curiosity and wonderment

 

If you asked me to choose a couple of keywords to sum up the dynamic that drives my creative practice, I’d pick these two:

curiosity and wonderment

When, on the first day of August, I dreamed up the little project called the daily details, I was just as curious to see whether I’d have the tenacity to stick with it, day after day, as I was to see how far my work would take me – would there be enough images to last the month?

Considering that a large portion of my works-in-hand has never been documented, I was amazed to find that not only were there plenty of details to last the month, there were enough to take me through three months. It transpired that the details themselves ended up driving the project – they wanted OUT. They grew grumpy if I pleaded for a break.

But after three months – 92 postings in all – they let me off the hook, satisfied that a decent overview of the many tracks I’ve explored so far on the via creativa had been gathered together. Followers and friends of this blog have had a break for over a week now; I’m sure they’re as relieved as I am!

Yet curiosity lingers. Now it wants to know which of those 92 posts were the most popular with you, my valued readers. I’m not sure how accurate this selection is – given that I’m aware of friends who followed each posting with enthusiasm but never hit the *like* button, being averse to signing up with WP for their own reasons – but I’ve gathered together the posts that, according to WP stats, received the most *likes*.

August
daily details 27.08.12 daily details 23.08.12 12.08.12 09.08.12
September
07.09.12 19.09.12 18.09.12 30.09.12 21.09.12
October
31.10.12 29.10.12 24.10.12 16.10.12 12.10.12

And now that second little keyword – wonderment – pipes up. It wants me to choose the posts that gave me the most personal satisfaction – the ones that made me think, “Did I do that? Cool.” The ones that have set off little lightning flashes in my mind and generated ideas for new work. The ones that made me remember how much I adore color, texture and making things for no good reason other than it keeps me sane and intimate with something so much larger than the mundane and mediocre. The ones that remind me that, as Frederick Franck told us “The inexpressible is the only thing worth expressing” and urge that I have a lot of expressing to do … and that my time is brief …

01.10.12 18.08.12 27.10.12 22.09.12 03.08.12

Color, curves, edges … and interestingly, painting is the predominant medium. Perhaps there’s a painter in here struggling to have more of a say?


No breathscribe works made it to my grand final. Perhaps that’s because although the series continues (I still breathe my life-tide across canvas or paper) there’s been a shift from the solid straight line. It’s restless; it wants to dance, to celebrate.

I’m exploring a new dynamism, profoundly inspired by the work of a contemporary Aboriginal artist – about whom, more in another post …


curiosity and wonderment [page]
walking the way of wonder
creating from wonder 1
creating from wonder 2
creating from wonder 3


saying the unsayable

 

The inexpressible is the only thing worth expressing.
Frederick Franck 

 

Wonderingmind Studio: Miriam Louisa Simons, la madonna blu

la madonna blu
Scaletta Uzzone, Piemonte, Italy
400 x 850
painting on silk, laminating, collage, assemblage
silk Habotai, fishing net, shells, sand, sequins,
fiber-reactive dyes, acrylic paint, gold metallic paint

– – –

this is my way
to make visible, to voice
the unknowable mystery of creation
this womb of light and love –

this is my way
with color, texture, rhythm
small earth-spun miracles
and a devotional heart

this is my way
to say the unsayable

– – –


Federick Franck’s to-do list

Frederick Franck at the awakened eye

Pacem in Terris


nomad collection: Italy


how many ways can you draw quiet?

I’ve tried many ways. I delight in “Seeing-Drawing”, the wonderful meditative practice I learned from Frederick Franck on one of his retreats and also from his classic The Zen of Seeing. I’ve tried just about every form of visual poetry: color, tone, texture. They have all been effective to a degree. Frederick Franck used to assert that the inexpressible was the only thing worth expressing. I took this statement as a koan as I explored ways to express that ineffable quietude.

It wasn’t until my practice distilled down to the essential life-tide of beingness that I approached real stillness, real quietude.

One soft succulent dawn in India I asked myself,  “How would I express that which is most fundamental to my life?

What would that look like?

Breathe in. Breathe out and let a line flow… and again, and again, again.

I drew my breath.

Breathscribe 1, Rishi Valley, India

That was how it began – by just putting down a simple horizontal line every time I exhaled. On the inhalation I paused; returned to my palette.

The line drawn, or painted, was as long as the out-breath, or as long as the paint in the brush lasted.

It didn’t take long for the breath to take over. As I gave myself over more freely and openly to its movement, it rose up and wrapped itself around me. It picked me up and melted me into its rhythm.

I had entered breath’s temple of quietude and I was nowhere to be found.

There was only this breath-breathing Beingness.

 


my brush is my suijo

California breathing

breath-prayer for Miriam

breathscribe series


what my eyes saw on the way

Frederick Franck - Mariakapel

In the silence of drawing
hidden, yet visible, in each face
I see the Face of faces,
see:
that the plural of man
does not exist,
is our cruelest hallucination –
see that our Oneness is infinite differentiation,
see:
that the pattern of the universe
and mine
are not-two,
that what lives in me
is the Tao
in which all lives.

THIS IS NOT WHAT I BELIEVE
BUT WHAT MY EYES
SAW ON THE WAY.

Having become
all these faces, all these bodies,
a meadow, a flower,
a night moth and a cow,
A STRANGER NO LONGER
I AM AT HOME,
BELOVED EARTH!

– Frederick Franck, The Awakened Eye


Frederick Franck was one of my most treasured teachers. He taught me how to see, how to draw as though my life depended on it, and how to live with eyes wideawake.

My website the awakened eye is dedicated to him and his vision.
See:
Frederick Franck’s to-do list
Frederick Franck, artisan


Drawing by Frederick Franck, Mariakapel


Frederick Franck’s to-do list

doveFFFrederick Franck, Dove

the promise of painting post reminded me of Frederick Franck’s to-do list.  He called it his 10 Commandments:

These Ten Commandments on seeing/drawing were revealed to me on a mountain, but also in a meadow, on a beach and even in the subway.  For their revelation did not come all at once, but in installments, as it were, over the years, and always while I was busy drawing, and invariably on holy ground.  But that may be because, while drawing, all ground is holy: unseparated from the Whole.

1  You shall draw everything and every day

2  You shall not wait for inspiration, for it comes not while you wait but while you work

3  You shall forget all you think you know and, even more, all you have been taught

4  You shall not adore your good drawings and promptly forget your bad ones

5  You shall not draw with exhibitions in mind, nor to please any critic but yourself

6  You shall trust none but your own eye, and make your hand follow it

7  You shall consider the mouse you draw as more important than the contents of all the museums in the world, for

8  You shall love the ten thousand things with all your heart and a blade of grass as yourself

9  Let each drawing be your first:  A celebration of the eye awakened

10  You shall not worry about “being of your time”, for you are your time

And it is brief

– Frederick Franck, The Awakened Eye


For more info about Frederick Franck visit the awakened eye website