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OUTLET ZINE EDITOR Sarah Richardson sarah@outletzine. com COVER ILLUSTRATION Zac Holmes www. zholmesillus. com

SUBMISSIONS You may submit manuscripts, art, photographs, j ournal pages to be considered as in issue contributor. Refer to outletzine. com and facebook. com/OutletZine for individual issue themes. We will contact you for more information should we accept your submissions. By submitting your work, you are also giving Outlet Zine permission to use your work on our website, on our Facebook Page or in the zine at any time. Send all submissions to submissions@outletzine. com.

ACTIVITIES AND DISCUSSION

Each issue of Outlet Zine will feature apportunities for collaboration. Themes will be announced in the current issue, on the website and on our Facebook Page. We will feature a photo montage of all activity

GRAPHIC DESIGN Megan E. Evans http: //www. evermeg. com/blog/ ADVERTISING INQUIRIES advertising@outletzine. com GENERAL INQUIRIES info@outletzine. com

submissions in the zine. We can accept digital photos of your contribution up to one month prior to the issue publication date. To protect your privacy please turn off the location setting on your camera or phone. We will pick two or three responses to the issue discussion topic for each issue. By submitting your pictures and responses, you are also giving Outlet Zine permission to use your pictures on our website, on our Facebook Page or in the zine at any time. Send all pictures to submissions@outletzine. com with the theme title in the subj ect line. QUESTIONS To submit a question for our Sex, Spirituality and Creativity columnist, Fran Gallaher, send your question to pluggedin@outletzine. com six weeks prior to issue publication date.

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IN THIS ISSUE

Gratitude Letter from the Editor Writer Biographies Themed Activity Reader Response Collaboration Plugged In DIY Guerilla Gardening Inspiration Journal Exercise App Review Get Started with Knitting Dress The Part The Practice of Presence Collage Why Do You Need An Outlet? Journal Page Why I . . . Paint

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GIVE THE GIFT OF OUTLET Outlet is the perfect gift for someone you love--that includes yourself! Subscribe to a full year of Outlet, four issues, for j ust $25. You' ll receive: Issue Issue Issue Issue

#2 #3 #4 #5

" Find Yourself" " Get Physical" " The Dude Issue" " Look Inside"

Bonus for Issue #1 subscribers. Convert your subscription to a paid one year subscription and receive a collectible embroidered " Charter Member" patch. Offer good until midnight on March 15th, 2013. Visit www. outletzine. com/shop/ to keep Outlet Zine coming! 4 | OUTLET WI NTER 2 0 1 2


What' s coming in Issue #2? DIY Mixed Media Journal Five Step Plan for Creative Thinking Get Started With Cooking Find the Courage to Fail Plugged In, Fran Gallaher' s " no question goes unanswered" advice column

Convert your Issue #1 subscription now to read all about it. www. outletzine. com

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GRATITUDE This Zine would not be possible without the interest, kind words, support and encouragement of my dear friends: Thank you Andy for supporting me from the very beginning--even when you didn' t really get what I was doing. It' s exactly this kind of unconditional support that makes me love you beyond words. And thank you for the detail work you provided at the end by proofreading the finished Zine. Thank you Michael for listening to me talk about this proj ect. Your interest has helped me learn how to tell the story. Thanks also for providing key images for this issue. Thank you Lisa for your excitement and enthusiasm—and for taking me to the Yves St. Laurent exhibit. Every day I know you I am thankful I heard your “Om” in yoga class and booked a massage. How long has it been now? Twelve years? Here' s to the next twelve. Thank you contributors! You have blown me away by your artistic talent. You have inspired, motivated, guided, cheered and advised me. I am grateful to be surrounded by such interesting and talented people—Zac, Megan, Catherine, Allegra, Cynthia, Fran, Dawn, Michael and Pat. The great thing about editing Outlet is I get to read your work over and over. And now I get to share it with everyone else. This has been a fantastic j ourney. j ourney is over yet.

And I don' t believe the

The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination. Don Williams

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I began 2012 with an ambitious goal--write a book. Before there was time to blink a third of the year had passed. Even though I’ d given my book proj ect a lot of thought I had nothing on paper and it felt like time was slipping away. Then one day, it hit me. A completed book is static while a magazine contains fresh, dynamic and varied content. Instead of writing a book I would start a zine. The exact date the lightning struck is etched in my mind. I was attending a gallery retrospective of the fashion career of Yves St. Laurent. Inspiration came in a creatively rich setting. The energy surging around that space must have electrified my muse. And my new year’ s goal put me in the right frame of mind to listen and to trust. I’ ve been fascinated with zines, self-published magazines with non-traditional content, since the late 90’ s when I subscribed to Teesha Moore’ s first publication, The Studio Zine. The black and white zine blew my mind with photos of Teesha’ s personal j ournal pages, musings on an unlimited variety of subj ects and a tremendous volume of artist’ s submissions. Soon after I subscribed to more art-themed zines like Pisces Rising, Dog-

Eared Magazine and ARTitude Zine. Later Teesha went on to create two more full-colored, zines, PLAY and Art and Life which I eagerly devoured when they arrived in my mailbox. That anticipation is exactly the feeling I want to capture with Outlet Zine. Outlet’ s subj ect is dear to my heart. While writing for my creativity blog, Beyond Do Re Mi I noticed something curious. Even though my career in music is a creative field it often feels more like a j ob and less like food for my soul. I needed something else--an outlet. Once I made that connection I looked beyond myself and saw similarities in my circle of musician colleagues and friends. The realization that outlets are necessary for everyone is the inspiration for this zine. It' s a place to share our outlets.

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CONTRIBUTORS Allegra Wermuth - Allegra Wermuth is Assistant Principal second violin of the Colorado Symphony. She runs a private teaching studio and is co-editor of the online knitting magazine Petite Purls. She lives with her daughter outside of Denver, Colorado. Catherine Beeson is a professional classical violist and violinist. When she’ s not curating and restoring great masterworks of the 17th20th centuries or shlepping her kids around to every suburban kid activity under the sun you can find her whipping up some new random tasty thing in the kitchen, longing to compete in roller derby (GO LUMBER JILLS! ) , or dreaming up new and more fun ways to teach school kids how to manipulate music the way they would if it was clay, finger paint, or food. Occasionally she hurls water balloons filled with seeds somewhere in need of color and then waits a really long time. Fran Gallaher is a Meditation Coach & Soul Guide, a speaker and a presenter. " Fran uses her highly developed sense of intuition to recognize personal, creative and leadership potential in her clients while assisting them in developing their intuition and purpose as well as a soul-directed path toward their most passionate, genuine and charismatic expression. Fran is unique in that she assists her clients in decoding their own experience by clarifying emotions, intuitions and desires, as well as conducting highly personal, dynamic and transformational visualizations and meditations as part of her sessions. To receive individual coaching from Fran or to have Fran speak to your small or large group, please call or email Fran today: 303 722 5115 fran@lightways. net www. lightways. net.

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Cynthia Robinson has played first violin with the Colorado Springs Symphony-Philharmonic since 1980. During that time she also enj oyed performing with celebrities in Colorado Springs and Denver, at Fiddler' s Green, the Pepsi Center, the World Arena, and at the Red Rocks outdoor amphitheatre. She also enj oys playing many ‘ gigs’ each week, up and down the front range. She also loves being the violinist for the musicals at the Fine Arts Center with her j azz buddies in the pit band, and playing gypsy j azz, celtic, medieval and classic rock favorites with her guitarist friends at local restaurants, churches, retirement homes, for private parties and weddings. She teaches instrumental music at the Fountain Valley School of Colorado and performs with Hausmusik String Quartet in large private homes around our city and in Woodland Park. She received her B. S. B. A. degree from the University of Denver, and in her spare time enj oys photography, playing electric violin in Manitou Springs, quilting and painting. She' s hoping to get back to riding her 1994 Harley-Davidson 1200 Sportster Hugger as soon as things slow down a little bit. Megan Evans helps entrepreneurs, small businesses, “book people” and nonprofit organizations share their stories and get results through graphic and web design and illustration. Originally a Kentuckian, Megan now lives near Denver, Colorado (j ust shy of the Rocky Mountains) . She is also a writer (and reader) of fiction and is writing her second novel. Pat Kay is a student who writes a fashion blog, Pat Kay Bites and creates sets for Polyvore in her spare time. She likes the band " Queen" and cats.

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Dawn Herring is a writer, artist, and host of #JournalChat Live for all things j ournaling on Twitter. She is the author of The Birthday Wall: Create a Collage to Celebrate Your Child, a how-to on creating a visual collage birthday gift to celebrate your child' s unique personality, a family tradition she has kept with her two daughters. he encourages folks to refresh themselves daily to enhance their personal power and to be true to their authentic selves through her weekly Refresh Journal and her blog, Refresh with Dawn Herring. One of her passions is j ournal writing; she enj oys sharing information about the benefits and techniques of j ournaling on the social networks and discusses these benefits with a new topic each week as host of #JournalChat Live on Thursdays, 5 EST/2 PST, on Twitter. She enj oys painting with watercolor, art j ournaling and collage, and reading inspiring, motivating texts. She is the mother of two grown daughters, grandma of one grandboy and is the cat owner of a furry female feline named Sophie. You can reach Dawn through her website, www. dawnherring. net, or by email at j ournalwriter@sbcglobal. net. Zac Holmes, our cover illustrator, is a recent graduate of The Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design where he maj ored in Illustration. To see more of his work or inquire about freelance illustration go to zholmesillus. com.

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CHALK WELCOME MATS

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READER RESPONSE Question: Do you really need an outlet? Response: The first thing I thought was 'The WORLD really needs you to have an outlet'. We often think about creativity as a selfish thing, you know, something to do in our 'spare time' just for ourselves. But think about it, creativity is all around us. Literally every human made object you see was once an idea in somebody's head. nothing more than a thought. Without an outlet, they would have remained that way. Creative people create the world around us. The more people participate in this creation, the more rich our world will be. The more people share and explore their creativity, the more full, actualized beings we have to create our society, environment and the systems we live in. This can only be a good thing, right?

Jani Franck

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Image from ArtChix Studio

Every concept from female emancipation to sending people into space was once


COLLABORATION ACTIVITIES Each issue of Outlet Zine will feature apportunities for reader collaboration. Themes will be announced in the current issue, on the website and on our Facebook Page. We will feature a photo montage of all activities submissions in the zine. We can accept digital photos of your contribution up to one month prior to the issue publication date. To protect your privacy please turn off the location setting on your camera or phone. By submitting your pictures, you are also

giving Outlet Zine permission to use them on our website, on our Facebook Page or in the zine at any time. Send your photos to submissions@outletzine. com with the theme in the subj ect line. RESPONSES

We will pick two or three responses to the current topic for each issue. By submitting your responses, you are also giving Outlet Zine permission to use them on our website, on our Facebook Page or in the zine at any time. Send all responses to submissions@outletzine. com with the theme title in the subj ect line.

DISCUSSION Would you like to comment on a response or anything else in Outlet Zine? We' d like your voice to be heard as well. Please comment, agree, refute on the website forum or on our Facebook Page. Or send your comment to submissions@outletzine. com. Be sure to include the issue number and topic in the subj ect line. ISSUE #2 TOPIC: PROCRASTINATION Procrastinating keeps us from the things we really want to do. We expend so much energy postponing tasks that never get to satisfying parts of life. Have you found a way to combat procrastination? Share your secrets at submissions@outletzine. com. ISSUE #2 ACTIVITY: LOVE NOTE TO YOURSELF Write a love poem, make a valentine or decorate an envelope that contains a top secret message--for yourself. These are suggestion; not rules. We' d like to encourage all your spontaneous outbursts of affection for yourself in whatever form they happen to appear. Send photos of your love notes to submissions@outletzine. com ISSUE #1 Many thanks for your submissions to Issue #1. In many cases the wonderful welcome mats were created by my friends. Thank you for shouldering the responsibility for the first issue' s activity. I hope you had fun in spite of all my nudging. You are very dear to me. OUTLET WI NTER 2 0 1 2 | 15


PLUGGED IN:

Sex, Spirituality & Creativity as Outlets for the Soul by Fran Gallaher

OUTLET is launching my advice column—this column—in its inaugural issue. In these not-so-dusty pages I will answer your questions about sex, spirituality and creativity as outlets for you and for your soul. I’ ve worked with all kinds of people with all kinds of challenges for more than 25 years, first as an intuitive, then as an Executive Coach and now as a Meditation Coach and Soul Guide. When I work with my clients I feel as if I am part diviner, as in those people who carry a forked branch and look for water deep within the earth, looking for the areas of greatest flow in someone’ s life or the areas of potential flow; part channeler, channeling the soul; and part visionary, visioning, along with my client, the life that would provide them with the greatest amount of passion, purpose and fulfillment. Over and over again, my experience of guidance has lead me to the areas of sex, spirituality and creativity. These areas, when flowing, generate the greatest amount of aliveness and healing, passion and purpose, and lead to the greatest fulfillment. Perhaps because of this tremendous aliveness these three areas of life, sex, spirituality and creativity, are also the most heavily conditioned areas of experience in our culture. We are told what we can and cannot do in these areas from the first time we put a hand down into our diaper, ask a question about God or about good or bad people, or pick up a crayon. Some of us explore these areas during adolescence; few of us continue that exploration. If we do return to our explorations, we will encounter that inner critic, the agent of social conditioning, otherwise known as the superego. The first j ob is to recognize what is called a superego attack, 16 | OUTLET WI NTER 2 0 1 2


that buzz kill that comes when you, perhaps innocently, question the conditioning you have received. Why do we limit pleasure? Why must there be an intermediary between us and God? Does the art we explore have to be perfect every time? The second j ob is to notice if we really need a buzz kill. And do we agree with our superego? Does shame really need to come down upon us because we’ re asking questions or trying out a new idea or technique (in any of these areas) ? The third j ob is to learn to defend against the superego. There are many ways to do so, and the many ways we can defend (against the superego) may come up as I attempt to answer your question. The most important defense I have discovered so far is the one I have discovered for myself: I realize that I don’ t need to be shamed, by myself or anyone else, in order to do what I determine is right. Right for me, right for someone else, right for the situation.

Questions For the inaugural question I offer here two questions that I made up as a kind of composite question I have received over, lo, these many years, in one form or another, in my work. Please, dear readers, send your original questions to me, Fran Gallaher, at info@outletzine. com. I will be able to read and answer those questions I receive six to eight weeks before the publication date (March 15th is the next publication date) . In the meantime, here are my made up, most common, questions.

Common Question #1: My husband/wife/girlfriend/boyfriend/partner has decided he/she will no longer participate in sex at all/certain types of sexual activities/sex on Fridays or whatever day of the week, time of the month, location in space, location in/on their body or mine, location relative to me/location relative to someone else, etc. etc. What do I do? Am I wrong to want the type of sex they have decided against?

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If you are in a committed relationship then your husband/wife/girlfriend/boyfriend/partner HAS NO RIGHT TO MAKE A UNILATERAL DECISION. PERIOD. Your husband/wife/girlfriend/boyfriend/partner needs to INITIATE A DISCUSSION WITH YOU that might, at some point, produce an, ahem, pause, then another ahem, BILATERAL decision. The other person (I’ m tired of writing that string of roles separated by slash marks) can say what their preference or problem or challenge is and then OFFER it up for DISCUSSION. WITH YOU. Because that’ s what a relationship IS. It is not a forum whereby unilateral decisions are offered up as LAW. Instead, the whole point of a relationship is to decide TOGETHER what to do when one or both persons has a need or a desire that involves or impacts both people. If the person you are with is incapable of having a discussion or incapable of coming up with a fair decision about what to do then that person is, wait for it… wait for it… INCAPABLE OF BEING IN A RELATIONSHIP AND SHOULD BE RELEASED FROM ANY SUCH COMMITMENT FOR YOUR HEALTH AND WELLBEING AND THEIRS. It is only because of the shame that our culture has visited upon us and insisted on that any member of a so-called relationship EVER has to deal with another person making a decision that affects both members of the partnership. One partner ends up feeling shame because their needs and desires are in conflict with the needs and desires of another. If one partner is truly no longer interested in one sexual pleasure or any type of sexual pleasure then they are morally required to exempt themselves from partner agreement rather than expect or demand that adhere to their new austerity program.

type of I believe the COMMITTED their partner

There. I said it. It is cruel and it is abusive to expect that another person give up certain sexual needs or practices because one person has decided it should be so.

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Common Question #2 I want to explore creativity (or athleticism) (or whatever) in some way that does not interest my partner. I want to hang out in a coffee shop and j ournal or take singing lessons or take a writing class or learn to knit or go fishing or go to the zoo or go to the theater or go to an art museum or stand out in a field or go hiking or run a 5k or buy new running shoes (even though I haven’ t gone running yet) or WHATEVER and my partner (or best friend or family member or entire family or neighbor or entire church community) thinks it’ s silly/boring/unnecessary/unreasonably expensive/dumb/unnecessary (I know I said that before but it’ s worth repeating because it’ s the ultimate criticism) or says that I don’ t have talent or I never seemed to want to do that before or I never did it before or they didn’ t know I wanted to do it or I never said anything about it before or no one in their family or mine has ever wanted to do that or everything has seemed fine until now or what has that new friend been saying to you or WHATEVER. What do I do? Go ahead and do it. Yes. Your partner will get over it. OR It will make you famous and rich and you won’ t want or need your partner any more or your partner won’ t want or need you any more. OR You will die if you don’ t do it. OR You will discover, as you die, that it was, really and truly, the cause of your death. Really. Just do it. If it won’ t harm anyone but might make someone, like your partner, uncomfortable or pissed off, and you are sure that’ s not the reason you are wanting to do it, and it also is challenging enough for you to produce a little discomfort for you, too, but, again, won’ t harm you or them or violate your agreement of commitment, then…DO IT. I await your questions. OUTLET WI NTER 2 0 1 2 | 19


DIY GUERILLA GARDENING By Catherine Beeson

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G

uerrilla Gardeners, Resistance Gardeners, Green Ninjas, whatever the title it all amounts to the same thing ‐ making those neglected spaces in our cities greener and more creatively driven.   I can’t remember what I was looking for when I stumbled across this movement several years ago, but it was the perfect distraction from my not so perfect work life.  I’m in what people think of as a creative field but in fact it’s pretty darn conservative with loads of rules both written and unwritten.  This was exactly the kind of subversive creativity a suburban mom could get behind!! Here’s Wikipedia’s definition: Guerrilla gardening is gardening on land that the gardeners do not have legal right to use, often an abandoned site or area not cared for by anyone.  Sounds illegal, and technically I suppose it is.  But there are so many grey areas here.  I went for it!  The guerrilla gardening movement appears to have started in the 70’s in New York with the Green Guerrillas (check out greenguerrillas.org) but the term was coined well after our most famous American guerrilla gardener Johnny Appleseed was doing his thing.  I perused the very informative site by Richard Reynolds guerrillagardening.org (who also has a book entitled “On Guerrilla Gardening” published in 2008) and found two basic categories of guerrilla gardening.  One requires a serious time commitment.  Soil preparation, usually a nighttime “attack” with a team, and repeated trips back to the site for maintenance.  The other was more my speed.  Random “bombings” of places that need a bit of wildflower TLC.  I recently ran

this idea by my kids.  My excellent daughter immediately said “That sounds like the book ‘Miss Rumphius’!”  (Written and illustrated by Barbara Cooney in 1982, ‘Miss Rumphius’ describes the title character’s travels collecting seeds before returning home to sow them making “the world more beautiful”.)  Would she and her brother be interested in making and dispersing water balloon seed bombs as a Saturday activity?  I didn’t have to ask twice.  We had a ton of fun, ended up conscripting a small militia of Green Ninjas, and are now eagerly awaiting the results. Here’s how we did it. First, we thought of an area that needed some attention. We picked one that we were likely to pass by throughout the year so we could keep an eye on it. In this case it was an open space along a highway with an access road that we take to get to school. Next I researched native wildflowers that would be perfectly happy to spring up with nearly no attention. I also wanted perennials and it was important to all of us that at least some of these should promote healthy bee activity. For our seed bombs we decided on water balloons. It’s so great that the balloon industry has caved to public pressure and been using natural latex. This means the balloon is biodegradable and will return to the earth at about the same rate of speed as an oak leaf. A very small portion of balloons are NOT biodegradable. OUTLET WI NTER 2 0 1 2 | 21


GREEN NINJA ADVENTURES

We checked the bag carefully before purchasing!

At the garden center we found a nice variety of seeds and basically bought them all. At under 2 bucks per pack it seemed like the right thing to do. Plus we would have enough to Green Ninja various locations as time and creative energy permitted. The balloons came in packs of 100 after all. . .

Back

at home

we

had

a

strategy

meeting with the original Green Ninja Crew.

We poured all the seeds into a bowl and mixed them around.

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Then we filled each balloon with about 20 or 30 seeds. After carefully filling the balloons with water and tying them off we were ready to mobilize.

One of the original GNC had a play date. More militia! Here they are taking a few bombs with them to use on a walk later that day.

Update: a runner came by just as

they were getting ready to toss. The adult GNC member instructed them to hide the bombs in their shirts quick!

and said in a conspicuously loud voice

this, children, is a fine example of an aspen tree!

And Then

after the runner had passed, they completed their act of defiant beautification by smashing balloons and running away. Meanwhile,

back

at

headquarters,

a

neighbor popped by to say hello. The GNC grew by another adult and a very eager 2 year old ninja! We grabbed the bucket and made our way to the site.

Bombs away!

Make your own bombs using a variety of methods found here. For some really cool reading and great ideas from other people’ s guerrilla gardening proj ects, take a look here. OUTLET WI NTER 2 0 1 2 | 23


INSPIRATION Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

~ Marianne Williamson from A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles

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JOURNAL EXERCISE

Find Your Authentic Creative Outlet by Dawn Herring

I

t makes you smile. Or laugh. It energizes you. It builds your inner confidence so you feel good about yourself. It makes you feel enabled and purposeful. It's just plain fun.

What is it? Your Authentic Creative Outlet. When was the last time you responded to a life experience, whether solo or with another, where you had these good vibes going on? Perhaps yesterday? Last week? Last month? Well, hopefully it's been recent, right? Let's assume so and do a little digging to see what authentic creative outlets you can discover that will enhance your life experience even more. This can be especially helpful if you're not fully aware of the creative outlets you may already have and simply don't recognize them as such.

Your recent day's activities can be a fabulous source to excavate. In a notebook, on a piece of paper, or in your journal, make a LIST of what you've experienced in the last day or week. You don't have to go into major detail; a brief phrase will do. Here's an example: Walked to the park; chatted with daughter at lunch; worked on a writing project; played with grandboy; worked on watercolor painting; answered business phone calls; ran into someone at the grocery store. You get the idea. Now go through that list, then recall and note more specifically how that experience made you feel. A one word description will do. Examples are: Nervous? Excited? Happy? Overwhelmed? Anxious? Energized? Reluctant? Put a star next to the ones with the positive associations. Now ask yourself and note how

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often you engage in that activity, whether solo or with another. When you find an experience that adds to you, you either want to increase the amount of time you spend doing that activity or do it more often. Like spending more time with an individual who added to your energy (there's a good chance you have added to theirs as well.) Lengthen that walk or add more minutes to that painting session. (You may feel more apt to cut short a creative, healthful outlet for another "responsibility.") Whatever gives you that added boost of refreshment can be a great source or just a great start for an authentic creative outlet. Creativity often grows, so something you enjoy doing may turn into something even bigger and better. Always keep yourself open to those possibilities. Now that we've activated awareness on activities you are already engaged in, let's go back to that list and note the negative associations. Yes, those. (No need to cringe here余 there is some good stuff coming your way!) Take one that really stands out to you and write a detailed description of what happened and what prompted those uneasy feelings. If you have any associative memories, either from your recent past or even as far back as childhood, make note of those too, for resonating connections. Once you have completed that, look back at your positive life experience list and pick one that has had the most impact on your overall well being. Now take the time to engage fully in that activity to help you work through the worst of your detailed challenge. When we are dealing with a negative situation that leaves us feeling out of sorts, angry, or even resentful, the last thing we would consider is how we can use that situation in connection with a creative outlet. But we can.

Because when we discover a true outlet, one that is suited to our personality, our preferences and our purpose in life, that outlet will enable us to initiate three vital actions toward ourselves:

Appreciation That positive expression that adds to your energy and your sense of well being will help you keep a balanced view of your responses, attitudes, and emotions, no matter what

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situation you have faced. We can always look inward at any life experience, then see and recognize our value, what we see as "right" about ourselves in that situation余 whether it's how you held your tongue, how you added something relevant and helpful to another's point of view, or how you showed yourself respect.

Validation It's easy to beat ourselves up when we see what we did as a failure, especially when we lose our cool and end up embarrased or when what we offered didn't quite meet up with another's expectation. Our authentic creative outlet will give us room to validate our feelings, emotions, and our point of view without emphasizing the wrong thing the wrong way. This validation can help to center us and even take the sting out of those negative emotions and get us back on the right track.

Nurture This creative outlet is going to give you a stronger sense of well足being, as you learn to love yourself with all your foibles, challenges, and perceived "failures." It will uplift your self足esteem and help you release pent up emotion so you can forgive yourself and others in the process. When we engage in the most authentic creative outlet possible, we can use those outlets to gain a fresh perspective on our more negative life experiences and actually learn more deeply about ourselves. This can help bring positive change that will enable us to respond to future challenges with increased confidence, a more grounded and balanced center, and a stronger sense of self and our purpose. You can always use those daily activities for future creative outlet detective work, since as you change and grow as an individual, new positive experiences will show up in that list that might just make a more focused creative outlet for you enabling you to continue that nurturing, validating and appreciating dimension as you work through the more challenging aspects of life.

Be sure to fully engage in at least one creative outlet every day for an increased quality of life experience and well being. In other words, don't forget to refresh yourself!

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APP REVIEW Wreck This App is the perfect traveling j ournal companion. Actually it' s more of an anti-j ournal which makes it ideal for folks who are reluctant to j ournal. Based on Keri Smith' s wildly popular book, Wreck This Journal, the app version allows you to doodle, smear, drip “paint� and make a glorious mess of your iPhone, iPad or Android screen. There are a variety of tools to use and pages of assignments giving an idle commuter endless opportunities to comply or defy. Allowing you to import your photos to deface or doodle to your hearts content, this app is an excellent way to j ournal on the go. And when you' re done you can share your destruction via social media or erase and play again. Wreck This App is rather expensive but well worth the money. $4. 99 at the iTunes App Store and Google Play.

Wreck This App screen shots

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GET STARTED WITH KNITTING

By Allegra Wermuth

I

am a professional musician. I am also a writer, crafter, teacher, mother and friend. I like to wear many hats. People might disagree with me but I think it's what keeps me sane. Throughout my childhood and adolescence, I wanted to be a writer. I was obsessed with reading and loved writing childrens stories and other fiction. Then I got bit by the music bug. Got two music degrees and landed a good orchestra job. Sounds dreamy doesn't it? I get to play the best music ever written alongside wonderful colleagues. Along with the orchestral repertoire, I also play a lot of chamber music and solo work. Such an incredible creative outlet. A friend of mine once said that after you've played a symphony by Gustav Mahler, you don't need to go to therapy because such a piece runs the gamut of human emotions. She's definitely correct. Artists are blessed because we get to express ourselves without words, with just pure emotion.

You'd think that would be plenty, wouldn't you? As much as I love being an orchestral player, I am one of many. One voice blending in a sea of others. Hmmmm. Where is my voice? Eleven years ago I learned how to knit and immediately became obsessed with it. Not only did I love how meditative it was, but it was a new creative outlet. Working with wool and other fibers feels great on the hands and the quality of these yarns are quite amazing. Probably my favorite aspect of knitting, besides the actual designs, is color. I love color and like to think that I live in color. I see color in music and in mood. So being able to create something with color (and the colors that are available in yarn, especially those colorways created by hand dyers are phenomenal) is such a great gift. Once my daughter was born, she became my muse and I started designing my own hand knits. Through the Internet, I made a lot of connections in the crafting world. I found great resources online, tutorials, blogs and podcasts. Through reading blogs and listening to podcasts I quickly became friends with a fellow crafter named Brandy. We both were knitters, both found out at the same time that we were pregnant, and had our daughters within two days of each other. I liked how we had all of this in common. And it didn't stop there. We both started designing cute hand knits for our daughters and would try out each others patterns. One day we were chatting via email complaining about the lack of hand knit

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patterns for childrens wear online. While nursing my daughter later that morning, I practically fell out of my chair. I knew what we needed to do: we needed to start an online knitting magazine that focused on children's wear.

circle in a way. Who knows, maybe I still have that Great American Novel still in me somewhere.

Little did I know when I approached Brandy Would you like to get started with knitting? with this idea that she designed websites for a As with all new projects, start small,, get help living. And that she was a budding photographer. if you feel discouraged and celebrate all of It was serendipity. your successes! Thus Petite Purls was created. We have been around for three years now, providing a top quality, beautiful magazine for fellow knitters. Not only do we offer beautiful designs quarterly, we also have a separate collection that lives on the site indefinitely. It is called "Back to Basics" and it's full of very simple designs‐‐‐ perfect for beginners and also great for more advanced knitters who might want to add Colorwork or a new stitch pattern to a simple design. And Brandy and I are living out some of our creative dreams: I write practically everything that you read in the magazine, edit and work with top notch designers; Brandy uses her background skills as a web designer to code the site, is the photo editor as well as main photographer and we both create the design collections together. It really doesn't get much better than that.

Of course you' ll need a little help to learn how to use the tools and speak the language. The most pleasurable way to learn is from a friend who knits. Make a play date and get started. Allegra was lucky to learn from her father. If you like the energy of a group, one-onone instruction and are able to pay for a class and supplies then contact the local knitting store for their beginner' s class schedule. Prefer to learn on your own with a kit? Google " learn to knit kits" for adults and find supplies and instructions packaged and ready to go. Or buy your supplies and search YouTube for how-to-knit videos or borrow a book from the library. And be sure to explore Ravelry--an enormous (more than 2 million members) social and e-commerce site for knitting and crocheting. As with all new I feel incredibly blessed to have music in my proj ects, start small, get help if life and to have brought so many of my other you feel discouraged and celebrate passions together to create something that I all of your successes! am incredibly proud of. It's like coming full

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Images courtesy of Petite Purls. Clockwise from upper left photos by: Stacy Ziegler, Linda Klein, Linda Klein, Brandy Fortune. Photo on facing page by Brandy Fortune.

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DRESS THE PART If you haven’ t yet summoned the courage to pursue your outlet, here’ s a little nudge. What better way to help you follow through than by dressing the part? The following pages represent the fun and fantasy of your outlet. Our stylist, Pat Kay is heading up a fashion series with a twist--a regular column with looks designed to compliment the outlets explored in each issue. The looks featured here are chosen to stretch your imagination and offer you the opportunity to assume a secret identity. The Knitter. She’ s ethereal with a touch of mystery. The knitter' s delicate, neutral look of flirty skirt, cream smoking slippers and clutch is dressed down with a chunky, marled cardigan. Painter She. Our androgynous city girl is dressed to soak up inspiration while strolling the streets of Paris wearing a timeless striped pullover and distressed boyfriend j eans tied together with black accessories and Chelsea boots. Painter He. Decidedly downtown cool, this boy gets his spark from the gritty side of life. Classic pieces like a knitted beanie, vintage wool CPO j acket and high tops ground his urban edge.

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THE PRACTICE OF PRESENCE

By Fran Gallaher

T

he most satisfying activities for me–the most satisfying outlets for me–are those that feel meaningful because they take me to deeper places within myself or they require me to excavate to find deep places within me, or both. Once I’ve accessed my own depths a truly meaningful outlet seems to then require that I grow myself up to accomplish and refine its expression and then get it out to the world, where it can activate depth in others. A storytelling instructor once told me that our stories are not nearly as interesting or useful to others as we might wish to believe. Instead they act as catalysts to evoke the personal stories of others. In other words, listeners—or, more often in my case, readers—access their own depths, remember their own, similar life events, experience their own epiphanies because my efforts to access my depths opens a path downward to the depths within them and upward into consciousness where it enriches their lives with greater meaning.

The Practice of Presence

It is my practice to go within. Sometimes I emerge with creative material; sometimes my journey within causes me to become more sensitive, more impressionable to the world. Like a child awakening from a nap in a new place, my next contacts with the world are fresh and new, less structured by my social and cultural conditioning. The creative material that contact evokes, and the subsequent struggle to articulate what I have found, resonates within my listeners and readers. My journey becomes theirs, my memories or observations are replaced with their own new, fresh perspective, and the riches I speak of or write about that reward me are replaced with the unique riches they bring to the surface in their own experience. When we access our depths I believe we are accessing our own soul. Somehow, the journey is one that goes both within and without, taking us outward into a more expanded self. Within each of us are portals that can take us deep within and catapult us outward into the soul and further, into the Cosmos. Writers and speakers, actors, filmmakers, musicians, vocalists—artists of any kind who have meaning for me are accessing their own

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soul and broadcasting that activity. When I

This soul presence reaches the attempt to duplicate the sensory, emotional

hearts and depths of others and intellectual experience their art provokes through my art and through attention and my awareness.

in me with my own creative acts I somehow my follow their path downward and then back upward and, on a good day, outward to the world, the cosmos and, as Buzz Lightyear says in the Toy Story movies, “To infinity and beyond!”

The Path of Presence

Over time the path becomes well trodden and my outlet, whether it is a more personal one, such as meditating, journaling, practicing yoga or hiking, or one intended for a wider audience (as in more than just me) such as blogging, writing, speaking or storytelling, becomes an experience of presence. I become more aware of myself, aware of my depths, and present to my story. Presence is present moment awareness. It is being in the now. But, more than that, the practice of presence invites the soul in from its place somewhere beyond our earthbound experience into our immediate, moment‐by‐moment, felt‐sense experience. As I practice presence I can become aware of my own soul and, over time, aware of its purpose. When my experience is informed by the perspective of my soul and its purpose, my life and my actions can have greater meaning and, therefore, greater purpose. As I mentioned, meditation and journaling are both wonderful ways for me to practice presence.

Meditation is Pure Purpose

Meditation is pure presence and so can be more challenging. Here are two simple meditation practices to try: 1. Take a couple of breaths and, once you feel a little more settled, pick an inhale and, at the top of that inhale, when your lungs feel full, pause for a moment. Then exhale, take another inhale, and pause again. Be sure you are not causing yourself to feel breathless. Do this a few times and then, at the bottom of an exhale, when your lungs feel empty, add a pause. If you get at all breathless, skip a pause. Otherwise, begin to imagine a square. Each breath and each pause become one side of the square. An inhale, then a pause; an exhale, and another pause. Try to make each inhale equal to each exhale;

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make each pause equal to the other pause. Create a square in your mind, measuring each breath. You may find that breathing this way allows you to relax. You get caught up in your experience, caught up in the relaxation, and forget to measure your breath. That’s a good thing; it means the method is working. Whenever you find thoughts intruding, go back to the method. When the method falls away, let go. 2. Take a couple of breaths and imagine that you can breathe down into your legs, into your feet, and down into the earth. Imagine that you grow roots that delve deep into the earth. Those roots automatically seek out, find, and bring earth energy into your experience. You discover that your lower body, from a few inches below your navel, all the way down into your toes, has an affinity for earth energy, for drawing energy up into your lower body and grounding you. Now imagine that you have an energetic opening at the top of your head. This opening is like an infant’s soft spot or fontanel, or like a whale or a dolphin’s blow hole. Imagine you can open this as wide as the widest part of your skull. You are opening to the energy of Heaven, to the energy of the sky. Imagine that this heavenly, atmospheric, energy carries with it inspiration, intuition and creativity. Together, these energies ground you, balance you and connect you. Sometimes your lower body will bring in more earth energy, or bring it higher than your low belly. Sometimes your upper body will dominate, bringing in greater Heaven energy. Either way, you connect to the gridlines in the earth and to the skyways, to the etheric pathways between the hearts and minds of others.

Journaling is Integration and Validation

The journaling method I use is one Julia Cameron describes in her excellent book, The Artist’s Way. It is called The Morning Pages and involves writing three pages of longhand, first thing in the morning. I don’t always manage first thing but I try to a few days a week. Otherwise, I might add to her method and journal the things I am grateful for later in the day, or write through some emotional upset, or validate a success to myself. If you have ever spent time around a young child, they need, they require, they even demand, validation. “Mommy, mommy! I did a BIG jump!! I did a BIG jump!!” They have not actually done the BIG jump until and unless Mommy or some other adult in attendance has validated it to them. As adults, we still crave validation. WE do it with our friends when we call a friend and say, basically, the same thing: I did a BIG jump!! At a certain point, all this seeking after validation becomes inappropriate. We run out of adults who are willing to provide validation for the fact that we followed our budget or didn’t drink

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so much on a school night, or got to bed early or worked out or didn’t go on an eating binge, or whatever it is we know we need to do. So journal it. Write it down. And the act of writing it down actually provides us with validation. Journaling—writing out our thoughts and feelings—creates new neural pathways. It involves far more nerve pathways than typing and may provide new or different pathways than speaking to a friend. It creates the experience of validation as well as emotional and psychological integration. It is incredibly valuable. I have journaled my way through many difficult experiences. I literally wouldn’t be here without journaling.

Find Your Methods

So yoga, hiking, rollerblading, rock climbing, pole dancing—all of methods for you to practice deep, present moment, awareness, presence. Find your method—and be prepared for that method to shift over time. Be open and unafraid to practice presence. Maybe your practice, for a time, is rocking and nursing your colicky infant. Maybe it is sitting with your mother who has Alzheimer’s—or with your father who is angry that he has lost his mate to such a cruel disease. Maybe it is listening to your neighbor who has received a recent and very frightening diagnosis. Our practice of presence is sometimes something we get to choose—and sometimes something that chooses us.

these can be to practice

by JM Lyrics

Over time these acts allow my soul to rise from deep within me to radiate outward all around me. And this soul presence, this soul radiation, reaches the hearts and depths of others through my art but also through my attention and my awareness. Outlets that may have originated as outlets for my thoughts and emotions, observations and skill, become outlets that stream soul material from beyond me, through me and outward toward others. I become soulful, skewered by the trajectory of my own soul moving from the personal to the universal.

R

Presence is Contagious

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Use collage to inspire your next proj ect or point you in the right direction. Here, collage is used to inspire a 40cd| cover. OUTLET WI NTER 2 0 1 2


Collage page by JMR

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WHY DO YOU NEED AN OUTLET?

By Sarah Richardson

Outlet Zine is about exploration. I don’t think I’m alone in feeling reluctant to pursue what I truly want to do. Each of us has a unique outlet. A certain calling that makes us feel alive, free, fulfilled. It is the essence of our self. So why do many of us deny it? Why is something as simple as following our true path so difficult to accomplish? We are full of excuses‐‐”There’s not enough time.” “My family needs me.” “My job needs me.” When the fact is these excuses mask the real reason‐‐we’re afraid. We begin our lives as explorers. Imagine starting over‐‐every taste, every touch, every sensation is new. And then as we develop and grow so also grows our social conscience. That's where our fear begins—with the super ego. Also known as our inner critic, the super ego controls our sense of right and wrong with frequent, liberal sprinklings of guilt which cause us to internalize messages about who we should be and how we should behave. The onset of puberty is our next vital time. We're bristling with excitement. Eager to explore this new set of experiences we're primed to take on an ever expanding world. Then we notice our differences, compare ourselves and start believing that we don’t measure

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up. We try to fit in. Our fear grows as our need to conform arises. By the time we’ve reached adulthood fear is so fully ingrained that we deny what we truly want. We ignore our true selves. Fear has blocked access to who we really are—explorers of the world. It is possible to love your work, have the career of your dreams and still long for a more satisfying life. Instead of pursuing a fulfilled life we become our jobs. We are stuck‐‐getting up every morning, trudging to work, coming home to collapse, and doing it all over again. Why do we live somewhere else‐‐hiding behind our iPhones, talking to our facebook “friends”, dreaming of summer, living vicariously through reality TV and waiting for the weekend? Here’s a bigger question: Why is there a need to escape from a life we truly love? Let’s look at this scenario from a different point of view. Just think about it. Would you wake up with a fresh outlook if you were a painter who just happened to teach school by day? What if you actually lived your deepest desire instead of pretending to participate via hobby television shows and magazines? Why be your JOB when you can be YOU? I’d like to share my story. I have played the viola since I was ten. From the moment I started it was all I ever wanted to do. Lessons, youth orchestras, music camps, music school, orchestra jobs, chamber music, teaching—my life was brimming full of music for 30 years. That was how I defined myself‐ ‐I was a violist. After college, I played in regional orchestras while my then‐husband followed his career in an ever‐changing industry. We moved seven times in 16 years.


After one particularly stressful relocation I felt discouraged with our nomadic life and delved into paper arts. In it I found the joy of creating, a vibrant community and my outlet. I found I gained strength from my new creative outlet. It allowed me to hold onto a sense of myself and connect with others. I still depended on music. I was still a violist but I had something more. Three years later we arrived in Denver and I was tired. Tired of hustling for gigs, tired of playing auditions and deep down, afraid to put myself out there again, I decided to take some time and get my family settled in our newest city. Nearly a year passed before I started to make my way into the music scene again. Then, in an instant, everything changed. Half a mile from my home, driving back from the grocery store my vehicle was t‐boned by a pizza delivery guy in a hurry. My car was picked up and thrown onto the driver’s side. The resulting head injury left me in a deep depression. Not knowing what was wrong I lay for weeks in the dark soothed by the warmth of my loyal cat. Ultimately, I sought help, found a doctor who diagnosed PTSD and began a course of treatment which included anti‐ depressant medications, sessions with a psychologist and flashing light therapy. Traditional medicine combined with yoga and massage changed my life. Once treatment brought me back I plunged headlong into the world of art. Thankfully I had discovered my outlet because I didn’t play the viola for more than two years. It's hard to believe that the only thing I ever wanted to do was not an option for me. When I was finally ready I took baby steps and made it slowly back to music. My steps

may have been smaller than they needed to be but I wasn’t in a hurry. After all, I had my outlet. Fifteen years later I can look back on my wake‐up call with a fresh perspective. I thought my beloved career was all I needed to sustain me. Now I know that my career is music; but my life is richer for my outlet. Are you a man, woman, spouse, parent? Where are you in your journey? Are you fresh out of college, starting a family, caring for aging parents, retiring? Your life depends on reaching deep inside and finding your true outlet. My husband has a t‐shirt that says, “Exercise, Eat Right...Die Anyway.” It’s hard to imagine a less hopeful way to live. Surely there is more to life than waiting for the work day to be over so you can consume a meat‐lovers pizza while staring vacantly at a television show about searching for sunken treasure off the coast of Florida. The tough love message says, “If your true self longs to search for sunken treasure then get off the sofa and learn how to scuba dive”. The compassionate version comforts, ”I know it’s hard and I know you can do it. Here's my hand; let's take one step at a time”. And that brings me to the point. Things like jobs, cities, homes, relationships and our bodies are changeable. They can transform at any moment. Think about your list of excuses. Today is the day to remind your family, your boss and yourself that you have something important do. At the end of the day, or the end of your days, the only person you answer to is yourself. Don’t be afraid. The time has come to continue your explorations. But this time look deep inside and find the real you.

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But we travel for fulfillment Hilaire Belloc 44 | OUTLET WI NTER 2 0 1 2

Journal page by SER

We wander for distraction,


WHY I PAINT

By Cynthia Robinson

B

ecause I just have to attempt to re‐create a beautiful moonlit night scene that is etched in my mind forever. Late one evening after work about two years ago, I was taking the scenic way home, which avoids the interstate highway and meanders through a beautiful little valley along the front range, at the base of Pikes Peak overlooking Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. Sunset had occurred over an hour before, so the sky was nearly black, with just the hint of a blue glow remaining above the top of the shorter mountains at the base of Pikes Peak. The Eastern sky and the canopy directly above me were both very dark, with only a hint of stars sprinkled through the night sky. Directly above the front range and only slightly above and to the right of the top of Pikes Peak were a beautiful crescent moon partnered with Venus, glowing beautifully in the clear sky. I thought to myself, “I just HAVE to paint that!” I had never had the urge to paint before, but when I saw that view, for some reason I just had to try to create a version of

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it without the use of a camera or other technological device. Within the next two weeks, I spoke to two artist friends of mine in the quaint and lovely little town of Manitou Springs, and decided to go right to the oldest art supply store around and stock up on watercolor paints, paper and other supplies. It felt wonderful. I called my sister who is very talented and artistic to ask for a beginner’s lesson (she had been very good with watercolors 20‐30 years earlier when we still lived with our parents and other siblings). She said, “Sure”, so I drove to her house the next day. I felt an urgency about learning to paint that I had not felt about anything else in years.

After a couple of very helpful hours with her, I went back to the art supply store and bought a wonderful book with step by step instructions (“Trace & Paint Watercolour” by Terry Harrison, Geoff Kersey and Arnold Lowrey) on how to create some original watercolor scenes by the book’s artists. I dove in and tried several of the scenes…multiple times. Each time I tried a scene, I learned more about how the paint reacted with more or less water, more or less paint, more or less time in between color applications, and so on and so on. It was one of the most rewarding things I’ve tried as an adult. I felt much like I did after several lessons and rounds of golf: “This is SO fun and wonderful…even though I’m really not very good at it.” I haven’t really figured out why either activity is so rewarding …but I’m thinking that it’s because I’m doing something I NEVER thought I would attempt, and I’m not BAD, and I can see improvement each time I spend time focused and learning more about “How To.” I painted a scene from the pink Great Sand Dunes located in southern Colorado, near Alamosa….14 times. Each time the colors turned out a little bit differently, the shadows were more intense in some and the height of the hills were proportionately different, but I learned something with every ounce of paint and water that I put on all of the those wonderful, thick pieces of watercolor paper. For two musician friends’ birthdays, I painted scenes that came to my mind while listening to some of their musical creations; they seemed to love receiving something handmade that related to their music. It was rewarding for all of us! I’m still working on getting that beautiful moonlit scene on paper, but I’m not giving up, and each attempt is getting closer to what I saw as I drove home that inspiring night two years ago.

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Cynthia's abstract painting "Salsbury Cathedral" is featured art on her cd, "An Emerald Illusion".

Artwork by Cynthia Robinson

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CONNECT WITH YOUR TRUE SELF

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Outlet Zine Issue #1