Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Anticipation, one of the greatest things in Life! - What's New Wednesday

Today's I want to talk to you about anticipation. When I was in HS back from the 70's, Carly Simon had a hit song called 'Anticipation'. The main line was:

'Anticipation, is making me late, keeping me waiting now.........'

And it starts out with:

We can never know about the days to come
But we think about them anyway.................................................

Thinking is the beginning action of Anticipation. Thinking about something in the future which could be only minutes away or days, months or even years.

Anticipation has a negative and positive side. It can mean to take into account a prior action that may forestall a future action. An example would be found in the adage, once bitten twice shy.

But the positive side of it is an act of looking forward to something pleasurable, that's the kind I like!

I once read somewhere that you need three things in life to live (not the 3 of Food, Clothing and Shelter) but instead these 3 are more for the soul, what makes you feel alive.

1. Someone to Love
2. Something to Do
3. Something to Look Forward To

I wrote those three things down and posted it in my studio at the time. That was about nine years or so ago. I would look at that little piece of paper now and again and think, 'that is so true', if any one of those three is missing it seems to make life not worth living.

1. 'Someone to Love' is obvious.
2. 'Something to Do' is something we can feel productive at, a job, taking care of a family, helping others with volunteer acts, or making music, making art, it helps to fulfill us to know we made a difference.

But the third thing:

' Something to look forward to' can sometimes be elusive because it speaks of the future.

But to me, it is what carries you forward each day. No matter how bad the day has been, tomorrow is always another day and another chance to do better. Think about that last vacation you had been wanting to take, the planning, the dreaming, the arrangements, all that provides you with the bits and pieces of anticipation that usually bring as much or more pleasure than the vacation itself. That is the wonder of Anticipation of something to come.

When I begin a new art project I like to plan ahead. Ideas like clouds in a summers sky travel through my mind late at night. I reach for my notebook/sketchbook and write these fleeting ideas down or make a quick sketch so I don't loose it. When the creative mood strikes I go to that sketch book or one of many others and page through, looking to see what I actually want to take the time I have at hand to start on. More elaborate drawings may be made or I may go by what I envisioned and take it from there. The excitement begins to arise as I think of what I can use to bring my idea to reality. That reality is in the future and the anticipation of what will be created.

I gather supplies, tools and whatever I think I may need and more, just in case. Then must put on some music that will not distract me such as Nora Jones or even an instrumental CD and sit down at my workbench. Sometimes I just sit there for awhile contemplating what's in front of me, the sketch, the tools, the supplies and I think about what mood I want to express with this piece. Color is always my first consideration, color sets the tone of the piece . Second I always look to include texture. Texture in an art project to me is what makes it become more real, it changes it from a two dimensional art piece into a three dimensional part of life.

As each step falls into place the anticipation grows, will it turn out like I pictured in my head? or in my sketchbook? Or will it take a turn on it's own and become something totally different? Will I be happy with the results? Will I be so thrilled with it I will want to try a variation? Will it go into the 'Try again' bin, not able to throw it away, yet not wanting to let anyone see it? All that too, is part of the anticipation.

This is my entry for March's Art Bead Scene Challenge, Vincent Van Gogh's Almond Blossoms.
You can see my design Ideas I sketched out on March 12th in the photo above of my sketchbook and the challenge painting on my laptop screen . I did not complete this until early this morning! As I began with a simple sketch the anticipation was two fold, what if I can't do this and how to do it and what will I end up with? When you wait till the last minute there's no time to go back and redo and this is what I got. :)

As an artist, Anticipation fuels me along more-so than anything else. The bead store is having a sale, what new beads will I find? And when I find them, what can I make with them? Do I have the right other 'ingredients' at home or do I need to look around to match something up?

I can get lost in the bead section and forget all time. All those glittering beads, the different materials, the sparkle, the shape, designs swirling through my head, it's like a penny candy store of old, I stare like a child for hours, enthralled. Which some of that has to do with my failing eyesight which makes it harder to see those little beads................................

Which is why I love the internet, the beads are lit up on the screen, all by themselves and not in a package, photographed like a precious jewel. There is such a plethora of art bead makers out there now. And if they are like myself they sometimes sit down to create with their materials at hand and may not know how the bead will turn out, that too is such fun anticipation, not knowing but waiting to see what your hands create. Sometimes with clay or glass you can have many surprises, sometimes happy ones, others unexpected. But as you go through each step the anticipation grows until you have that end result and experience the feeling of surprise and delight just as if you hadn't made it yourself!

I love to use botanicals in my artwork and my bead making. Sometimes I use them directly, but mainly I make a mold first, so I have to wait to see how that texture will come out. I have to cure the mold first and then I can try it out on various designs. More often than not I am surprised how it came out and as I add paint and patinas to the piece even more is revealed. I think that is why I have not grown tired of this yet because something new always appears when using botanicals, something unexpected, like this brooch I made with a dried morning glory pod, it turned out looking like a space man in a marathon! Or the one at the top I call my Citrus Sea Barrel Bead. It started out just a plain white porcelain mix I made and textured with one of my hand made molds of an orange skin. The painting and patina I gave it turned it into this very interesting focal bead, in fact it was the first one sold in my New Art Bead Shop StudioARTBEAD when I opened late last year.

Another joy of Anticipation is when you send away for something. You've shopped online, found a perfect bead or clasp. You wait for it to arrive, dreaming of what you could do with it, you just had to have it with no plan in mind but you count on yourself to come up with something to justify your purchase. ;)

And then the day arrives! The package found in your mailbox or delivered by a package service. You set it on your table and wait until you have the perfect time to sit down and enjoy the pleasure of opening it, well I do, I try to show Some restraint!

I love the feeling of anticipation so much and want to enjoy it to it's fullest that sometimes I've forgotten about a package that got brought into the studio and covered over. And once discovered, the joy of the gift of the package as well as the anticipation of what it holds begins all over again,(sometimes blindly as you may have forgotten what you ordered or won if you've been in any giveaways) and that third thing required to really Live Life is gifted to you once again.

So anticipate, and hold precious any chance you get to fully enjoy the dreams, the planning, and wonderment that anticipation can bring to your life!

Take time to enjoy the Anticipation of that something special, it is half the fun of it! And if you haven't had anything to look forward to today, there's always tomorrow! Enjoy the Joy of Anticipation!

For those who love flowers, there is a flower or flowering bush that symbolizes Anticipation. After a dreary, brown and gray winter in the Northern Hemisphere there is nothing like the bright ray of sunshine the flowers on the Forsythia brings! Symbolizing the Anticiaption of the best to come, new life, the Spring! Happy Spring to you all!

Please check out Anticipation - Part 2 posted April 14th to see some fantastic beading work.


  1. Hi Kate! Lovely post...enjoy the carnival!

  2. Great post has helped me more than you know, thanks for sharing.

  3. Kella, thank YOU, that is the best compliment I could ever get on my writing and my main goal for doing so. :)

  4. Last night I was so low but after reading your post I went to bed feeling much better and this morning I feel like the smile in my picture, so thanks again.

  5. Wow! What a post! You've reminded me of several sides of "anticipation" that had gotten past me. It was fun to read about your personal relationship with the feeling, and I look forward to reading more of your posts.

  6. Kella, thank you for coming back and telling me that, it put a tear in my eye, I would hate to think of anything that would take that beautiful smile off your face and am honored that in some small way I was helpful in returning it to its rightful place! :)

    Patty, thank you, I appreciate your comments very much!

  7. I love the notebook photo. I sketch some of my designs and I never know once I actually have beads in hand if the final design will look anything like the sketch.

  8. Insightful post. I love the citrus sea barrel

  9. Michelle, thanks for stopping by,and yes, I think that is half the fun. The other reason I use my sketchbook is to 'download' all the ideas I have in my head, if I get too many there, I forget or they jam up more inspiration!

    Hi Jeannie, thanks for stopping by and for your nice comments. :)




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