Arts Awareness Monthly E-Newsletter | February 2016
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Hello <<First Name>>,

I’m delighted to share this February 2016 edition of Arts Awareness E-Newsletter with you. I sincerely hope you find it helpful as you play an active role in all your creative efforts. Please feel free to share it with others who might be interested, and if you know someone who may want to receive this newsletter monthly, please let them know how to sign up through

Imaginative Possibility

As you walk through the many museums in Arizona, you learn that the history and cultures of Native American people of the area are inseparable from their expression as artists. From various symbols to geometric designs, there are similarities that inspire you to want to learn more. Many of the designs are symbols that represent ideas and convey emotions and feelings; some are spiritual in nature, while others hold a practical purpose, hold secret messages, or are narrative. Whatever the purpose, the consistent and evolving patterns are clearly significant, and the contemporary works show imaginative skill and excellence in bringing forth new ideas while honoring traditions linked to their heritages.

I found I could say things with color and shapes
that I couldn't say any other way—things I had no words for.

~ Georgia O'Keeffe

The artistic thinking process allows for this sort of imaginative possibility. In all kinds of art, the smallest elements are used to create patterns that build a bigger picture. Artists learn to use patterns as a resource, making connections and building relationships as they put things together, often connecting them in new ways.

For example:

  • If you stand close to a pointillist painting, what you see makes no sense. It looks like meaningless blobs of color. Instead of blending colors on a palette, pointillist artists use a brush to apply tiny dots of primary colors next to each other to create pictures in which secondary colors then can be seen. As you step back images begin to appear.
  • Pointillistic composers do a similar thing when they shape a melody using different instruments to play separate notes.  Just as in this painting, the colors of those various instruments seem to be enhanced by the way they’re placed together.
  • Visual art and music of all kinds have some sort of pattern that creates a unified sense of the whole. These images from The Shape of Song program allow you to gain a sense of the overall musical structure at a glance—the more complex the musical patterns, the more intricate the designs. As you study these kinds of designs, you find how the imaginative possibility of both structured repetition and variety are used to communicate meaning.
  • The first four notes of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 are well known. In one of his lectures, Leonard Bernstein comments that even though a lot of people have theories about their   meaning, “the real meaning lies in all the notes that follow.” Beethoven used those four notes to shape the entire thirty-five minute symphony. Watch and listen to this video that shows how the patterns evolve in the first movement of the symphony.

The Spaces Between

It’s important to note that patterns include not only the individual objects or elements, but the spaces between them. Space in art has a variety of purposes—physical space, mental space, reflective space. Space or silence requires special attention to both what is there and what isn’t there. It can separate groups of elements or add emphasis. Whether in visual art, movement, or sound, the spaces between can stimulate the imagination. They can create excitement and interest in discovering new perspectives and ways of seeing and feeling. The artistic process can help everyone learn to value space and silence in everyday life. It puts you in a better position to break out of established patterns, look at things in a different way, and make meaningful changes.
Silence is the sleep that nourishes wisdom.
~ Francis Bacon

Using this imaginative possibility of the artistic process to view patterns in everyday life can enhance all of our experiences. The feeling experience of the artistic process can help us think about parts of our own life experiences—what we create, how we create it, and what consequences our “creation” has for the world. It can help us see how to be more aware of what our effort actually suggests, no matter our intentions. And importantly, it can guide us to an understanding of how essential it is to know our intentions and understand that maybe the parts can be put together in another way to be more successful.

Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of
possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.

~ Gloria Steinem

The works of Native American artists are an inspiration. If you have the opportunity, it’s worth the time to explore this art. The great varieties of beautiful and innovative works in all Native American art traditions span many centuries through all sorts of internal and external pressures.
When you take the time to delve into their work, you learn about their openness historically to imaginative possibility and new ideas. In fact, research shows that these southwestern Native American people merged their styles with early American and European influences; and rather than merely copying the styles of other cultures, they synthesized all influences to create a unique style of their own.
When you open to imaginative possibility—are adaptable, creative, and innovative—you find meaning and beauty. Exploring patterns and connecting them in new ways allows you to create an ever-evolving bigger picture that’s rich with understanding and awareness.  And, just as in works of art, finding beauty or success doesn’t have to be complex or profound. It might simply be about something like joy.

I am where I am because I believe in all possibilities.
~ Whoopi Goldberg

Contact Dr. Patricia Hoy for media appearances, to book her to speak at your event, or to engage her workshop or consulting services—

Guest Speaking: Corporate, Education, or Arts Events—that provides motivation for launching a project, keynote theme inspiration, or setting the foundation for a goal to be achieved.
Customized Consulting: In-Service Workshops; On-Site Training Institutes; Conference Sessions; Seminars; and Round Tables—all specially designed for Businesses, Companies, Educational Institutions, Organizations, or Arts Groups.

About the Arts Awareness Newsletter:

This newsletter is meant to spark ideas and develop a deeper understanding of artistic processes and their use in leadership, everyday life, and work. Content, which comes from personal experiences and a variety of sources, is based on the Arts Awareness concepts developed by Patricia Hoy. Questions? Comments? Contact Patricia at or 901-229-1955, N. 93rd Way, Scottsdale, AZ.

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