Monday #24: Groundhog Day

There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age. ~Sophia Loren

This week I am working at a school in Miami and staying with my good friend, Rowena. On Saturday, she and I (although, truthfully, barely I since it was truly her idea and really all I did was show up!) organized an impromptu “art party.” As a teacher by day and a closet artist on the side, Rowena has gobs of art supplies–good ones, too! She’s got a crazy variety that makes the artist in me feel like a kid in a candy shop. She thought it would be fun to invite over some fun people and have fun with art. Was I in? You bet.

Art Supplies Miami 2013

We put out a bunch of groovy art stuff, Rowena made a fabulous fruit salad and then we waited for the good time to begin.


One of our guests was the effervescent Rogina Bolt, teacher by day and…. are you ready for this? Trapeze artist on the side! Rogina, because she is just that way, brought along her silks and, upon arriving, assessed the backyard for the tallest, sturdiest tree.


Then, she gave us all lessons in silk-hanging, or dangling, or whatever you call it. It was challenging but super fun! She’s pretty awesome at it and it was a real treat to watch her do her thing. Even better, though, she made us all feel a little bit like we could be in Cirque du Soleil.


Yeah, that’s me in that picture and, boy, was I feeling it the next day!


Other guests arrived with large canvases in tow, as well as more boxes of brushes and paints and, before long, everyone was about to give something a try… everyone!

843007_10200605480886185_1265422735_oOff to one side, I began working on the beginnings of an “intuitive painting” with anyone who wanted to make a mark. Collaborative painting brings people out of their self-conscious shells and helps them to muster up the courage to plop down some paint.

P1020007We all added to the painting and it continued to evolve. As the sun set and the night air began to give everyone a bit of a chill, the party dissipated and people said their good-byes. My host and her partner made me a lovely dinner and we toasted to a great afternoon. The next day, people called and texted to say how good it felt to do new things, to experience creativity and to be shown the way by others.

Dar Painting in MiamiAfterwards, I continued to work on the painting and took great pleasure in the energy of many behind my hand as I pulled out the images. As I remembered the entire afternoon, I was thinking… what if we brought our skills and talents to a party like a covered dish of guacamole or a tray of crudité? What if we knew more about what the people around us did for fun? Wouldn’t it be the greatest kindness to give and receive these kinds of gifts?  And, although I’m not thinking much about it here in The Sunshine State, I hear the groundhog has good news for those of us in the more wintery states.

TRY THIS WEEK: Think about what your impromptu party-goers would do?

About Dar Hosta James

I am an artist living in New Jersey. I write and illustrate children's books, paint, draw, blog, coach, teach and speak about creativity.
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5 Responses to Monday #24: Groundhog Day

  1. Sounds and looks like a fabulous day flowing with creativity. I love those paintings!

  2. Allen says:

    It’s so good to read about you loving life so much lately, Dar. You are an inspirational breath of fresh air.
    Regarding your question about what if we knew what people around us do for fun:
    Sometimes people just have so much baggage that they have a hard time getting started on relaxing during a massage. Often they will begin talking of what is bothering them or this or that negative stress inducing diatribe. Oft times I will interrupt them and ask them what one of their favorite things is they like to do. It’s amazing how much their muscles relax under my hands when they begin thinking happier thoughts. Yes, the fountain of youth truly lies within.

    Enjoy the Day,

    • Oh, Allen…. you are always an inspiration to be around and I do not doubt that you can bring people down from their anxiousness and worry states with a few softly spoken questions and a gentle touch. Come to think of it, YOU would have been a perfect guest at this creativity party!!!

  3. Pingback: Monday #26: Heart First Approach | Dar's 52 Mondays Blog

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