Monday, July 29, 2013

Fun Monday Challenge #12 - Appreciation for Yourself

Collage by Lani, textures by FlyPaper,
“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” ~ Albert Schweitzer

Lisa Mitchell
, of the Inner Canvas, suggests that we celebrate everything!  When we let people know we are grateful for them, when we celebrate them, we let them know they matter. When we celebrate our creative process, we are letting ourselves know we matter. Small creative celebrations add up to very big surprises.

What if we dove into our art journals without fear! Even our "mistakes", can take us to remarkable places.  A daily art practice is a way to keep track of and celebrate our creative efforts.  Lisa says celebrating like this takes energy and intention.  "Think of a toddler who has just learned to use crayons.  Every time he puts a mark on the paper he celebrates!  
Think of a baseball game.  Every time someone gets a hit, we celebrate.

Think of a gardener.  Every time his roses bloom, he celebrates.

Think of an artist.  Every time she puts paint on her canvas, she celebrates.

Each little thing is worthy of a teensy cheer or party."

When we give these little celebrations the energy they deserve, we are totally empowering ourselves to move into the next adventure. We are rekindling our own flames.

Over at Bliss Habits, Kylie Bellard suggests that we surprise ourselves.  She's got several great ideas of how to do that.  For today's challenge I would like to combine this idea with Lisa's idea of celebration.  Kylie suggests that we find a way to surprise ourselves with a gift, enlisting the help of a friend who will take some money, buy a gift and send it to you at some future date.  Neat idea!  She also suggests planting encouraging, playful messages in special spots where you will find them, like in your calendar or day timer.   You can also place inspiring quotes and photos in your art journal where you will find them.  She also suggests if you keep an electronic calendar, to do the same there as well.  
So here's today's challenge.  Create an art piece that celebrates and appreciates you!  Create copies of it if you can and place them in places where you will find them later. 
Fill your life with as much delight, celebration, and appreciation as it can hold!  And of course share this delight widely!  (Feel free to share your work or play on Instagram by adding #14SecretsChallenge to your description, or by adding your photo to our Flickr pool.)   


Lisa Mitchell suggests that we celebrate everything! When we let people know we are grateful for them, when we celebrate them, we let them know they matter. When we celebrate our creative process, we are letting ourselves know we matter. Small creative celebrations add up to very big surprises. What if we dove into our art journals without fear! Even our "mistakes", can take us to remarkable places. A daily art practice is a way to keep track of and celebrate our creative efforts. Lisa says celebrating like this takes energy and intention. But "think of a toddler who has just learned to use crayons. Every time he puts a mark on the paper he celebrates! Think of a baseball game. Every time someone gets a hit, we celebrate. Think of a gardener. Every time his roses bloom, he celebrates. Think of an artist. Every time she puts paint on her canvas, she celebrates. Each little thing is worthy of a teensy cheer or party." When we give these little celebrations the energy they deserve, we are totally empowering ourselves to move into the next adventure. We are rekindling our own flames.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Getting ready for the digitalized photo mandala tutorial!


This is from susanna suchak:

From susanna suchak

In preparation for the digitalized photo mandala tutorial ... over the weekend go over some photographs (or take some new ones). Find those with a distinct feature and/or 2 strong lines meeting at a point. Spend lots of time with those photographs. Turn them around and spend at least 5 minutes (you heard me right 5 minutes) with each rotation. Get to know these photographs. Make sure that you really love them. And Tuesday I'll be back with step 2. Have a great weekend!

My first digital mandala (by Lani)

Monday, July 22, 2013

Fun Monday Challenge #11 - Mandala challenge Part 2


Mandala Challenge by susanna suchak
For the second part of the mandala challenge think back to a time when you travelled a certain route on your way to work, school, the grocery store, any place you went to often and where you were used to going along a certain path. Driving works better for the purposes of illustrating my point because we often go into auto pilot. I think it’s because we are moving so quickly.

Here’s a story…(apologies as I cannot find my source or I would give credit, it may have been in The Spell of the Sensuous by David Abram)

A North American person (who happened to be a man, let’s call him Dan) went to a remote area in the continent of Africa to work with the indigenous people. He loved the stories and especially the way his assistant told them as they travelled from village to village as they walked along together. They developed a close relationship to the point where he felt they were truly brothers.

One day Dan’s supervisor arrived and Dan brought along his assistant (let’s call him Shaha) to the city to pick him up at the small airport. Wanting to showcase the musical storytelling skills of the people he felt were his adopted family, he asked his assistant/brother to tell a story that he remembered as they approached the village.

However, he could hardly believe his ears. Instead of the melodic retelling of an ancient tale, he heard a breathless, stream of words. Was Shaha nervous? Embarrassed to be asked to perform for a newcomer?

After they had settled the guest in his quarters, the two sat with a cup of tea and Dan asked his friend why the story had sounded so different this time around. Shaha raised his eyebrows and smiled widely and said, “My friend that story is a walking story; it belongs to the land and you were going so fast that I could hardly keep up! You see as we pass the large standing stone, I must be “here” in the story and then as we pass the Bayobab tree I must be saying “this” … the jeep didn’t listen to the story, but ran along, raced along. Next time we go walking you will hear the story properly.
A mandala should tell a story, but it takes time and some deep listening. We have a tradition in contemplative practice called visio divina which means seeing deeply, seeing in a divine way.  A flower is often a mandala all on its own.

Here’s some places where you might be inspired to produce a photograph that can be manipulated into a mandala.

David Booker works through a multitude of serious physical ailments and maladies by using photography. If you’d like to be inspired you can visit his site for more inspiration http://www.davidbookbinder.com/
For more manipulated mandalas you might want to visit Kathryn Tisdale’s blog http://themandalapattern.com/
Especially for Barb St. Jacques I happened to find this human mandala project video where folks made mandalas from their bodies at Burning Man… http://humanmandalaproject.com/
My idea is similar to this project (which might appeal to those of us who use art as a therapeutic tool) http://www.bee-it.co.uk/Guidance%20Docs/Becta%20Files/Schools/Curriculum/Art%20and%20design/10%20Inspire%20Me_Photographing%20mandalas.pdf

Whether or not you took the time to visit any of these sites you are ready for my part of the challenge. Pick up your camera, or your cell phone, or your iPad … whatever you have that takes pictures and/or has a lens to look through.

Composing a photograph is a lot about what you leave out so the lens finder of even a toy camera will be enough to assist you in the process. The camera’s lens will focus your seeing so that it is not just a quick look and snap.

Photography is … at least for me … more about learning to see (not just look). Get really into a small piece of some image that draws you in; please use something that is familiar and try to see it more deeply, differently, without labeling it as they say to us meditators.

Now take many photos from different angles. I’ll post what to do with them by Wednesday. You can use Photoshop Elements or you can just use Word … You can save the final mandala as a jpg in Elements or as a doc in Word. See you soon…and have fun seeing in a whole new way.

Feel free to share your work or play on Instagram by adding #14SecretsChallenge to your description, or by adding your photo to our Flickr pool.   

Monday, July 15, 2013

Fun Monday Challenge #10 - Mandala challenge (Part 2 Next week)

Mandala collage by Lani
Mandala is a Sanskrit word that means "circle" and in the Hindu and Buddhist traditions their sacred art often takes a mandala form.  For thousands of years spiritual practioners have created mandalas as an expression of what they hold sacred, and have often use circles in ritual and art making for the purpose of transcendence, mindfulness, and well-being.

To create your own mandala, you only need your favorite art materials; paints, drawing materials, crayons, pre-cut circles in oak tag or water color paper (something heavy to take what ever you can put on it).  Trace a plate or container lid the size mandala you would like. 

Once you have the size circle you would like to work with, choose some colors you would like to work with as well.  Close your eyes and breathe gently, listening the sounds of your breath coming and going out.  Imagine what symbol you would want to place at the center of your first mandala.  What colors would you use?  Once some ideas have emerged in your mind, see if you can put some of them onto your paper, always allow for evolution of imagery, of course.  Think of your mandala as sacred and work consciously from a quiet place inside yourself that contains your goodness and compassion. Try turning the mandala as you work on it and see what that feels like.  Art therapist, Cathy Malchiodi suggests if you feel stuck to try making a heart image central in a mandala.  This mandala can be the beginning of the exploration of your heart’s capacity to give and receive loving-kindness.  

Of course you can take the mandala challenge out into nature, around your house, or where you work.  Feel free to share your work or play on Instagram by adding #14SecretsChallenge to your description, or by adding your photo to our Flickr pool.  
Mandala from Ram Dass FaceBook page

Mandala from Ram Dass FaceBook page


 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Fun Monday Challenge #9

"Mystery" collage by Lani and textures from FlyPaper
This challenge will be super fun and may last longer than Monday.  First of all I got interested in the FaceBook page Artist's Journal Workshop.  There's a lot of good material there to inspire a daily art practice and of course Fun Monday Challenges.  One inspiring post had a title EDM # 6 and it was of a box of crayons.  So I scouted around and found the source, which is on Danny Gregory's website.  He's got great drawing prompts and a link to even more drawing prompts, all of which of course can be turned into art prompts.  So EMD #6 was to "Draw your favorite well-loved object … or a childhood toy" and I thought about this and decided to create a kind of art/shrine to my childhood imagination and love of mystery, art, wonder and curiosity.

So here's the fun Monday challenge, create an art piece based on childhood loves.  OR check Danny Gregory's or Karen Winter's lists to see if there's another prompt that jumps out at you.  Fun, eh?

Feel free to share your work or play on Instagram by adding #14SecretsChallenge to your description, or by adding your photo to our Flickr pool.