Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Dragonfly Power (aka The Power of Influence)

"Tell me and I'll forget; show me and I may not remember; involve me and I will understand"
~ Native American Proverb
Zen Odonata    8"x8" scratchboard    eakf
Earlier this week I enjoyed the very special experience of re-connecting with a powerful influence from my past. The desire to do this began in 2007 during my 12 week journey through The Artist's Way  ( J. Cameron). In week one of this course, you are tasked to use "Time Travel" exercises to explore your past for both the positive & negative influences on you as a creative. Once identified, you are then encouraged to send a thank you note to a long-lost mentor.
OK ~ So the name instantly on top of my list was Kay Walking Stick, one of my Art professors in college. I was lucky to have Kay for more than one studio course, and from day one she was magic for me. She is of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, and her style, her Art and her heart all reflected that communion with the Spirits ...... and, like a Totem ( mine is Odonata ~ the Dragonfly), she empowered me.
She had the capacity to push & pull so much more out of me than I knew was there ( in those early days of being creative). I still often "feel" her hand literally pulling me back by the collar when I got too close to my easel and therefore fell into my intense-detailed mode (a NO NO left brain place).
    In 07, I researched to see if she still lived and where, but it was only a few days ago that I finally composed and sent her an e-mail. I had NO expectations to hear back - after all I was a student of hers 35 years ago !! Imagine my extreme delight when she answered with a lovely ( so her style ) e-mail. Oh, did I mention that over these last 35 years she earned a Doctoral degree, taught Art for 17 years at Cornell and has her Art all over the country ? This "connection exercise" has been rewarding and energizing, and I am thankful that I finally did this.

So ~ Who is in your Hall of Champions? What sources have given you creative power? I would suggest that it is time well spent to reflect a bit on this, to re-connect with positives from your past, and be in communion with the Spirit.   May the force be with you........

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Wedding of Heaven & Earth

"What ever you dream on this night will come to pass." ~ William Shakespeare  A Midsummer's Night Dream
Stonehenge @ Summer Solstice

Awed by the great power of the sun, civilizations have for centuries celebrated the first day of summer. Sol + stice from the Latin words meaning "sun" and "stand still" reflects the observation of lengthening daylight, and a big bright sun high in the sky.

Back to the idea of Primitive Wisdom ( previous post ) it is again early man who, in trying to make sense of his world, gives us interesting insights for this celestial ocurance. Ancient pagans (world wide) found this day to be a reason to celebrate ...... light, love & growth. Notable revelers in the west were the Celts, Slaves & Druids and from the east, the Chinese, each with unique festivals/ practices & rituals. Common to each, though, were the presence of big fires, dancing, garlands of flowers & herbs, and food & drink.
It was the Druids' who dubbed the day as "the Wedding of Heaven & Earth" with the most spiritual location being at Stonehenge; other pagans called the Midsummer moon the "Honey Moon" for the mead made from fermented honey that was part of wedding ceremonies performed at the Summer Solstice ( leading to todays idea of June Brides having good luck ), while across the globe, the Chinese were honoring Li, the goddess of Light. Most believed that their celebrations and the use of big bon fires would help to increase the sun's energy which was so critical to early mans survival.

So in the spirit of the day... I wish you all enlightenment, and joy and encourage you to dance or look  into the heart of a flower and appreciate the power of the sun.
~ Happy Solstice and Sweet Dreams.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Primitive Wisdom

"It came upon my mind to clear........." - Anne Gillis
Ancient Echos I ~ watercolor sketch 2011 ~ eakf
~ that to go forward we must first go back !

Why are we often drawn to the past ~ seeking to unlock the mysteries of the ancients & their ways ? What were their lives really like ? and perhaps, most importantly, how did they "make sense" of the wonders & perils of the world around them ?

  What Primitive Wisdom did they call upon ?
In researching this and drawing inspiration from the early marks of man still found (globally) etched & stained into cave walls & rock faces ~ like ancient echos ~ a new series of ATC's are now in the works.
One significant "primitive wisdom" insight for me kept emerging in the idea of "Listening Deeply".
 Seeking answers & direction in any area of one's life is all about listening deeply to ........ a higher power, our true inner selves, and the ecological web (including fellow man). So this series of ATC's, though simple & primitive, will hold that message. Have you tried your hand at ATC's yet ? Are you ready to "trade" ?  :)  Either way, I'll sign off today with another thought provoking echo from the past ~

"Wisdom begins in Wonder "  ~ Socrates

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Creativity Windows

"Creativity is a lot like looking at the world through a kaleidoscope..."  
~Rosabeth Kanter
ATC's - 2011  "Nature Sings" edition         eakf

The idea of looking through; into or out of something  has always intrigued me. Physically~ windows or portals provide us these opportunities while also allowing light to pass through. Metaphorically, it is a quick step to the ideas of illumination and visualization as linked with creativity and all those times of inspiration, serendipity and "ah ha's". 
I welcome all opportunities to explore both new windows of creativity as well as revisiting those views familiar to me.
Recently I attended a demo & hands on session about ATC's ( Artist Trading Cards). This was not a new window for me as I first tried my hand at ATC's in 2007 during my 12 week study of The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. Was fun to again play with creativity in that form.
ATC's are essentially miniature Art works with the only guidelines being a standard size of  2.5 X 3.5 in. and that they are produced for personal enjoyment or "trading" with fellow artists only. Otherwise it is a wide open window. My personal preference is to work in a series and produce editions (usually sets of 12). The set featured above is from my dragonfly power series, which is nature inspired. I am also working on an edition from my coffeehouse series, which is a look at Human Nature.
Why don't you give it a try and then let me know if you wish to trade :) For sure, I encourage you to take advantage of all "Windows" in your life as to not miss any "Views" !!