august at MFCH – my month of creativity

by Sharon Santoni

I am a huge believer in the importance of getting creative. Carving out some time in the day to make some pretty is the best therapy I can thing of.

Creativity comes in so many different forms: I found raising my children to be very creative; designing and maintaining my garden; decorating my home; arranging flowers; baking a cake or laying a table! We can’t all be gifted artists, but we can all find a way to express ourselves that is balm to our soul.

But creativity is like a tender plant, we have to nurture it and encourage it. If we lock our creativity in the dark without light or water then it will dwindle and we suffer. This is something I’ve discovered recently. MFCH may have started as a simple blog but it has become a business, and it is time-consuming. There are creative days of course, but there are days when it’s impossible for me to find the time to do something creative, and this quickly becomes a vicious circle.

So I decided to make the month of August my creative month. Try to reawaken my own small artistic ability and also observe the gifted artists that I am lucky enough to meet and observe how they use their art, and how it shapes their lives.

Today is the first encounter, I want to talk to you about Bruno Louis. An artist I know in the south of France. He lives in the tiny hilltop village of Tourtour and paints the people and scenes he sees in everyday village life. His medium is pen and watercolour, his signature style are his quirky portraits of village life, and also the ornate ceramics that he decorates and sells.

He didn’t grow up in this village but arrived on a whim, found a house to live in and stayed. Thanks to his art, his easel and his generosity he has become an important figure in village life.

He learnt to paint at art school, and developed his skill further when he worked at Moustiers, another village famous for its decorated ceramics. He is naturally fairly shy, and very modest. But thanks to his art, he meets people from all walks of life, and has even become the official ‘Recorder of Events’, and is brought in to sketch and paint family celebrations; village occasions and more.

On my instagram today you can watch a video I made of him sketching the market this summer. And in the current edition of the MFCH Magazine you can learn more about his work.

I’ll be back in a few days with a very different creative offering. Hope your summer is going well …. and that you are finding some time to express yourself, no matter your medium.

22 comments

Kameela August 4, 2022 - 6:44 pm

Thank you Sharon for sharing this.Nowadays on social media one can be made to feel not very creative.But the way you describe it shows we’re creative withou realising it.
Such a great idea taking time out to nurture your creativity rather than try to squeeze it in a busy schedule. Love the beautiful ceramics..

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SHARON SANTONI August 5, 2022 - 3:14 pm

Thank you Kameela, the one good thing about social media tho, is the way we can watch so many gifted artists create 🙂

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Nancy Cauble August 8, 2022 - 5:47 pm

This article was a great reminder to me that I can be creative with a wide variety of activities, and it’s good to be creative every day. I work in accounting and data entry, which is pretty cut and dry. But I enjoy cooking, playing piano, and writing when I can. I think my and my husband’s greatest creative act was to raise four children who enjoy being creative.

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GL Gardener August 4, 2022 - 7:05 pm

I am enjoying the magazine. The green house especially took my eye….I want one and I am working on getting one not just for plants but to dine in with candle light….my lemon tree would enjoy it…..me too.

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SHARON SANTONI August 5, 2022 - 3:15 pm

Ah yes, that greenhouse! It is absolutely spectacular, and also on my own wishlist 🙂

Kindly
Sharon

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Sherry Johnson August 5, 2022 - 12:49 am

I want to express my gratitude for this post.

I especially was moved by your statement “But creativity is like a tender plant, we have to nurture it and encourage it. If we lock our creativity in the dark without light or water then it will dwindle and we suffer.”

This world we are living in now is challenging and so many are struggling and suffering. Finding positive outlets is mandatory and what better way than through our creative voices? Finding our creative voices and expressing them during these difficult times is cathartic. I behooves us to nurture them and encourage them as you said, and then express them as Bruno Louis has done! Love his art.

Thank you!

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SHARON SANTONI August 5, 2022 - 3:16 pm

Thank you Sherry, I’m very happy that my words touched you. You are so right, we all need to take the time to find and nurture our own way to create 🙂

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Gray August 5, 2022 - 2:33 am

What a lovely thought – to devote a whole month to creativity! I would love to do that. Thank you for the idea! Now to try and make it happen sometime!

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SHARON SANTONI August 5, 2022 - 3:17 pm

Thank you! I hope that we inspire you!

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Kellie August 5, 2022 - 2:36 am

Thank you for this post. Personally, if I don’t get to do creative things on a regular basis I feel like my soul suffocates. When I get to do something creative, just for the pleasure of it, I feel recharged. Unfortunately, life gets busy and pushes creativity off the schedule. You’re so smart to make it a priority, and make it part of your life!

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SHARON SANTONI August 5, 2022 - 3:18 pm

You echo my thoughts entirely. If I’m not creative on a regular basis then I am less effective in every area of my life. “As vital as breathing” may not be so much of an exaggeration 🙂

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Anna Mayrhofer August 5, 2022 - 9:30 am

I love this Sharon and it really resonates with how I’ve felt this last year! I realised recently I need to be creative to be happy but you’re so right that we need to carve out that time! thanks for this inspiring post! Anna

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Annie Pippin August 5, 2022 - 10:30 am

Thank you so much for sharing this. As a child and young adult, I was VERY creative. I painted and sketched; whatever moved me, I did. Later in adult life, many responsibilities “took over” and although I was still creative, my ability to create went by the wayside because of other caregiving responsibilities and just “life”. Now, I am finally getting back to some of my original creative impulses, and also journaling more, like I used to. Even if it’s only finding time to write down a quote that really resonates with me, it helps. And to be encouraged by people such as yourself, and the artist you wrote about, Bruno Louis, helps even more. Sometimes we forget that side of ourselves and don’t realize how important and therapeutic it is, until we’re reminded by “like minded people”. Thank you for that! Another thing that really helps is your MFCH box every three months. I have made sure to keep it a regular bright spot in my life each quarter. Since I discovered it, it’s something I look forward to, especially after being able to visit France for the first time 3 years ago. Every time one of your boxes arrive, I save it for a special, quiet moment, when I can open it and savor each piece, and read through the magazine I get with it. I truly look forward to this, almost like a special holiday every few months!

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Stephney Drinkard August 5, 2022 - 10:56 am

Thank you for the reminder to nurture all our many sides.

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Ellen August 5, 2022 - 12:11 pm

Sharon, I have found now that we are back to “normal” from covid, I have had little time to do creative things. So much so that I have started to schedule Me Time and creativity time in to my calendar. And interestingly, my last trip to France was October 2019 and I stayed in Tourtour. Such a beau village! Wish I could have met Msr Louis. Thanks for sharing such inspiration!

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Cecile August 5, 2022 - 3:58 pm

Sharon, everything you and the comments from others have said are right on target with me too. Most of the time it isn’t anything special (reorganizing my laundry room or moving furniture to different areas of the room/house just to see how it looks). But, a few months ago I decided to start hand embroidery again and took a zoom class with The Crewel Workshop in England. It was wonderful; it made me so happy to spend a few hours doing what I loved. There are so many things that I (all of us I suppose) “have” to do that I sometimes forget to be creative and happy. Also, I get very happy when I see the DHL delivery truck knowing my MFCH box is here. I love Bruno Louis’ work! Any chance of getting him in the box! LOL Thank you for all you do to keep us inspired and creative!

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Beth August 5, 2022 - 4:07 pm

This past week I reread all your stories. If you are in a super creative mood, please, would you start writing fiction again? I simply love them.

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Cindy Molder August 5, 2022 - 4:34 pm

Your posts and emails calm my mind and soothe my soul. In one word, AHHHHH…

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Kathleen Westman August 5, 2022 - 7:26 pm

Sharon – thank you for your idea ‘finding a month to be creative.’ As an artist I tend to just do it as my whim suggests. But I like your idea of giving creativity a front line space in August. And of course there is a plethora of blooms, fruits, people are active outdoors, the birds, sunrises and sunsets and so much is happening as an artist’s resource in August. Thank you friend for sharing your great idea!

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Wanda de Paz August 6, 2022 - 10:11 pm

Sharon, I agree with Beth comment… please write some more of your delightful stories!

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Gay McCormick August 10, 2022 - 5:32 pm

your french artist Bruno is lovely – now if anything makes me want to go and pick up a pencil and paper, his village scenes that you show, do. Thanks for sharing them

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Carolyn August 11, 2022 - 8:54 pm

I enjoyed your post, and it made me think that there are so many different ways to be creative. Sometimes we get in a rut which is where I am at the moment. Thanks Sharon, your words are words of wisdom and something for me to ponder over.

Carolyn

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