Tag Archives: art journal

Why I didn’t quit.

Open Windows. Limitless Possibilities.
Art Journal Pages. Nov 7

I almost did. Quit.

At the midway point of creating yesterday’s spread in the art journal I’m creating for the course I’m leading at Kensington Art on November 19, I got stuck in the “Yuck. What a mess.” and wanted to give up.

I had a vision in mind when I began. A series of window panes that represent the theme of the page — Perspective.

Yuck. I Can’t Feel You.
The point of wanting to quit.

I’d carefully cut out papers I’d mono-printed designs on and then, realizing the perspective was too ‘colour same’ I’d cut out a few squares from a book.

Yes!  That works.

But, once I’d glued down the squares, it didn’t. Work. In fact, it looked discordant. Messy. It wasn’t calling to me. There was no harmony within me or on the page.

I was too close to ‘my idea’ and unable to see beyond what I’d wanted to achieve in my mind, versus what the muse was calling for me to release from deep within me.

I took Beaumont the Sheepadoodle for a walk and as I stood in the woods, listening to the sounds, feeling the warm(ish) November air against my face and watching Beaumont race through the snow, I felt better. Less agitated. More centered.

Left page spread

As we walked the trails along the river, I practiced a process I’d learned at the week-long The Embodied Present Process workshop I attended in Ontario two weeks ago. To release the breath within my pelvic bowl, to bring my awareness out of my ‘head brain’ down into my belly and then, to walk, stop and where ever I stood, look around me and say, “I am here.”

Occasionally I incorporated another process and said to Beaumont, the trees, the grasses, “I am another you.”

It was magical and mystical.

I was present to and within what Philip Shepherd, the facilitator and author of Radical Wholeness calls, ‘felt relationship’ with the world around me.

Right Page Spread

Regenerated, I came back to my studio not so much knowing what to do to fix my messy page spread, but feeling at one with its chaos and willing to move through continued creation to resolution.

I’m grateful I persisted. I’m grateful I remembered to bring my awareness back to my pelvic bowl so that I could feel, rather than think my way into being present. Fact is, thinking my way into anything has never worked that well for me anyway so why keep doing it? 🙂

Feeling my way, being present to the moment, creates space for me to experience being with the world and the world flowing through me in new and life-giving ways.

In the end, a bird flew in through one of the windows on my page and landed on a branch of a tree bringing me back to the present moment of creation.

What in my head had appeared as a chaotic and frustrating experience transformed itself into a totally delightful and divine afternoon in my studio.

From ‘I’m quitting’ to ‘I am here’ opened up all the windows of my page, creating possibilities I couldn’t imagine until I let go of my thinking and dropped down into the font of my creativity deep within my belly. In that space, all my senses opened up to the beauty and wonder of the moment, and everything shifted.

Magical and mystical indeed!

.

 

Thank You Bob Dylan

Sometimes, when I dance with the muse my moves are very focused.

Sometimes, they’re a sea of motion, visuals, words, ideas streaming together to create a dance of all the elements crashing into one another, like the waves crashing into the shore.

It was those words that I wrote in my journal yesterday that inspired my studio time later in the day. That and a monoprinted sheet I’d created a few weeks ago with images of clocks and birds that I’d turned into a mini-art journal. At the time, I remember thinking of my dad who’s favourite quote from The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam was always,

The Bird of Time has but a little way
To fly --- and Lo! the Bird is on the Wing.

That quote, and my own musings of time passing and life moving ever onward as well as one of my favourite folk/protest songs from ‘way back when’  inspired the story below. (Thank you Bob Dylan)

I am grateful for the muse and her ever-constant presence connecting me to my creative essence inviting me to soar with the wind and dance with abandon on the sands of time.

Blowin’ In The Wind

Time called out to the wind as it blew past,
“Take me away with you to far off places where I can forget who I am as I while away my days watching waves crash against the shore where seagulls dive from the sky and lovers dance oblivious to the sands of time passing by.”

 

Capricious and free, the wind swept up time and kept blowing, faster and faster as the hands of time kept spinning in delight of the wind’s breath fresh against its face.

Caught up in the wind,
Time kept passing
And as it passed it gathered stories
of far off places and tucked them deep into memory’s pockets
sewn into the great divide that stretched across the horizon
in every direction at the edge of day turning into night.

With its memories safely tucked away for a rainy day in the deep pockets of the horizon filled with time blowin’ in the wind, the world kept spinning as the hands of time kept turning.

In time, it came to pass that the wind grew weary and stopped to catch its breath on the shores where waves crashed and seagulls dived and lovers danced oblivious to the sands of time passing by.

Caught up in the joy of blowin’ in the wind and the who it was it could not forget, time could not stop. Without missing a beat time kept on passing by as the world kept spinning around the sun and the moon kept rising to greet the dark and the waves kept crashing as time passed by.

Colour Me Excited

Last Saturday I christened my “Wild at Heart Studio” with six lovely women who came to explore, create, play and shine.

It was wonderful!

On November 19th, I am leading my first workshop @KensingtonArtSupply – a huge step for me – to offer an art workshop outside my own safe space! In this case, it is an art journalling workshop — Art Your Heart Out!  Colour me excited!

There was a time when I said I couldn’t paint. I had no artistic ability.

And then, I discovered how wrong I’d been about something I’d told myself all my life. (I was in my mid-forties when this revelation came to me!)

Hmmm…. I wondered. If I’m wrong about that, what other limiting beliefs am I holding that might be keeping me in place, stopping me from doing things outside my comfort zone?

Delving into artistic expression has been a life-giver. It has created space for me to explore my world in all its many colours, textures, shades and shadows. And, it’s enriched my life by giving me the inspiration to create opportunities for others to find their own creative expressions.

Years ago, when I first started working in the homeless-serving sector at a large adult homeless shelter, I started an art program. A church had donated funds for art-making that had sat unused for two years. I went out, bought some supplies and then invited clients of the shelter to join me on Thursday evenings and Saturday afternoons for creative play.

That program connected us in ways we could not imagine. It shone a spotlight on our humanity, our shared human condition and our capacity to create even in the face of abject poverty, sadness, loss. Providing space for others to delve into their creative core in the otherwise stark and soul-crushing world of homelessness was healing, affirming, possibility-filled.

That space was an opportunity for everyone to reconnect to that which homelessness crushes down — our humanity. Rather than being identified as the label “homeless”, both participants and those who volunteered in the studio, who came to our art shows and other productions were connected through the creative process to that which makes our world more caring, kind and beautiful — the creative expression of our human condition.

That program gave me a creative outlet and an opportunity to invite people to engage with individuals experiencing homelessness in more positive and supportive ways. It also taught me about my own human condition; its frailties, blind-spots, glory.

Just as back then when I started that art program I did not know where it would lead, (it resulted in some amazing other projects and creative expressions I could not have imagined if I hadn’t simply stayed present to the possibilities), I do not know where my creativity workshops will lead me. I do know, I’ll go nowhere different if I do nothing.

Yesterday, as I reorganized my studio and then spent time playing, I felt myself coming home to myself with all my being present to the beauty and wonder of the moment.

This morning, as I sit at my desk in my studio, looking out at the snow-covered grass, the bare branches of the trees lining the river, the sun shining on the waters flowing past, I feel myself connected to the amazing ordinary grace of this moment.

I breathe deeply into the wonder and awe, revel in the ordinary and extraordinary life that flows through me and say a prayer of gratitude.

Ah yes. This is life.

Beautiful. Joyful. Filled with awe and wonder, inexplicable moments of sadness and sorrow, breath-taking moments of radiance and light.

This is life.

How blessed I am to feel it flowing through me, connecting me to this world of limitless possibility.

Namaste

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Thank you JT, JD, JR, SC, WC and BB for creating such glorious magic in this space.

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As part of the workshop I created mini art journals for each participant and then demonstrated how they could create their own. As well, eveyone painted salt dough hearts I’d prepared and spent time just playing with ink, paint, water, paper and medium. What fun!

 

 

The Art of Journalling: Start Here.

The photos above are three different paintings from my art journal. For  me, art journalling is an experimentation and exploration of thoughts and techniques. It’s about free-flow art-making that loosens up my creative muscles, leaving me free to express myself without fearing judgement, criticism or ‘getting it right’.

I art journal because it feels good.

I love how art journalling gives me space to create uncensored.

How to begin.

change-copyThere is no right nor wrong way to begin to art journal. There is only the way you choose.

To read the rest of the article on Art Journalling, please click HERE. It will take you to the complete article I posted on my website.

The Art of Journalling.

Happy Journalling!

Give your heart room to grow wild.

Art Journal Entry July 7, 2016 Mixed Media
Art Journal Entry
July 7, 2016
Mixed Media

Hearts do not grow strong locked within a box. They cannot fly free trapped within a cage.

Set your heart free to dance to its own wild tattoo. Let its earthy beat stir the depths of your desire to love deeply, live freely, give fearlessly.

Be wild at heart. Dig deep into the soul of your majestic essence.

Unlock the door. Throw the windows wide open and let your heart run wild in the wonder of your creative expression.

Give yourself time every day to give birth to what calls your heart to beat freely.

Unleash your creative spirit. Unhinge your creative expression. Dance. Paint. Laugh. Leap. Play. Sing. Howl. Stomp. Dive deep.

Let your heart grow wild in the joyful expression of your life lived boldly beyond the limits of your imagination.

 

Take me to the edge of reason

Journal entry Feb 8, 2015
Journal entry
Feb 8, 2015 She never imagined she could fly until one day she decided to believe in herself.

I awoke early this morning. Sleep slipped away as I listened to the dark of night sounds outside the open window beside me. In the far distance, a truck lumbered along the highway, the road wet hum of its engine tugging at my mind, urging me to leave the place where I lay to journey out into the night.

I resisted.

I lay in bed, yearning for sleep, seeking its soft, pillowy comfort.

My yearning was in vain. Sleep evaded me.

I got up. Came to the office and in a newsletter from Spiritual Directions, read a poem by Susie Tierney, that began with the line, “God, take me to the edge of reason”.

Where is the edge of reason, I wondered? And how do I find it? Do I need to? What happens when I do? Will I recognize it when I do or will I simply keep pushing into it thinking the answers lie beyond its edge? Am I willing to live the question of not knowing where the edge of reason exists without having to go and find it?

Good questions for an early morning wonder.

My fingers began to move across the keyboard. Consonants met vowels. Words crept onto the page.

I let the words flow free. There was no need to train them, or urge them into making sense. They had their own mind, their own desire to form into being without my insistence I knew the answer to their meaning or that they do it in any particular way.

Take me to the edge of reason, and let me fall, laughing, into the chaos of my thinking I know the way.
How can I know the way when I must trust the way will appear with each step I take?

Take me to the edge of reason, and let me leap, light as air, into the nothing that is all the courage I need to be fearless.
How can I step free when I hold onto my fear of being vulnerable?

Take me to the edge of reason, and let me float, effortlessly, upon the waters of life flowing in every direction.
How can I know peace when I am holding back and resisting my soul’s calling to let go and be present?

There is no edge and no reason, to what happens when I allow the process to be the way.

There is simply the way becoming the path to seeing what can happen when I get out of the way of making it happen.

When I get out of the way, the way appears.

May you live your day balanced effortlessly on the contradictions and harmony of living full of life beyond the edge of reason.

Namaste.