Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Mandala Stitching

One of the exercises this month in Creative Strength Training is to create mandalas, drawn or otherwise.  As an art it is an abstract, complex design, usually circular.  Further background, mandala is Sanskrit meaning circle, and has been a spiritual symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism representing the universe.  It can be used as tool to focus attention in meditation.  In more common use, mandala is a generic term for any diagram or geometric pattern that represents the cosmos symbolically. 

So, my stitching has turned to mandalas.

Mandala meditative stitching

Mandala meditative stitching

Mandala meditative stitching

I am also beginning to explore some drawing.  Here is an experiment with a compass and watercolors... it was an absorbing process.



Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Meditative Stitch

Art enables us to find ourselves and
lose ourselves at the same time.
                                                                  ~ Thomas Merton

I am thoroughly enjoying the Creative Strength Training explorations.  It is wonderful to immerse in the exercises and reflections.  As new material came in at the beginning of the month, I was finding the tendency to want to take it all on right away.  However I remembered there is really no rush.  I could slow down.  The 10 month format is part of what drew me to this course, knowing I could dive deep.

I am drawn to hand stitching, inspired by the Liz Kettle stitch meditation video that I shared with you in the last post.  Here are some of my stitch meditations:

Linda A. Miller stitch meditation

Linda A. Miller stitch meditation

Linda A. Miller stitch meditation

Linda A. Miller stitch meditation

Linda A. Miller stitch meditation

Linda A. Miller stitch meditation

The pieces are roughly 4" x 6".  It is a workable size, allowing time to sketch an idea with stitch over a shorter time period.  Some of these sketches may inspire a new direction in future.  For now I stitch.

Stay tuned!


Monday, March 26, 2018

On a Journey

An artist is an explorer. He has to begin by self-discovery and by observation of his own procedure. After that he must not feel under any constraint.
~ Henri Matisse

You may know from reading my recent posts, that I have been in a period of process and reflection.  It has become clear this is a time of transition (not only in my creative life, but overall life).  That realization softened my struggles and opened my curiosity.  I had been working with Jane Dunnewold's "Creative Strength Training" book, finding it so helpful.  Yet more was needed, so I finally decided to join her online 10 month program, which she leads with her daughter, Zenna Duke. 
"Nurture your Best Creative Self" is the theme for 2018. 

Once I joined, it was clearly the right decision.  Along with creative play, process and reflection, it is also about sharing the journey with allies on the path... including Jane, Zenna and other CST participants via Facebook private group.  It is time to rediscover my sense of joy in art making, which has been lacking.  I will let you know how things develop over this year.  (By the way if CST is of interest to you, registration closes April 1st.)

Prior to starting the CST program, I had been doing some stitch process pieces, with the emphasis on PROCESS.  I am using cloth, paper, ink, embroidery.

Yet, may be time to be even simpler and playful. Let my child self play!

Here is a wonderful video that Jane shared about Liz Kettle's stitch meditations...


Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Making Process

You have traveled too fast over false ground;

Now your soul has come to take you back.

Take refuge in your senses, open up

To all the small miracles you rushed through.

Become inclined to watch the way of rain

When it falls slow and free.

~John O'Donohue, excerpt "For One Who is Exhausted"

I had stepped back for a time, and now am finding my way back to making art once again.  (Not much posting either.)  I had the good fortune to help staff a Shambhala Art retreat last month, which renewed my spirit.  Unfamiliar with this?  The Shambhala Art program brings awareness to the creative and viewing processes through the integration of contemplation and meditation.  Not just for artists, the program allows everyone to discover the creative life.

I am not interested in taking a lot of technique classes at this point in my life.  Rather than fill up, I am seeking to return to my senses, empty out and discover what is already inside waiting to be expressed.  Finding my way back to some engaged joyful process, for within that comes self discovery as things open up.  I am re-exploring Jane Dunnewold's Creative Strength Training workbook as I begin to warm up my creative muscles. 

For those of you interested in a similar path, Jane and her daughter, Zenna Duke, will be leading the 2018 online Creative Strength Training beginning March 1st.  As.  A reminder, this is not just for artists, but open to everyone.  For info:  Creative Strength Training.

And here is what I have been playing with...  cut paper notan style.


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