weeks and had a portfolio of art and called themselves an artist.”

“I don’t think that that’s a singular event,” she continued. “So much of our world tells older people they can’t. And it’s not just in the arts. I think there’s so much ageism and isolation that when you walk into a space that says, ‘Yes, you can—and we’re going to show you how,’ it’s a breath of fresh air.”

By Abigail Cain

Artsy

Transformation


Fine art and fashion go hand in hand. Click here to see today’s latest fashion creation by Jan Kirstein. 

 

 

“Wild and Wicked 2” by Jan Kirstein. Click images to see enlargements.

 

Writing advice from Coco Chanel

by Elaine Bennett

 

Coco Chanel
Gabrielle Bonheur “Coco” Chanel in 1928, Public Domain,

No doubt you’ve heard of Coco Chanel, the French fashion designer who liberated women from stiff, formal clothing and popularized the still-ubiquitous “Little Black Dress.” Her fashion advice remains legendary—just Google “remove one accessory” and your screen will fill with blogs and articles quoting or misquoting her famous dictum

“Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.”

But while Chanel intended that as fashion advice, I think it works just as well for writers.

How many adverbs have you used? Surely you don’t need them all. And those adjectives—wouldn’t a few descriptive phrases enliven your work more?

Of course, before you can revise—your outfit or your writing—you have to create it first. Write until you’ve finished the draft. But before it “leaves the house,” give it a good once-over. Is every word, every sentence, necessary? If it isn’t—copy, cut, and paste. Slap it into the writer’s equivalent of a jewelry box, the Outtakes file.

More advice from Coco Chanel

“Take one thing off” may be Chanel’s most-quoted piece of advice. But I found another one I like quite a lot in this slideshow from Australian Vogue:

“In order to be irreplaceable one must be different.”

While we’re on the subject of revising, I’d lop off “In order” at the top of that sentence. But let’s not blame Chanel; perhaps it got added in translation.

“To be irreplaceable, one must be different.” I tell my writers a variation of this all the time. And my clients, too. They talk about subjects that thousands—millions—of people have already talked about: diversity, ethics, management. How can they differentiate themselves from the crowd? By weaving their own stories into the mix. No one else has had yourexperiences, has your perspective.

Make your communications irreplaceable—and your ideas memorable—by being your own, unique self. (Little Black Dress optional.)


Writing is just the first part of the process. Revising—that’s the secret sauce that gives your writing zing. Join my free webinar on revising.

 

 

 

 

How to Hang Your Wall Images


Thinking you might like to spice up your walls with a dash of creative spirit in the form of uplifting art, but finding all the choices for frames, mats, and hanging so baffling? Here are some helpful tips for hanging fine art in your home. Check out these suggestions, and maybe this will help clear the confusion!

 

Just click this photo to see this helpful Houzz article on tips for hanging art.

 

 

 

IMG_3680

To see how to select framing options, choose mats or to purchase click here.

 

IMG_3675

To see how to select framing options,choose mats or to purchase click here.

 

img_3733

To see how to select framing options,choose mats or to purchase click here.

 

 

To see more images like these,  click here to look around Fine Art America to see more of my works, by Jan Kirstein, or look over the whole website to see many other artists’ works as well! Enjoy your visit.

Give Yourself Permission to Create


So often, permission to create is denied to us through a variety of societal restraints as well as self imposed restrictions of judgements and insecurities. To create is a right you are born to fulfill. And what better way to begin creating than in an unlined journal. Write your thoughts and add your sketches. You deserve the right to find your voice.

Jan Kirstein

20% discount https://kirsteinfineart.myshopify.com/discount/BFCM17

20% discount https://kirsteinfineart.myshopify.com/discount/BFCM17

20% discount https://kirsteinfineart.myshopify.com/discount/BFCM17

Enhancing Creativity and Insight with Meditation and Stones


 

 

 

Meditation is known to enhance creativity and intuition and can be further accelerated with the use of specific stones and crystals. This article by ben-tiger describes The 12 Synergy Stones used in meditation to raise awareness and induce enlightenment.

Article By Ben-Tiger

Synergy Crystals are a special collection of Meteorites/Tektites and Crystals known to have very high influence on the energies of the human body. When used together in conjunction with each other they create a spectrum of energy very beneficial to the mind, body, and soul.
They will help raise your vibration, activate all of your latent psychic abilities, put you in touch with your spiritual guidance & higher self, and much more! Simply being in the presence these 12 stones will begin to increase your vibration. To feel experience the most powerful effects of the synergy 12, it is suggested to meditate with each Stone individually occasionally, as well as meditating with the entire collection.

 

1 – MOLDAVITE
187c3540-1d33-4213-8d8a-a963790a20cf-3064-0000029f67eb3d98_tmp

“The Fast Forwarding Stone”
Considered one of the most powerful crystals. Moldavite is a meteorite with perhaps the most intricate history associated with it. As a stone that fell from the sky it is often seen as a gem that feel out of the crown of an angel. Moldavite’s properties are considered “other worldly” as it contains the essence of star dust and space. Facilitates strong, clear, and direct interdimensional interconnectedness between ones consciousness and the higher planes of light.

 

2 – PHENACITE


“Adaptability Crystal”
Phenacite has gained its name by often growing in the geometric shape and pattern of many other crystals. It specializes in giving one the ability to harmonize with other forms of self. It is known to assist with “Alignment” allowing the abilities of the invisible Chakras to be obtained. Phenacite is excellent to use for nerve damage, brain imbalances, brain damage and genetic disorders that limit brain function.

 
3 – BROOKITE

“Bridge Crystal”
It is an ascension stone, helping one increase the vibratory frequency of the physical body. Enhances psychic communication and connection to extraterestrial beings. Helps one feel present in the body as a spiritual being. Encourages one to focus on the now instead of striving for some ephemeral future reality. It assists in processing of electromagnetic energy and encourages healthy adaptations to Light energy on a cellular level.

 
4 – DANBURITE

“The DNA Crystal”
Excellent for connecting with Angelic entities and energies. Can help release grief, intense fear and anxiety, resentment or anger…soothes the emotional body. Allows one to experience immersion in the realm of Spirit and the full opening of the heart to Divine Source, so one may become a conduit for this frequency on the planet. Especially useful in these times , as we are asked to expand our hearts and carry a more aligned vibration.

 
5 – AZEZTULITE

“The Center of the Earth”
Second to only Moldavite when it comes to the lure surrounding this crystal. Made popular by a group of psychics claiming to channel a group of inner earth beings known as the Azez it has been often seen as one of the highest vibratory crystals. It is attuned to higher vibrational domains and fills one’s energy body with spiritual Light, and allows one to be a beacon of serenity which seems invulnerable to the turbulence of daily life.

 

6 – NATROLITE

“The Purification”
Natrolite crystal is a zeolite known to actually assist with the physical cleansing of the body. Many have reported sensation of feeling lighter and a floating off feeling once using Natrolite. Natrolite reduces physical swelling and water retention while also working to remove any fear one may have of water.

 

7 – HERDERITE


“Brain Crystal”
Used to increase communication in the various regions of the head mainly the frontal lob. Herderite boosts abilities related to extracting information from invisible phenomena. This is also know as being Psychic. Herderite is also a crystal that can amplify its rare strength by being combined with other crystals. This makes it a perfect match for the synergy crystal set. Herderite specializes in dealing with behavioral issues as it promotes leadership.

 

8 – SCOLECITE

“The Connectivity”
Scolecite is a stone of kindness, gentleness, & non-reaction. It invites interaction with other peace loving beings helps support proper serotonin levels. It brings a sense of peace and calm when one is distraught. Seen as a crystal that has the ability to connect and network the paths of the innerself with the proper “tubular etheric connections” the body is familiar with.

 

9 – TANZANITE

“The New Beginning”
Found in only one place in the world, Mount Kilamanjaro Africa. It is also considered a precious stone and often used in some of the most expensive jewelry due to its beauty. The occurance which forms Tanzanite is known to be 1000x more rare than that of a diamond. Tanzanite’s metaphysical properties consist of energy related to clarity, newness, life, and freshness. It blue color is often associated with the Sky and the Ocean the birthing pools of most if not all organic life.

 

10 – PETALITE

“The Dispeller”
Can be used to enhance one’s sense of connection to All-That-Is and help one embody that consciousness even after meditative practice has ended. It assists in opening the third-eye and crown chakras and can stimulated higher perceptions. Petalite is soothing and healing for the emotional body. Particularly valuable for overcoming abuse/victim patterns and brings a frequency of calm self-acceptance and self-love. It can be used for ADD, ADHD, excessive worry or stress.

 

11 – TIBETAN TEKTITE

“Ground Control”
Provides for thought transmission between the physical realm and the location of origination of the stone. Helps to Raise one’s vibrational level. These meteorites are often used to strengthen the energy fields of the body while allowing one to remain grounded in their experience.

 

12 – SATYALOKA QUARTZ

“The Antenna”
Connected with extremely high vibrations it serves to assist the user with ridding themselves of old stagnant frequencies. This has an effect of propelling a person out of an old environment and state of consciousness in to greater expanses. Satyloka also increases our bodies “spiritual antenna” allowing us to be much more perceptive of a subtle energies and forces.

 

This is just an overview of some of the stones that can be used in meditation. To learn more, go to the ben-tiger website: http://www.aruarian.com/the-synergy-12-stones-rare-combination-of-crystals-for-higher-vibration/

 

 

 

To coincide with this feature on stones and meditation, I am introducing a line of yoga pants by KIRSTEINFINEART at:  https://www.redbubble.com/people/janiskirstein/shop/leggings?ref=shop_product_refinement&asc=u