Sunday, April 28, 2013

What is the Meaning of This?

 It has been a busy time around here.  April month was jam packed with activity.  I felt like one of those incredibly boring New Yorkers who start every conversation with "I have been soooo busy..."  Snore.  So, my apologies to all who had to endure such dull company.  Things are lightening up now, although the departure date for Newfoundland is swiftly approaching and that brings its own scheduling.  It will be manageable, however.

To celebrate gettin' 'er done, Lucy and I attended an art making workshop at Fire Lotus Temple in Brooklyn with Jody Hojin Kimmel Osho.  Hojin is a ceramic artist as well as a monastic and she regularly leads art retreats up at Zen Mountain Monastery.  She was at the Temple for part of the past week and led this workshop yesterday.  The theme was "What is the meaning of this?" and she continually asked us to set aside our assumptions and ideas and to "not know", just experience and work directly.

I have known Hojin for several years now and we have a nice kinship in our both being artists.  For some reason, however, I never even considered that I should take one of her workshops.  I mean, I am already an artist, right?  Well, duh!  What better reason to take the workshop!  I was pretty happy that Lucy decided to come as well.

I am sharing some of my drawings not because I think they are brilliant artwork.  In fact, it was a lovely relief to not feel any compulsion to make anything "worthwhile".  I just made marks and enjoyed myself immensely.  These were simple exercises that anyone can do.  Please try them at home!

We got started with some movement and then making marks based on the direct experience of the sounds we could hear.  Then we explored taste.  Have you ever tried to draw taste?  Try it!

This was carob.


Then we worked with light, drawing lemons.  I hadn't drawn like this in years!  It was so fun!

After our lunch break, we did some "juicing" as Hojin calls it.  We made marks using flower petals, spices, coffee grounds and whatever else came to hand.

Then, using the juicing technique and other materials, we made a piece that was a direct expression of love (whatever that meant to us).  The purple comes from some petunia petals I found on the street outside the Temple.

It was a wonderful day of just making marks and enjoying being with the other participants, soaking up Hojin's down-to-earth wisdom and great sense of humour.  The perfect antidote to the crazy month of April.

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