In our current world, we need places of peaceful retreat...art can be that. Especially the Zentangle(R) art form because it's accessible to everyone, even those who think they cannot draw. For me, it is part of my self-care, a tool for relaxation, self-reflection and exploration.
“The enemy of creativity is fear. We are all born creative. It takes a little while to become afraid. A surprising insight: An enemy of fear is creativity. Acting in a creative way generates action. An action persuades the fear to lighten up.” --Seth Godin
I don't often share pieces that are still in process, especially when I don't have a strong sense of how they will end up. It's a little unnerving.
However, I started this blog with the intent to share my artwork and thoughts with you...even the half-baked ones. Because the doing of that forces me to grow further. It's not very comfortable, but then growth rarely is. When we're comfortable, it's easy to just continue doing whatever we've been doing. When the discomfort becomes intolerable, that's when we are moved to action, change, and growth.
I started this piece months ago -- it was a slow-go right from the start. I still don't know where or how it will end up. And because of that, it doesn't have a title yet. I only know it's somehow about energy and transformation.
The beginning stage was something of an adventure.
While I’m fascinated by all forms of black and white line art, the Zentangle® Method uses structured patterns to create its own style of abstract art. It allows entry into a relaxed, meditative state, making for heightened intuition, as well as a sense of well-being and timelessness. It’s been a springboard for my launch into all kinds of art and creativity.
Art has changed my life since 2014, and when the opportunity arose to take the 6-week Train the Trainer class on Healing Through Art offered by California State University Institute for Palliative Care a few months back, I immediately signed up. The fundamental concept is that there is something inherent in the creative process which makes us feel good!
This is not art therapy. It does not require a therapist. The person who makes the art, makes their own meaning. The art itself acts as the “therapist”, allowing people to find healing through the process of creation.
My thoughts on what art, or being an artist is, are still forming. I hadn’t done anything I would have considered art since I was about 10. I didn’t set out to “create art” when I took the expressive arts class during cancer recovery 4 years ago. It was a group activity within a larger program covering a wide range of topics geared to...
I’m now close to completing my 5th sketch book…some of it’s pretty, some of it is not. It is a record of my journey to-date as an artist. When I first started drawing, I did almost everything in the sketch book – it was easy and convenient, and it fit into my purse, making it very portable.
I showed my sketch book to an admired artist friend, who acted as if I was sharing the most intimate secrets, “you’re letting me see your most private stuff, like your private thoughts,” telling me it was a privilege that I was sharing with her. Here I was asking for feedback and here she was flattering me for trusting her with my work, inviting me to a larger understanding of what it means to be an artist. I don’t recall the feedback so much as the comradery and a sense of a larger welcome into the world of art.
This is one of the prettier pieces. I don't have a clue what it means, it just sort of evolved over a few days when I left the book open on the table and added to it periodically.
This piece has been a braille practice -- feeling my way through each stage/phase...letting it come through intuitively, organically -- a continuous surprise.
It's also shown me that my creative ideas have already moved beyond my current skill level. As certain aspects of this piece revealed themselves to me, I became painfully aware that I lack years of artistic training and techniques needed to get me where I want to go, to accurately portray the internal vision onto paper or canvas to be shared. But I will try, nonetheless.
This is only the second piece I've done in this larger size (11"x14"), and I ran out of room.
Autumn Joy is something of a milestone for me because (a) it’s the first time I’ve deliberately chosen a recognizable object, (b) the first time I’ve worked with only a single object, (c) at 11x14” it’s the largest piece I’ve done so far (more than three times my usual size), an (d) it’s the first time I’ve used watercolor pencils. It’s also the first time I asked friends to offer suggestions for its title on Facebook. “Autumn Joy” was suggested by Julie Tahapary, and it’s perfect.
Although I don’t spend as much time now waiting for medical appointments as I did during cancer treatment, I’m rarely ever without drawing materials. At my last check-up, the young medical technician admired the piece I was working on, “Mother of Grace”, and showed me how similar some of the design was to her tattoo. She said she’d love to have something like this piece for her next tattoo. So I asked her if she’d like to make a photocopy of it to take to her tattoo parlor. She was thrilled and asked me to sign it for her. I was thrilled she liked the piece so much that she’d want it permanently on her body.
I'm learning more about my art, and from my art, every day. It's not so much a matter of skill or practice... mostly it's a shift in perspective, a way of shaping how I look at and exist in the world.
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