An Artist's Quest

Posts tagged “meditative practice

Still Life

Pomegranatesm

I have been busy, I feel like I’m always busy – I am in perpetual motion and while I proport to be an artist not enough of my time is spent making art. By far I spend more time promoting my art workshops, designing new workshops, writing about new techniques, and teaching than I do making. I am forever in an internal conversation about the balance of teaching and making. I do enjoy both and to be frank I couldn’t make a living on just the art – people hunger to open up their creative hearts and I love to help them through my workshops. But sometimes I want to make for the making, not because I’m going to teach a workshop and I need a sample, not because I’m going to write a magazine article and need to pitch an idea – just make. So, this week despite an anvils weight of anxiety about all the things I need to do for an upcoming workshop and art sale, despite the fact that there are always contacts I should be making and connections I should be deepening, and despite the absolute mess in my studio, despite all this I chose to make. And what do you suppose I chose to paint? A still life. What a wonderful term – Still Life.

Stillnoun -deep silence and calm; stillness – Synonyms quietness, silence, stillness, hush, soundlessness, noiselessness, calmness, calm, tranquility, peace, peacefulness, peace and quiet, serenity

Lifenoun – the condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity, and continual change preceding death – Synonyms existence, being, living, animation, aliveness, entity, sentience, creation

What an interesting parring – perhaps that is why artists are drawn to create a still life. Something in the tug between stillness and animation the juxtaposition of tranquility and change. A still life is capturing a quiet moment in the act of changing. The fruit will wither the flower fade the moment in between is caught up in the still life.

Unbeknownst to me – in the chaos of my week, my month, my year – still life called. Despite that fact that I didn’t have time for making this week, I didn’t have room for making this week- still life called. I’m so glad it did and I’m so glad I listened. The making of these two paintings calmed me, readied me, revived me. The stillness in the action brought me back into my body and breath and made me ready for this weekend’s teaching – this month’s selling and showing.

I give thanks to the universe for showing me this perfect persimmon, this fecund pomegranate and whispering in my ear to stop, to make and observe this quiet, abundant moment – to allow and honor – Still Life.

persimmonsm

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As simple as breathing…..OM to OOPS nine times out of ten

The images are monoprints on fabric then quilted

The images are monoprints on fabric then quilted

Breathe in breathe out, mind clear, body relaxed, onions, sandwich bread, yogurt…OOPS, breathe in breathe out, mind clear, body relaxed, after work I’ll drive too… Oops….and so goes my meditation practice.  I try, that’s something and sometimes I hit a zone that tells me I want to keep at it. I know I’m not the only one so if anyone out there has some good tips or resources for us mediocre meditators I would be happy to hear from you.  And while I can’t always seem to keep my mind clear for more than 30 seconds I seem to keep coming back to it in practice and in art.  For the past six months I have been working with the same theme of breath and presence (see past posts:  post 11/30/12  &  post 3/8/13).  I have cycled back around this spring with the same image in a different medium, fabric.  For those of you following my progress you know I’ve been doing some art quilting so it came to me that I could monoprint on fabric just as well as paper then quilt the pieces.  I spent some time experimenting with this idea on these pieces. Then I decided to make a large stencil of the seated figure and use some of the fabric I marbled (post 3/15/12) to play with the idea of breath and the fluid nature of the meditative exercise.  I like where this work is going and the combining of materials and mediums…and so even if my meditation is meandering then my art keeps reminding me to simply breathe.

Figure is made using stencils on fabric I marbled.

Figure is made using stencils on fabric I marbled.

Figure is made using stencils on fabric the background is fabric I marbled.

Figure is made using stencils on fabric the background is fabric I marbled.

Figure and background use fabric I marbled

Figure and background use fabric I marbled

As requested by you dear readers I have had the cards made of the breathe images.  They are post card style but the back is nearly  blank (with some artist info).  I am selling them for $15 for a pack of 12 cards (two of each of the six images), the fabric pieces are also for sale follow the link to see  more breathe banners.

Cards made from meditation monoprints

Cards made from meditation monoprints