January '09 Seminar- Art Making as a Transformative Process.

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Unna
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Re: January Seminar - Art Making as a Transformative Process.

Postby Unna » 05 Jan 2009, 13:05

You know, it struck me...

There are people who are still longing to try something artistic - long to play with colour, or whatever.

If the thought of making/creating something from scratch is too far to go as yet - there are so many lovely -- don't laugh!-- colouring books now -- many with designs from tradtional art of many cultures. Dover publishes many of them in the USA. There are also books of mandalas meant to be coloured in. It could be a nice start -- the lines are there; you can choose bright felt markers, lovely soft pencils, watercolours - whatever. The point is it is fun, soothing, colourful and anxiety free. I think it would also provide a threshold into the world of picking up a colour and making a mark.
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You should do things because they're right. Not because gods say so. They might say something different another time. (Terry Pratchett, Small Gods)

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Re: January Seminar - Art Making as a Transformative Process.

Postby lotuswelcome » 05 Jan 2009, 13:10

Baobab, you gorgeous woman, I'm grateful to you for such an excellent seminar. It's been a while sine I used my brushes....
Thanks again for such inspiring thoughts

:hug:

maca
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Re: January Seminar - Art Making as a Transformative Process.

Postby solarization » 06 Jan 2009, 00:44

Thank you, Baobab. :tiphat:

That was bang-on the nail, thought-provoking, inspiring, and twatting-well excellent.

Quite honestly, you've kicked me into taking down a load of boring old workaday shite from the wall and replacing it with some far more visually-interesting stuff, most of which is mine-all-mine. :grin:

Yer a gem!

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Re: January Seminar - Art Making as a Transformative Process.

Postby Clamhan » 06 Jan 2009, 04:31

Sonja wrote:
I think very often the hardest thing is to allow oneself again to be non-perfect (only to then realize that you are perfect in a completely different way than you thought).

If nothing else, let's keep talking about this.
This is spot on - Going back to the pastell drawing I did last week, initially I was sceptical with the results, to me it was less than perfect; the words childish, adolescent, and immature came to mind when I was casting my usual critical eye over the work I had done but you know the more I look at it, the more I actually feel a part of it, the more I am actually starting to even like the work I have done as opposed to just feeling the benefits of actually 'doing something' creative.

This gets me thinking a little more about art being (as you say Boabab) 'a transformative process' - if art is to be truly therapeutic then to return to our childish roots, our adolescence and immaturity is a necessary part of this process. Taking Romelias point a little further, we lose our sense of play as adults all too quickly and become embroilled in the everyday life that as adults detaches us from our inner child.

This reminds me of the Bardic Grade Gwers which involved the man and boy sat beside the Cauldron; its when the inner child and adult meet and reconnect to each other that this process of transformation begins. Thank you Boabab for the useful if not unintentional reminder that we need to shake the inner child up once in a while and combine the two.

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Re: January Seminar - Art Making as a Transformative Process.

Postby Bracken » 06 Jan 2009, 11:35

Good Morning, Everybody.

It is bitterly cold here. It was -9 during the night. :o Those sort of temperatures scare me.

Thank you all so much for such engaged and positive posts. I'm really enjoying them. The other night on msn wintersundog said this thread was a "good vibe magnet" :-) and I think it really is so far, huh? Cheers everyone for making it so.
I decided to give myself a day off and make another icon

And my mind more or less disappeared for the whole day
Isn't that exactly right? Time well spent, Leaflady. I had been struck by the archetypal nature of your pebble icon before I read your post. It reminded me of the story of Baso Doitsu [who I just googled for you and found out was the 'third most influential master in the history of Zen' :D ] being asked by a monk at the temple one day if he was well. His reply: "sun-faced buddha, moon-faced buddha." In other words, sometimes I'm well, sometimes I'm not, sometimes things are cool, sometimes they're lousy, it's all the same to me, I accept it whatever. I had wondered how you viewed the darkness and the light, how they had affected your creation of the icon, even whether they were important at all for you when you did the painting or if it was just my eyes that found them.

Please can I put a link to the current Eisteddfod HERE? Look in the Seasonal and Physical Art sections to see work by Leaflady and Magrathea.

[Incidentally Magrathea, I was stood next to Urbandruid the day he took those photos of Snowdon. It was bloody freezing then, as well. You really got it.]

Eilthireach, lotuswelcome, solarization (you funny, funny man) such high praise. :oops: Thank you for taking the time to read the January Seminar. Let's continue to fight the good fight by sharing our creativity generously, first and foremost with ourselves.
its when the inner child and adult meet and reconnect to each other that this process of transformation begins
I do think that this plays a big part. It is almost at times as if our disengagement with art making practice as children were part of the plan, packed away on purpose somehow just so that we could unpack it later in life. You speak of a childish sense of play Clamhan, and I do think that being 'playful' in your art making can lead you into the place where the magic happens, but it's absolutely not always going to be fun. All too often it can be painful, challenging us with our pasts or with deeply held damaging beliefs. When the "inner child and adult meet and reconnect" there can be a process of excorcism, and we need to find deep love for ourselves during this time. Sometimes it is too much to ask that we do this work alone. Seeking help from others can be the deepest of healing choices if we are fortunate to find somebody who can facilitate the very brave move we are making.

Be gentle with yourselves today.
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Re: January Seminar - Art Making as a Transformative Process.

Postby DaRC » 06 Jan 2009, 13:30

Hi Baobab,
thanks for an absolutely great seminar :-)
The school experience you describe about Art is for me paralleled with the school experience of Sport.
The teachers completely miss the point of both (particularly during the tender teenage years).

Like many others I was doomed at 11 to be rubbish at art (and you can include pottery, woodwork and metalwork in that) as well as rubbish at sport too.

For me Art is about an emotional expression, just as Sport is about a physical expression.
My discovery that my teacher's were wrong about me physically encouraged me to have faith artistically.

Although I've not taken up painting I am finding the palette of the garden is becoming my art,
my vogon-esque Poetry has helped bring the light to many a dark hour
and there is the greatest joy in encouraging my partner's photography.

But your seminar has given me extra courage to be creative in the garden this year - so my heartfelt thanks for that.

Cheers, Dave.
Most dear is fire to the sons of men,
most sweet the sight of the sun;
good is health if one can but keep it,
and to live a life without shame. (Havamal 68)
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Re: January Seminar - Art Making as a Transformative Process.

Postby Unna » 06 Jan 2009, 14:00

Hi everyone!

Clamhan wrote:
we need to shake the inner child up once in a while
Yes. And we also need to shake the inner adult once in a while and tell her/him: Please stop being so critical of the child. Being a child is an important job which you have no idea how to do!

Baobab - I'm going to look up Baso Doitsu also. He sounds like a good guy to get to know. You said, "I had wondered how you viewed the darkness and the light, how they had affected your creation of the icon, even whether they were important at all for you when you did the painting or if it was just my eyes that found them."

Well, it's like this: the pebble is a small pebble a little more than an inch long. My son gave it to me a few years ago -- my children were in the habit of gifting me with all kinds of rocks, branches & leaves because they knew I have a "thing" for them. This pebble was a wondrous gift -- yes, it holds the dark in one half and the light in the other half. And there is a line down the centre where they meet. If you hold it in one way, you can't see any difference at all! If you hold it in another way, it is quite clear. There is a gradation as you turn it.

I am so thrilled that you not only SAW the effect but WONDERED about it! :)
That's exactly what I was hoping for.
The darkness and the light were very important in the creation of the icon, which is a product of marvelling at and using this pebble for years.
It's on my altar. Sometimes I keep it on my desk for company. It's amazing. You pick it up and turn it around, and see that sometimes the dark side looks SO DARK, and other times it looks ALMOST LIGHT. Sometimes you can't really see the difference. But you know it is still there.

I was so happy that it made you wonder! :cloud9: It makes me wonder too.
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You should do things because they're right. Not because gods say so. They might say something different another time. (Terry Pratchett, Small Gods)

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Re: January Seminar - Art Making as a Transformative Process.

Postby Unna » 06 Jan 2009, 15:06

SUN FACED BUDDHA/MOON FACED BUDDHA:

http://www.berkeleyzencenter.org/Lectur ... 2000.shtml

Have a look at this! It's the original quotation and a nice exposition of it by a modern master - short and to-the-point, relevant to what we are doing here - I feel in some ways art making/poetry etc is our response to "being here", being "in the moment".
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You should do things because they're right. Not because gods say so. They might say something different another time. (Terry Pratchett, Small Gods)

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Re: January Seminar - Art Making as a Transformative Process.

Postby serenarian » 06 Jan 2009, 15:52

Thank you Baobab for this beautiful and inspiring seminar. For years at school I was mediocre at art, but this has rebirthed a desire in me to have another go. It's a good thing I bought some paints a few years ago. :D
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Re: January Seminar - Art Making as a Transformative Process.

Postby Magrathea » 06 Jan 2009, 23:06

Art is the tree of life
William Blake


Image

I did this today with my new toy, with this seminar in mind. It's a bit rough but it's my first go at a new art form.


I have always had the need to create, yet found that not enough time was available. Due to work mainly.
Now that I've been made redundant... well.

I agree with DaRC about the garden becoming art, although it's mainly veg at Hazel Grove.
( Vogon-esque poetry, does that come with a babel fish?)


If it's any consolation Baobab, it was bloody freezing when I painted that too.

Anybody else got Baobab induced, feel good vibe art to share
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Re: January Seminar - Art Making as a Transformative Process.

Postby Unna » 07 Jan 2009, 11:50

Wow! That's really cool - and impressive as a first effort!

You may convert everyone to this device just with one post!
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You should do things because they're right. Not because gods say so. They might say something different another time. (Terry Pratchett, Small Gods)

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Re: January Seminar - Art Making as a Transformative Process.

Postby Bracken » 07 Jan 2009, 23:35

Yeah! We've got art!

Thanks a million, Magrathea. That's brilliant. [And very Baoboby. :grin: ]

Thanks everybody for your posts. You're making this a very enjoyable experience for me.

[DaRC, sport, mega-idea for a seminar. I could so do with a new year's work out or ten. I'll suggest it.]
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Re: January Seminar - Art Making as a Transformative Process.

Postby butterfly watcher » 08 Jan 2009, 23:54

Thanks Baobab

I was crap at everything at school, daydreamed most of it. I think it was a relief to the teachers that I fell asleep half the time. Didn`t understand letters, reading a nightmare, spelling dont ask. A teacher did spend 20 minutes with me once, reading Billy goats gruff, by the end of it he looked like Violet of Charlie and the chocolate factory, I dont know if he went off to the dejuicing room? :whistle:
Since joining the OBOD I`ve taken to photography and have just started to play with layering, I love it, I can go whereever I want too. :grin:

I did a painting of me as a child while working with the Gwers would you like to see it?

Brilliant seminar
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Re: January Seminar - Art Making as a Transformative Process.

Postby Corvin » 09 Jan 2009, 05:52

Wow, intense, insightful. The seminar was art also. Felt it in my guts. Hope you save a copy.

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Re: January Seminar - Art Making as a Transformative Process.

Postby illion » 09 Jan 2009, 08:29

Thanks Baobab

I was crap at everything at school, daydreamed most of it. I think it was a relief to the teachers that I fell asleep half the time. Didn`t understand letters, reading a nightmare, spelling dont ask. A teacher did spend 20 minutes with me once, reading Billy goats gruff, by the end of it he looked like Violet of Charlie and the chocolate factory, I dont know if he went off to the dejuicing room? :whistle:
Since joining the OBOD I`ve taken to photography and have just started to play with layering, I love it, I can go whereever I want too. :grin:

I did a painting of me as a child while working with the Gwers would you like to see it?

Brilliant seminar
We will certainly see your painting :)

Illion
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Re: January Seminar - Art Making as a Transformative Process.

Postby Bryony » 11 Jan 2009, 23:26

Bless you Baobab!
I really, really, really needed to read your amazing seminar! I am so touched that I cant even put into words the profound effect your seminar has already had on me this evening. Your words and insights have triggered a grieving process for my lost artist and I send you one thousand blessings for this tearful release and the door that you have guided me to.

I have been very ill for the past decade and during the first few years of my illness I redisovered my creativity and it brought such joy. Three years ago I began the Bardic grade and sadly during this time my creativity upped and left me, due to a further decline in health. I didnt experience any blossoming of the inner Bard which was disappointing; but I live in hope that I will find my Bard and experience Divine inspiration once again. For the past 2 years I have felt completely blocked, it's like part of me has disappeared. I know that I need to liberate this creative part of me so that I can recover my health... your suggestions and insights have handed me a life line. So inspiring!

A month ago I began using the 'Artists Way' workbook by Julia Cameron and now, finding and reading your seminar I feel is very timely for me.

I also think that your seminar would be a valuable addition to the OBOD Bardic coursework

With much love and gratitude, :hug:
Blessings,
Bryony



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Re: January Seminar - Art Making as a Transformative Process.

Postby Bracken » 13 Jan 2009, 09:58

Hi everybody.

Thanks for your supportive posts. How many of us share this doubt in common at times in our lives? And how vital is the work of the Bardic grove to the reclamation of our creativity.
triggered a grieving process for my lost artist
That is such a valuable place to be, Bryony. An exploration of grief can give you so much. You know what to do with it. You know where to take it.
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Re: January Seminar - Art Making as a Transformative Process.

Postby Aylyn » 15 Jan 2009, 16:04

MamaB - such a great seminar. And inspiring - I always thought you were a natural artist who had always been an artist, so it is a great thing to read that you sucked at arts as well :grin:

Yes, I think a lot of it has to do with our childhood: First of all, when we have art classes, we compare our own work with that of others, and if we fail in our own view, we get discouraged and think we are not artists. If, on top of the personal shortfall, there are teachers who hand out marks and thus "officially" confirm to us that we are useless, we just give up. I know that happened to me: In my art classes, when I was 9 or 10, I was "not as good" as others, and subsequently received low marks, which then discouraged me to try further. By 13, I had given up on art altogether.

One of the hardest things about the bardic course was to get creative again, as by that time I had totally concentrated on science and logic, and was utterly convinced that I did not have one creative bone in my body. What I needed was a change in viewpoint: "ART", as you so nicely stated, is not only beautifully realistically paintings, it is all kinds of things. I have learned that problem solving is a creative art form as well :-) , as is gardening and raising plants, all things I am good at. Since then I have stopped feeling uncreative, even though I still won't touch paint and am convinced I am useless in this art form.

In this state of mind: Painting is not the only art form, and if we start painting, e need to stop comparing ourselves with others. Thanks for the heads up, MamaB :hug:

BTW - congratulations on becoming an Ovate, from a ver jealous bardic grade slacker :hiya:
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Re: January Seminar - Art Making as a Transformative Process.

Postby Bracken » 20 Jan 2009, 14:57

Hi Aylyn.

I'm just re-reading this. It is amazing me how many of us have had the same problematic experiences when art making is so beneficial to us. It has got to be a 'drive' or a 'need' to have such positive or destructive effects.

I am trying to write a ritual for the eisteddfod to use in conjunction with these ideas.

In the meantime, look at these stones I found. [Close your eyes to the gunge on the bottom of my front room window. :) Much too busy making art to sort it out. :oops: :grin: ]
windowsill god and goddess.JPG
windowsill god and goddess.JPG (57.4 KiB) Viewed 4201 times
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Re: January Seminar - Art Making as a Transformative Process.

Postby Aylyn » 21 Jan 2009, 10:52

Hi MamaB - the stones are great, they really resemble the God and Goddess. I have a stone in the shape of a seal I found years ago and took home to remind me of the sea. Have to find it again, it is probably still in one of my boxes after the house move.

And the grunge on the bottom of the window: If you had not pointed it out, I would have never seen it :grin: Do you really think my windows look any different? There is more to life than cleaning windows, as long as you can still see the sunrise, you are fine :oops:

yes, I think we need to relearn art, in the sense that we need to see the beauty all around us, and accept that painting is not all there is to art. My problem with it is (and you will probably flame me for this) , that all too often, I get annoyed with "Modern Art". I was in an exhibition in the Tate modern a few years back, featuring one of the "Great German Artists of this century", and the guy out in display stickies, envelopes and pieces of notepad with doodles on it, they ones I do during a boring meeting. Maybe it is me, but I felt he had taken the Mickey by calling this art, this is something any idiot can do (and does), and I want art to be more than random snaggles. I want to separate myself from that when I paint, and then fail my own high standards. Which is why I have given up painting and drawing. How do we reconcile this? I know, discussing "ART" is next to impossible, there is too much personal taste there, but when I sometimes see the high prices this kind of art collects, I cannot help but feel I have been had.

How do I reconcile my dislike of this kind of thing with my inability to do better??? :where:
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