Create- For the Spiritual Journey

A dear friend’s mother passed away recently, leaving her a variety of art supplies that she had no idea how to use.  “Bring them over.  We’ll have lunch & an art date”, I suggested.  So, we enjoyed a delicious lunch on my deck & opened the wooden box that had 2 velvet-lined drawers cradling charcoal, watercolor pencils, & drawing pencils in neat rows.  My friend is a very talented musician but hadn’t done much sketching.  “What do I do with all of these?”, she asked perplexed.  I thought for a moment.  Where to begin?  I’ve had countless art courses & workshops over the years, even majoring in Fine Art in college & enjoying a career in graphic design for several years.  Do I discuss perspective?  Line?  Composition?  Hmm… I made up my mind as to the most important quality of art & gave her my advice.

“PLAY.”

“Pick a pencil & see what it can do.  Scribble with it.  Smudge it.  Splash water on it.  Don’t worry about what it looks like.  Just create for the sake of creating.”

We had the best time!  Creating without self-criticizing is so liberating!!  This collage, titled “Create”, represents our burning need to be a part of creation in some way, shape, or form from creating new life to giving birth to new ideas.  Creating is yet another way to connect to something greater than ourselves & leave a legacy for those who follow.  I am a co-creator with the Divine, affecting my life & the lives of those around me.  So are you.

Create: celebrate your role as co-creator in your life.

This is the 8th collage in my series of 12 for the spiritual journey.  How are these pieces impacting you?  Please share your thoughts.  I’d also like to hear your ideas of what I should do with them when I’m finished.  I’ve considered making a calendar, notecards, or prints.  Any other suggestions?

 

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Exploring Mandalas

In preparation for my workshop focusing on woman-honoring cultures as they impact our own self-worth & divinity, I’m exploring the mandala which translates “circle” & represents wholeness & life.

Mandalas are everywhere, in all aspects of life!  Spiritually, they are found in Native American traditions, Buddhism, & Hinduism to name a few.  Emotionally, art therapists & psychologists use them to help clients reach a higher level of self-awareness.  Physically, mandalas are in natural objects from flowers to snowflakes.

One of many natural mandalas in my garden.

This Native American medicine wheel (a type of mandala) came from the website healing.about.com

This image of a Tibetan sand mandala came from princessioana.com

Before I ask others to create mandalas, I made one for myself so I can come from a place of knowing & better serve my workshop participants.  When I drew the 3 teardrops in the center, I jumped to the conclusion that this would be a gloomy mandala, revealing the frustration I’m feeling in one area of my life.  Not so!  The teardrops are the buds on thriving young plants with leaves resembling wings; the pink spiral & the smaller red spiral with dewdrops on it symbolize growth & creativity; the light radiating from the center is just as needed for growth as the rain.  I believe the springlike colors & spirals signal a time of new ideas & possibilities.  This is clearly a very positive mandala full of hope!

My first mandala, a symbol of balance, hope, & possibilities.

Trace a circle onto a piece of paper & create your own mandala.  Draw whatever comes to mind.  There is no “right” or “wrong”, only TRUTH.  Reflect on the image, getting to know your Self.

While there are many books on mandalas, I recommend the following as a starting point… Creating Mandalas by Susanne F. Fincher, Mandala:  Luminous Symbols for Healing by Judith Cornell, & The Mandala Book:  Patterns of the Universe by Lori Bailey Cunningham.

A Sketch A Day

Have you heard the advice “Just come to the page” for writers who suffer from writer’s block or who claim they are too busy to sit down and write?  They are told to take just a few minutes per day to show up at the page and write something…anything.

Now that my schedule is getting far more hectic, I’m putting a twist on that advise and saying to myself, “Just come to the sketchbook”.  Each day, draw something…anything.  Now, I know it’s the wrong time of year for traditional resolutions but I’m making a September resolution to draw one sketch a day all month long.  I have to continue with my art no matter how busy I get.  As all creative people know in their hearts, if we don’t draw, sculpt, dance, write, or play our instruments, we can’t be as happy as we are when we are creating.

I’ve got a small sketchbook, pencil, and sharpener that I will keep with me at all times.  Let’s see how it goes 🙂  How do you fit art into your schedule when you get busy?