January 30, 2010

Focus of Study: Qi(Chi) and Creativity

Chi and Creativity  Vital Energy and Your Inner Artist
Elise Dirlam Ching and Kaleo Ching (Blue Snake Books, 2007)

[from the back cover]

The capacity to create is part of being human - whether that means making art, writing, teaching, cooking for friends, gardening, giving a massage, nurturing relationships, or following a spiritual path.  Nourishing and maximizing your vital energy, or Chi, is an essential part of fulfilling your human potential.  In Chi and Creativity, authors Elise Dirlam Ching and Kaleo Ching present a wide range of strategies to harness the power of Chi and cultivate the inner artist.  They offer an integrative process that includes exercises in Chi awareness, Chi Kung, art, journaling, guided imagery, and meditation, to generate inspiration, awe, and energy for living a creative life.

January 28, 2010

A little knife music....

A facet of trusting the creative process is recapturing a sense of wonder, play, and discovery.

Using a pad of Strathmore Wet Media multipurpose paper I allowed myself the freedom and intention to play with color and the dynamic tactile variations of marks and strokes made with a palatte knife.

This simple, direct, kinetic exercise felt like a bold, uninhibited, spontaneous, dynamic dialog between the viscosity of the paint, the loading (and double loading) of the knife, and the movement and pressure of the stroke to paper.  Within the session I began to explore the relationship of my breathing, posture, and intention to the transfer of paint into kinetic marks onto a variably thirsty paper.  The resulting marks are fluid, dynamic and visually interesting.

This intuitive sketching process of exploring color and mark making feels wonderful (ask any 5 year old), and yields surprising insights both visually and into the nature of the materials themselves. This exercise points the way towards a process for building  experiential breathing/muscle/intention memories to inform future exploration and compositional applications.  Endless possibilities for exploring the infinite variability of dynamic marks in paint... It's like practicing my handwriting, but with absolutely no right or wrong, good or bad....just Is.   :)))

Focus of study: Trust the Process

Trust The Process:  An Artist's Guide To Letting Go
Shawn McNiff (Shambhala, 1998)

[from the back cover]
Whether in painting, poetry, performance, music, dance, or life, there is an intelligence working in every situation. This force is the primary carrier of creation.

If we trust it and follow its natural movement, it will astound us with its ability to find a way through problems—and even make creative use of our mistakes and failures.

There is a magic to this process that cannot be controlled by the ego. Somehow it always finds the way to the place where you need to be, and a destination you never could have known in advance.

When everything seems as if it is hopeless and going nowhere . . . trust the process.

Getting to the Heart of the Matter

In observing the ebb and flow of engagement with this blog, and it's "Urban SketchHunter" theme, I've noticed a pattern and insight into why a steady momentum of engagement with the blogging process has ebbed as much, or more, than it has flowed.   This blog is a medium for self expression and exploration of creative ideas, efforts, results, and process. The Urban SketchHunter theme focused my return to the creative studio, and getting out and about, learning and doing.   Sketching has its own process and flow, and the material forms that emerge, whether considered preparatory or finished in their own regard, have intrinsic and extrinsic qualities and aesthetics, and an important place within a creative practice.   I know deep within my bones and emotional system, that when I'm sketching, time can stand still, perception sharpens, and energy flows in deep engagement and joy, and a spiritual and material experience emerges, regardless of what materially takes form.  Creativity.  The point of the moment, though, is the practice of sketching, regardless of the subject matter, urban or otherwise, is but one facet of the creative process that I'm interested in pursuing and practicing. 

The blog entries to date are an archive of this process and provide evidence that sketching from life is a vital practice.  A practice that will continue to thrive and deepen within a larger creative context.  It's  this larger creative context that I'm fundamentally interested in, and will be exploring as the central blog journal theme.  The blog will serve as a medium for distilling and expression of my personal practice of getting to the heart of the matter.  The form this will take, at the moment, is pure potential, but it will emerge and evolve over time....as the journey continues to unfold...  :)))