For the past few days, I have been experimenting with my Gelli Printing Pad, using inks and watercolours to create greeting cards – (seasonal and general).
I have packages of blank cardstock (and packages) I bought several years ago when, as a fundraiser for the homeless-serving agency I worked at, I decided to make Christmas cards to sell. The proceeds went to the agency and I got to play with glitter for weeks on end!
I also got to clean up glitter for months on end but that’s another story.
It is all part of the ‘Frugal Fall Challenge’ I’ve created for myself. It’s an invitation to explore what can happen when I limit the art supplies I can use and/or purchase. In this case, I am not allowing myself to purchase any paper products, including canvases, until November 21st.
I’d originally made it ‘no art supplies’ but realized that if I wanted to set myself up for success, I had to make the challenge realistic. Believe me, going cold turkey on not buying any form of art supply was simply a recipe for failure before I even started! At least limiting myself to no paper and canvas purchases for three months gives me a modicum possibility of success — I have lots and lots of paper and canvases in the storage room at the back of my studio. Not being able to buy more was an invitation to explore what I have on hand and use it!
And that’s what I’m doing.
Engaging with my whole body in the art of letting go.
See, letting go isn’t only about ‘releasing’. It’s about engaging with all that you are, all that you know and all that you have in ways that ignite your imagination, inspire your creativity and invite you to wander new and beguiling paths that lead you into deeper knowing of yourself and how you are in this world.
I have a habit of buying art supplies. Some may call it an addiction but I’m not into labelling it. Know what I mean?
My habit means I have a storeroom full of supplies and ephemera some of which has sat around for a long, long time.
The Frugal Fall Challenge is my invitation to myself to explore new ways of being present – in my studio, in my life, in myself.
Too often, when I engage in the practice of ‘letting go’ I make it all about the release and don’t stop to explore the breath within the spaces created by letting go.
It’s as though in getting rid of all that ‘stuff’ I feel uncomfortable with the empty/calm spaces and so, rather than sit with them, I start filling the space up again.
And I wonder… am I uncomfortable with the empty spaces of my life (read body, mind, spirit) and so, keep acquiring stuff (read knowledge/information/techniques/new ways of doing things, being present) so I don’t have to face the silence of the open spaces inviting me to rest and breathe and be present with and within all that is already here…?
Now that’s a heady question for this rainy October morning. Perhaps, rather than seeking answers, it is time to heed the words of Rainer Maria Wilke:
“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”