Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanks to Creativity!

Nature is all about creating and we are the recipients of it's amazing images. The beauty of snow on the hills transforms in the pink light of a sunset while the wind shifts from warmth to cold.

And the effortless process of all these effects, that can barely be captured in a photograph, is proof that being alive is the essence of creativity.

Nature never stops to question itself, it just keeps on creating, thriving, growing and dying. Yes, that is part of the creative process, letting go to make room for a new creation.

Trusting the visions that inspire us from our hearts is the authentic way of life.

When you create you are in the flow of life.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

2010: The Year To Create or Re-Create Yourself

When you add up the numbers in the year 2010 you get the number three. The number three in numerology is associated with creative energy and expression so this may be a great year to become inspired.

In delving into your own self-invention it’s good to keep in mind part of the creative process is exploration. So be willing to make new discoveries. How have you changed or what changes would you like to make this year? What special gifts or talents do you have that you could use? What new skills would you like to develop or explore?

Being creative is not just making something; music, art, poetry, clothing, etc. it’s how you live your life. Find ways to allow yourself to think creatively and live creatively. Getting stuck in a routine or way of thinking can inhibit the joy of doing something new or spontaneous. Listen to the inner impulse that is helping you to find your personal muse and be aware of the alternate choices you can make each day.

Here are a few suggestions to help you find inspiration to create:
- meditation
- observation
- participation
- motivation

These are my four “tions” or fortunes for inspiration. Meditation allows you to listen internally, observation helps you to see the world around you, participation keeps you aware of your part in the whole process, and motivation is the energy to stay inspired.

(The picture above is one I took during a very special moment where everything turns pink on the mountains near my house. As a result the double rainbow was bathed in a pink glow making all he colors look unique. Even mother nature re-invents herself.)

Wishing you a creative New Year and new self!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Vocal Improvisation as a Tool for Creativy Enhancement

I've been thinking lately about how to use vocal improvisation to help people become more creative and spontaneous in their lives. So I am working on some workshops for musicians and non-musicians to find the inner depths through making sound through their bodies.

This is by no means a new concept as people have been using sound for a long time to inspire creative thought and even spiritual evolution. Mine is a combination of what I have learned as a jazz improviser, new music/electronic music improviser, and sound healing. I think there is a way to find a "cognitive high" from working with people on this level.

If anyone is interested I will be doing some workshops in Ojai, CA coming up in the future.

Friday, May 29, 2009

It's been awhile since I've blogged...
so much has been going on so thought I'd share some of that with all of you.

Besides singing around my area, working on a couple of books, and coaching I will be doing another Poetry Festival next week. This is the main Poetry Festival that Ojai hosts once a year and this should be quite fun.

I'll be doing my poetry with bass accompaniment that I've been doing for quite a number of years. Started out doing other people's poetry like the great beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti (born on my brother's birthday) and others.

I'm excited to hear some of the other poets in the festival and share in the day of words, imagery, and expression.

Encouraging all of you to find someplace to express yourself and your creativity!

I'll be sharing some more creativity tips and thoughts in the next couple of weeks... maybe some sneak previews of my new book.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


Sharing some of my poetry and songs based on poetry at the Ojai Poetry Festival Benefit today.

I'll post what I will be reading but here's a few samples of what will be heard today:

Eulogy For A Poem
I’ve missed these lonely nights
Where words poured through my soul
Melting icicles that drip with cold thoughts
Longing for beauty as she smiles in consonants
And voraciously laughs in vowels
Typed or written to soothe the anxiety of assimilation
A concept taken for granted as we peer
Through lit screens emancipated by wireless dreams
And roads that travel everywhere and lead us into
And occasional satisfaction
Words dripping from desire as the night sleeps on
With an audience of stars that shift directions
Keeping time in a wound up black hole of light
Reflecting back each image as fast as my mind
Can travel
Correcting all the pragmatic punctuation that slips
From coffee stained bookmarks
Homeless from lack of attention
Replaced by digital dialogues dancing on video monitors
Similar to the eye of Cyclops
Staring at my empty poetry portfolio
Begging for attention
Relieved at the sight of one
Squeezed out bloody turnip of a poem
Glistening in the promise of another.
It occurs to me that I am not finished
That I am still alive with Einstein’s belief in

©Ellen Johnson – June 14 2006

This poem is available on the CD "These Days" featuring Sheila Jordan improvising in the background (available at iTunes, and

(For Sheila Jordan)

Little messenger
Singing jazz
As she passes our way
On the wings of blackbirds
That blow bebop changes
While telling Charlie’s stories
Through sagacious Cherokee eyes
Not a surprise
To watch wood and flesh
Inspired by the rhythm of ancient ancestors
Calling from the heart of time
The phrases of truth
Dripping down piano keys
Just to please
The songbird
Who perches on our souls
Spreading her seeds of joy
And love
And hope
While God holds her essence
In the perpetual palm of his spirit
As a gift to humanity.

Ellen Johnson
©2004 Long Snows Moon Music

Monday, February 16, 2009

THE OYSTER AND THE PEARL: What Motivates Us To Create

Featured Article on:

as part of their Author Articles Series

Lately, I’ve been thinking about what motivates us to create. I’ve been contemplating why some people can create works of great beauty under great duress. I’ve been wondering why sometimes you feel so motivated and other times you don’t want to do a thing. Recently, I’ve seen a tremendous amount of motivation for people to get involved in our government and creating new organizations and jobs. You’d think after all the disappointment and disillusionment that it would be just the opposite. Instead there is a renewal of energy and enthusiasm to create new ideas out of the old paradigms. Certainly the typical “struggling artist” is known for creating some of their most innovative work in turmoil when in better days their creations very often become mediocre or non-nonexistent.

So what is it about struggle that motivates and reaps its own rewards?

To finish reading the article go to:

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Featured Article on:

as part of their Author Articles Series

When I was a child I remember hearing the story of Rumpelstiltskin, a fairy tale written by the Brothers Grimm. The gist of the story is that a young girl is forced to spin straw into gold for a king because of her bragging father. Of course she cannot, but a small man, perhaps a gnome like character, tells her he will spin the straw if she gives him first a necklace, then her ring and finally her first born child. The young girl marries the King because of her supposed special talent, becomes a Queen, and eventually gets out of the situation of having to give up her first born by guessing the small man’s name. And so the story goes.

I started thinking about “turning straw into gold” and what that means as a creative person. Often we feel as though we are working with straw or we have nothing to offer in our creative lives. That could symbolize a lack of ideas, tools, resources, or even emotional straw. So how do we spin our “straw” or creative energy into gold?