Big Magic & Intracranial Jewelry-Making

abstract pink floral watercolor 10 x 14 Arches 300 lb cold press

abstract pink floral watercolor 10 x 14 Arches 300 lb cold press

I have been so inspired lately by a book I am listening to on Audible during those precious 30 minutes a day I spend on the elliptical or treadmill early in the morning at the gym.  Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, by Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat, Pray, Love) was recommended to me by Dawn, a blogging friend who shares her own beautiful creativity at Petals. Paper, Simple Thymes.  I am so glad I took her advice and got it!  And it is such a joy to listen to it read by author Elizabeth herself with all the passion and inflection she adds throughout.

I want to share an excerpt with you that hit a chord with me the other morning (and there are many of these!)  During this excerpt, Gilbert is sharing about a time she interviewed musician Tom Waits for GQ Magazine.  I loved everything he had to say to her and she wrote about him, but I want to share this little piece in particular:

“Over the years, Tom Waits finally found his sense of permission to deal with his creativity more lightly – without so much drama – without so much fear.  A lot of this lightness, Waits said, came from watching his children grow up and seeing their total freedom of creative expression.  He noticed that his children felt fully entitled to make up songs all the time, and when they were done with them, they would toss them out ‘like little origami things, or paper airplanes.’  Then they would sing the next song that came through the channel.  They never seemed to worry that the flow of ideas would dry up.   They never stressed about their creativity, and they never competed against themselves; they merely lived within their inspiration, comfortable and unquestioning.

Waits had once been the opposite of that as a creator.  He told me that he’d struggled deeply with his creativity in his youth because – like many serious young men – he wanted his work to be better than other people’s work.  He wanted to be complex and intense.  There was anguish, there was torment, there was drinking, there were dark nights of the soul.  He was lost in the cult of artistic suffering, but he called that suffering by another name: dedication.

But through watching his children create so freely, Waits had an epiphany: it wasn’t actually that big a deal.  He told me, ‘I realized as a songwriter, the only thing I really do is make jewelry for the inside of other people’s minds.’  Music is nothing more than decoration for the imagination.  That’s all it is.  That realization, Waits said, seemed to open things up for him.  Songwriting became less painful after that.

Intracranial jewelry-making!  What a cool job!”

Does that strike you like it does me?  So with this newfound creative freedom floating through my cranium, I splashed some paint around this weekend that resulted in this.  Here is some of my “intracranial jewelry” to share.

abstract pink floral watercolor 10 x 14 Arches 300 lb cold press matted and framed

abstract pink floral watercolor 10 x 14 Arches 300 lb cold press matted and framed to 19 x 23

Cheers & Hugs,

79 thoughts on “Big Magic & Intracranial Jewelry-Making

  1. such a lovely and lively floral! and, in my mind I can hear a “Ta da!!” after the final stroke went on 🙂
    The words of Tom Waits I feel so profoundly. Ever since I first started to teach, won’t tell you when, lol! I have endeavored to inspire that kind of ‘Feeling’ from the class. to paint with sheer freedom! mess ups, are OK. I really loved this post Jodi.

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  2. Beautiful…. and what a great description: Intracranial jewelry-making.

    It’s three words which (in this circumstance) your eyes read, your brain passes over so that it can understand but then goes on to the ‘next thing’. However … if you allow your brain to sit with those three words for a moment . . . let them kind of sink slowly into your thinking, all of a sudden they kind of begin to grow like a vine and spread. And it’s that spreading, where the total BIG understanding comes from. At least … it did for me. It popped open doors in places that I didn’t know where shut.

    Love it.
    Thanks for the share ~ Cobs.

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  3. Jodi, This is unbelievable….because I just received Big Magic in the mail a couple of days ago and love it already! We have so much in common so I’m so happy we connected here. Love the painting, so cheery and beautiful.❤️

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  4. Oh, Jodi! I’m so happy that you are enjoying Big Magic as much as I am! Such a wonderful, poignant quote! This one makes me think of you, Jodi,… “Work with all your heart, because – I promise – if you show up for your work day after day after day after day, you just might get lucky enough some random morning to burst right into bloom.” This certainly describes your path to watercoloring! Today’s gorgeous, abstract blossom is proof positive! Absolutely gorgeous! Thank you so much for the link, dear Jodi! Happy painting! ♡

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    • I am so so happy you recommended the book, Dawn – and in Audible format! I love listening to Elizabeth read it with such passion and gusto! I will be so sad when it is done – I may just start over from the beginning again! And I never do that! 🙂 I have “clipped” several quotes already. What a sweet remark from you about the quote that reminds you of me. Thanks for making my day!!!! 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • It was my only request for Christmas. When Eat, Pray, Love came out, I wanted to hate it. Everyone was talking about it and everyone was reading it and I truly wanted to not be like everyone else. Someone gave it to me as a gift and I cracked it open only to find that in fact I loved every minute of it. Sometimes I couldn’t quite relate to her, but overall, I found it to be some really good writing with humor and humble bits of wisdom that I truly enjoyed. Since then, I have read everything she’s written and was in awe of her TED talk. She’s just great.

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      • Such a simple request you had. Does not surprise me. i love your soul 🙂 I know what you mean about the book – felt the same way – and pretty much fell in love with it. I’ll have to listen to her TED talk – I always enjoy those. Thanks for letting me know about it.

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    • So sweet to hear from you Char! And thanks also for spreading the word about our ETSY shop on FB! That is so kind of you! Colleen has been busy making so really cute signs this past week or so. Just love them! (And her <3) 🙂 and YOU! Thanks my friend!!


  5. Beautiful flower.
    It’s always sad when a child suddenly realizes people are judging their creations, that they don’t measure up to some invisible standard. We need to learn as adults to take what is given in the same spirit of creative joy too I think.
    Thanks for sharing the insight! (K)

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  6. As soon as I read “Intracranial Jewelry-Making” in the title I KNEW this would be a great and interesting post. I really enjoyed the excerpt with Tom Waits. What an amazing way to describe the creativity process. Thank you so much for sharing both the excerpt and your beautiful artwork with us. xoxo ❤

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  7. Something like you have pictured above looks like Watercolor? If I was allot more creative, I could probably do that with my Paint Shop Pro program that I use to edit my Images. It is rather nice. Stay cool out there, Jodie, and be well.

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  8. What a beautiful watercolor painting Jodi! It’s great to get inspiration and actually do something with the inspiration! Can you believe I’d never heard of Tom Waits until this post…I played a few of his songs from YouTube and they’re pretty good…he’s got an interesting voice and a great point of view in that little clip above….thanks for sharing! 🙂

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  9. Lovely painting this morning! This may now be my favorite:) You have a wonderful talent, thank you for sharing😘
    Have you ever read a book I recently enjoyed -‘Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake’ by Anna Quindland-?

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  10. You create beautiful art, especially when you indulge in your creative freedom! That quote really resonated with me as well. It’s what I’m trying to come to grips with in calling myself a writer, simply because I enjoy writing, rather than waiting for commercial success. I think children understand intuitively that we are all creators, but as we age we begin to narrow the definition of what it means to be creative, and have very strict limits on what we think of as an artist, a writer, etc. And you are right, we need to get back to that childlike mentality!

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  11. Oh Jodi this splash of watercolors is beautiful I see that your Intracranial jewelry-making give great results! This is a great post and I love Big Magic it is a wonderful book! For me when I paint quickly without thinking and totally free without fears and worries about the turn out I get the best work! 🙂 ❤

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