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Meet My Friend, Thomas Merton

Thomas Merton was a Trappist Monk. He was one of the greatest poets, writers, mystics and intellectual minds of the 20th Century.  

Merton offers you perfect words for these perilous times...how you and I might live as children of light . . . as the sons and daughters of God. 

If we have the Spirit of God in our hearts, we...

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What is the Purpose of Procrastinating Perfectionism?

By Joey O'Connor

The twin evil stepsisters of making progress with your art are Procrastination and Perfectionism.

What is the purpose of these two nefarious Sirens?

Nothing.

Listening to the Siren Songs of Procrastination and Perfectionism reveals the lack of a clearly defined purpose and the specific results you want in your creative...

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I'm Not a Procrastinator or a Perfectionist. And I'm Not Defensive.

By Joey O'Connor

I'm not a procrastinator or perfectionist.

And I'm not defensive.

Did you heart me? I am not a procrastinator.

I am a "deadline" performer with swaths of last-minute brilliance.

No ego here...really.

I am also not a perfectionist.

I am one with an eye for detail and thoroughness.

I live in the Zen of kaizen...continuous...

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Art, Action or Anarchy?

By Joey O'Connor

"We are not in a period of confinement, but refinement."

These words came during a recent call with my friend, Esther Ntoto, who lives in Goma, Eastern Congo as a peacemaker and minister of justice with her husband, Camille. In the past twenty years, over six million people have died in the Democratic Republic of Congo due...

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Who Are Your Murder Hornets?

By Joey O'Connor

And as if a pandemic wasn't enough?

Washington State was recently hit with an invasion of murder hornets.

Way off course from their Southeast Asian homes, these two-inch F-15's of the insect world are attacking Washington's honeybee population. With vice-like pincers, the venomous hornets excel at decimating honeybee hives...

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The World Doesn't Need More Christian Artists - Part 3

By Joey O'Connor

Does your art move people to tears?

On a recent call with several artists, one woman stated, "We need art that moves people to tears."

I found her statement provocative and challenging, dismantling any notions of short-cuts and easey-peasey pathways to excelling in my craft.

So far, I've poked fun at Precious Moments figurines,...

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The World Doesn't Need More Christian Artists: Part 2

By Joey O'Connor

Let me say it again, "Words matter."

Eugene Peterson, another great mind and literary craftsman like Lewis, often spoke of "precision" regarding words and the imagination.

The words "Christian Artist" are wholly imprecise.

Are they an Adjective+Noun combo? A Noun+Noun combo?

If they are a Noun+Adjective combo, that's poor...

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The World Doesn't Need More Christian Artists: Part 1

By Joey O'Connor

Words matter.

Your art matters.

Labels do not. Adjectives do not.

I'm going to draft off C.S. Lewis here. I implore you . . . do not call yourself a "Christian Artist." Do not label yourself a Christian Artist.

When you add an adjective like "Christian" to your noble role and vocation as an artist,...

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Grove Artist Profile - Artist Barb Gomez

When I Grow Up...
By Drew Tilton

In kindergarten, Barb, announced to her teacher, “When I grow up I’m going to be an artist!” Something inside her young heart found refuge in the joy that came with creative expression. It was that same joy that beckoned her to pursue her bachelor’s degree in painting and eventually took...

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Your Story - An Artist Overcoming Tremendous Obstacles

 

Have you stopped to consider where you are in your story?

To understand where you are in your story as an artist, it's critical to know what a story is and the key elements for what makes a great story.

A story is a character who wants something and overcomes tremendous obstacles to get it.

As a writer and lover of the craft, not only do I...

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