Reflections on the Journey.

When thinking about getting somewhere, it has always been about setting goals and getting there. But how do I define there? Where is there?  My journey has not been a smooth one, and I am still far from where I want to be.  I hit a patch of serious depression, where even getting up in the morning was hard. During that time I lost control of the web domains I had been building a brand upon. RennataTropeano and GrowingUnique. Today as I look at this, I could buy growingunique back for only $3695, which is not happening. RennataTropeano seems to have been take over by some alt Rennata, it looks like a personal blog, but with posts by the user gotham. But not me.

So, I loop back and gather myself again and start anew. Creative. No question there, being creative is the thing that keeps the depression at bay. Unique. I have always embraced that term.  Different is not okay in our modern society. Conformity is the norm.  Unique, however has enough style to be okay, so I have always sought to be unique. What is the direction that my creativity and artwork is taking?   A bit of magic and mystical, wandering to faery.  This led me to updating my mission statement. “Growing Unique is about my quest for a life that is unique, creative and magical. I enjoy helping people move from dreaming their life, to living their dream.”

I have become very interested in the links between creativity and mental health. I have not quite yet figured out how to fit that into my mission statement, but when I do, it will be there.

Progress on the Journey

Originally posted DSC

What did you do today that helped you move closer to your goals?

Today I wandered around Barnes and Noble, picking up various books on topics that interest me. How to books on reworking clothes, Watercolor painting books,photography books, etc.  Each one I picked up reminded me of a similar book that I had picked up on a previous visit.  Each book was in its own way about living a creative life.  If you throw in all the other creative choices, such as cooking, woodworking, gardening, writing, etc., these books have a significant amount of the floor space allotted for adult reading.  I realized that there is a difference between reading and learning.  Many of these books that I have purchased over the years have been books that I read, but did not learn.

Where I am making progress in my creative journey is in photography, and this is because of the mentorship program in which I am participating.  The key word is participating. I am using the camera and talking about it with the other participants.

Week 2 Plus Post-I am participating in the Camera Basics, Beyond Automatic Mentorship by +G+ Mentorship Program for Photographers organized and run by the program directors, +Robin Griggs Wood +Ron Clifford and +Tamara Pruessner Each week I will be posting a Plus …read more

Source: My Google+

Moving away from Automatic.


Originally published:

For those who wonder why I am spend more time on G+ than Facebook

It is because of the content. No, not a lot of my friends are on G+, but what I  am finding is a lot of people who share interests and passions.  Right now I am participating in a four-week photography mentorship.  It is free of charge and run by a group of people whose photography work I really admire.  This is my weekly post about what I am learning.

Week One- Plus Post

I am participating in the Camera Basics, Beyond Automatic Mentorship by +G+ Mentorship Program for Photographers organized and run by the program directors, +Robin Griggs Wood +Ron Clifford and +Tamara Pruessner Each week I will be posting a Plus Post about what I …read more
Source: My Google+

Work in Progress

Originally posted

One of the difficulties I have with getting stuff done is jumping into new projects before I have finished the old ones.  The other day I was talking about making a public commitment   as an aid to showing up and doing the work.  I have thought in the past of making Wednesdays a day when I dedicate the post to what is on the easel, the computer, the sewing machine, on the needles, ……  The list of where I have works in progress is larger than I thought my list of open projects would be before I started to think about it.


I found myself defending all these open projects to myself.


I have so many watercolors underway because they have to dry or the paint will bleed into the wet area.  While this is true, Even the wettest paper on a humid day will dry before I cycle through all the ones I have underway.


The same for acrylic canvases and floor cloths. The same for the bird sculpture.  I decided that I need to make a list of all the open projects that I have and dedicate some time to finishing them.


I choose today’s image because it is something on which I want to start working. A triptych of three Merry go Round Horses. I planned on starting by doing some preliminary  sketches, as I am not sure of my horse drawing skills.


It occurred to me any number of my painting are stuck at the I don’t have the _____ quite right, and maybe I should have spent some time working on preliminary sketches on those as well. Three seascapes that are just waiting for me to paint in the seagulls spring to mind.


They are all very dry and there is not the slightest chance that the seagull is going to bleed into the water.  I am extremely pleased with the way they all look at this point, except of course for those white areas that need birds. So rather than jumping into the horses, I think I am going to commit to creating an open projects list, and studies of seagulls this week.




I should have, I could have…..

Grey Morning

Originally posted

This weekend I attended an art show where I looked at a number of pieces and felt that I should have entered the show.

I didn’t because I felt that my work just was not good enough to enter this particular show.  While looking at the show I found myself measuring each piece of art against my own work.  I was thinking how similar or dissimilar each piece was in terms of style, skill level, subject matter, color choices and technique. My favorites were the ones that were of a higher skill level in a similar style with similar color choices.  The subject matter and technique seemed to be the areas that I was more willing to be open to something new. Not completely open because subject matter also fell into the the area of which I was most critical.

It was the ones of a different color pallet and subject matter that made me look at them and think, I should have entered.  I felt that my skill level was on par or better than a few of the artists, but I would know better than to paint ________ in ___________ color.

The truly ironic thing is guess which paintings won. The painting of the _____ and the one with the odd colors.

While the image I choose is grey, it is not because I am feeling down. It is because it is one that I was thinking of doing for a different contest, one that had to be done in shades of black white and grey.

I am feeling very optimistic, and encouraged as I review my works in progress as I feel more confidant in sending them out into the world. WIP Review, the plane is nearing completion,  and I have pulled out the pencils and watercolors to work with those media for a bit.   I have not put the acrylic away yet, as I want to create some fall paintings, and I may even go ahead with my monochromatic painting.



Back to School or How I Spent my Summer


New blog post, cross posted from

Mountain Lake

Things here on the blog have been a little bit spotty.  It is my intention that as we get back into that school routine that I get back into the swing of posting on a regular basis.  The last couple of weeks have been exciting for me. I was stranded due to hurricane Irene in Colorado. As you can see in today’s photo, that if you have to be stranded, Colorado is certainly a nice place to be.

I was reviewing my posts and discovered that a number of the designing your internet home posts were never published to the blog due to technical reasons.  I am going to be revising them a little based on my most recent research and will be trying to post one of those a week.  I am going to be playing around with the format, and try and develop a pattern of topics.  The categories that I have been thinking about are Business of Art, Work in Progress,  Review or Interview, How to, and Thoughts.

The new category of review or interview came out of my visiting several galleries and meeting some working artists over the summer.  Looking back on this, I decided that there was a lot to be learned from these visits, both good and bad.  Reviewing can be a tricky thing, as most artists have fragile egos that are easily shattered. I decided that good reviews will be accompanied by links and information.  When the lesson that I took away from a situation is “what not to do”, I am going to leave off the who, and where.

Time to head off to work.  As always, I would love to hear your thoughts and comments on the new ideas.