It's Fun! It's New! It's Friday F.A.Q!

But first . . . I have to put a little post script on Wednesday's offering and share the latest message Ms. Universe has sent my way, this time via a horoscope writer who I generally find to be the worst horoscope writer the universe has on staff at present.

However, I thought this one seemed just like she was posting a comment:

That's as nice as some of the comments I got from my blog friends! (Shame on all of you for encouraging an addict.)

My husband and I share the same horoscope, so some days we decide it's intended for him and some days it's for me -- I get dibs on this one (he might try to take it but I licked it already).

And now, on to something

I'm taking a break from Friday Favorites to bring you Friday F.A.Q.
(luckily I was able to maintain a similar alliterative standard)

When you show your art work (as many of you undoubtedly know), you get asked a lot of questions.

Some are ignorant:

(How much for the frame without the little stitched-thingy?)

And some seem too stupid to deserve an answer:

(What is this? Is this photography?)

Yes, someone actually turned and asked me that after they had studied my work for a few minutes. Now that's just scary.

But some make me say, "Good Question!"

(Do you consider yourself to be an artist?)

and then I go home and think about it and sometimes write about it here.

Perhaps the most frequently asked F.A.Q. I have received over the years is this:

Where do you get your ideas?

Well that is a good question.

And I'm actually going to let Barney Fife answer it -- I don't usually call on Barney when he raises his hand in my class because if you've watched much Andy Griffith you know he's not terribly bright, mainly just the class clown -- but Barney opened his mouth on my TV the other night and this perfect answer just popped right out:

I'm a trained noticer.

I've been known to ask people how they don't get ideas, because ideas seem to pester me constantly, usually when I'm trying to sleep or too busy doing something else to act on them.

For years I was pestered by word combinations and sounds. Now I get visual images as well, but it's definitely all the result of

a whole lot of this

and a whole lot of that

And I find that when you collect a lot of looking-and-listening-ingredients and you put them all on the back burner at a continuous slow boil (you have to stir and taste and keep adding things all the time, of course) you get ideas. But it's definitely a cultivated habit.

A half-baked idea is okay as long as it's in the oven.

And you have to be interested in cooking.

For instance, if you happen to have the right pot boiling, you're prepared to appreciate it when someone like Barney Fife says something brilliant.

I'll send you off with a stanza from a poem about seeds that I wrote a long time ago:

An idea is a seed
that you grow in your head,
You can change it to grow
something different instead.
You can let it grow wild
or keep it quite small,
If you want you can keep it
from growing at all . . .

And a quote from Woody Allen:

"Right now it's only a notion, but I think I can get the money to make it into a concept, and later turn it into an idea."

Or just give it a little water and see if anything sprouts.

Grow on.


Goodwill said...

Hi Susan! I'm a Gemini, too, so I took that horoscope to heart...thanks for posting it!

Michelle, Goodwill of Northern New England

Jake and Chelsea said...


and i think i inherited that pesky wordophilia from you...it's very distracting to read law books and cases and be too interested in why the Chief Justice used the word "flabiness" in Supreme Court dicta. Perhaps there is more going on in Scalia's head than I give him credit for...

All in all, I need a break from school so I can focus on those words and sounds. Something has got to come from all that energy.

VO said...

Hmmmm, right now I have a visual of "I've got a monkey on my back." Good prompt for me to play with.

A full-blown addiction: blogs, simmering ideas and new horizons to discover.

Good FFAQ!

sionwyn said...

you've made me laugh out loud, and not for the first time. I do love "I'm a trained noticer", it's perfect.

Anonymous said...

i second sionwyn's kudos for "the trained noticer" bit & especially since it's from barney fife, who bore a striking resemblance to my own sweet dad (though my mother still insists it was tom selleck that most resembled dad!)...

susan, you are the undisputed queen of blogland's "trained noticers" based on my perhaps slightly narrow field of observation.

my purpose here today is really to say... i just returned from the scottsdale arts festival. such glorious highs, but many lows too... told john (husband) that there seems to be quite a range of talent selected, even for that high level show (or am i wrong about that?)... some obvious, but some definitely puzzling.

anyway, if they ever decide to make scottsdale an indoor show, maybe you'll come? your work (and admittedly i've only seen it online) would easily match/outdo the upper levels of what i saw there today.


Pam said...


Pawsitive Art said...

I'm a gemini as well. I'm finding a lot of artist are. :D

susan m hinckley said...

Chelsea: I'm glad that law school hasn't beaten the creativity right out of you. Keep it simmering. Remember that mine was left dormant for the years I was busy with babies -- the eruption that followed was significant! I can't wait to read the great things you'll write down the road a bit.

VO: If you throw out good ideas like "a monkey on my back" on my blog, please don't be surprised or offended when I steal them!

LuAnne: I'm curious about your observations at Scottsdale -- I've only been once, but was very impressed by the excellence of the talent (for instance, one of my most respected art heroes, Ted Gall, was there and I was both amazed and embarrassingly worshipful!) I know several top tier artists who do that show. I'm wondering if you noticed a slip this year or if you've always felt it was spotty? A lot of artists are having a hard time doing shows this year because it's very expensive up front, and I think some shows have struggled to fill their rosters. But I'm surprised at the level of Scottsdale. How I wish they would move it indoors -- I'd definitely apply! An excuse to visit Phoenix in March? I'll pay a big booth fee for that . . .

Thanks, one and all, for your kind words of friendship and support (yet again!)and for bothering to read my rambles in the first place :)

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