Make Art. Cats Do

Martha McCormickArt for LifeLeave a Comment

Rosy chillin'

It’s winter in Iowa. An odd winter, but winter nonetheless. No snow to speak of; temperatures vacillating wildly from single digits to 40s and 50s.Yesterday an ice storm hit but today temperatures in the 30s have melted it all away. No winter wonderland for us; we’re yearning for sunshine or snow to color gray winter days. I’m not the only … Read

Clear Boundaries. No Limits

Martha McCormickArt for LifeLeave a Comment

Art is unique in requiring that hands and mind be in the same place. Distraction and anxiety are at the forefront of challenges for Des Moines Art Center Outreach students. Art class provides opportunities for quiet, focus and mindfulness.

Color Me Calm

Martha McCormickArt for Life2 Comments

Last week I sat in a meeting and listened to a group of adults talk about how much they hate the holidays. It made me a little angry. I believe we have choices about how we experience the world, and that staying in the moment allows us to enjoy life to the fullest. I also understand that our culture puts … Read

Tell Me Something Good

Martha McCormickArt for Life1 Comment

I’ve worked with Des Moines kids since 1980. Sometimes it’s hard to be optimistic when the challenges seem to multiply each year. But this article and the statistics it uses to illustrate its points provides some tangible examples of progress. This morning I taught art to half a dozen boys who attend a group home for various problems they’ve had … Read

Get Happy!

Martha McCormickArt for LifeLeave a Comment

LSI Artwork

“We’re happy!” declared the Burmese refugee group as they finished their Des Moines Art Center tour on May 8, 2014. This was the culminating activity of their four-week art class. According to the ELL teacher at Lutheran Services in Iowa, “many elderly clients are dealing with vision, hearing and general health problems. Some have endured torture and malnutrition… Many … … Read

Do Art

Martha McCormickArt for Life1 Comment

When we were little, my brothers and sisters and I used to sit on the floor under our big square kitchen table and draw on its underside. Thirty years later when I took my daughter back to see our old house, that art work was still there. Something akin to cave drawings. Art has been part of my life as … Read

Don’t Forget to Travel

Martha McCormickArt for Life, Coaching for GrowthLeave a Comment

When I retired, my brother gave me luggage and said, “Don’t forget to travel.” Going on the road keeps my juices flowing. Last Thursday Tim and I took a little road trip to Mason City to explore some local architectural history. The city recently opened the Historic Park Inn, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and meticulously restored to the tune … Read

Stipple Your Eggs

Martha McCormickArt for Life1 Comment

I was actually sad when I attended my last school conference nearly nine years ago. As my daughter grew up, each passing semester offered a new adventure. The year she changed her name, I introduced myself as “Kate’s mom.” The blank stare was followed by, “Oh! You mean Lucy!” By the way, she’s still Lucy! Spring semester that same year, … Read

Write You a River

Martha McCormickArt for Life4 Comments

elephants from canoe

The summer after my daughter LucyKate graduated from college, we wrote a daily Haiku. It was a really fun way to recap the day, or put our hopes and dreams out there for the universe. The traditional basis for Haiku is nature; I’d compare our Haikus to droplets, poems sparkling in the sun. Soaking into moss. Here is an opportunity for … Read

Go to the Library

Martha McCormickArt for Life5 Comments

A major highlight of my growing up years was the weekly (Really? Weekly?) trip to the library. We had two–Covina and the Los Angeles County Library in West Des Moines. The LA Library opened when I was older, and seemed just huge. Mom read to me and my brother every night long after we could read to ourselves. Then I … Read