The November of Ensos – Day 1

 

 

Acrylics on scrapbook paper

Acrylics on scrapbook paper

So – November first means Day 1 of the announced Enso Project. Here it is – apologies for the low photo Quality, this will improve in the course of this month as I hope wireless will be back to its usual …. good to medium quality 😉

I am not likely to post every day, rather you will find a post of the latest 3-4 ensos every couple of days. And it is my ambitious Intention to offer an inspiring Quote alongside the photos – today’s Quote is from the insightful, wonderful Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh:

“A work of art can help people understand the nature of their suffering, and have insight into how to transform the negative and develop the positive in themselves. Writing, making a film, creating a work of art can be a act of love. That act of love nourishes you and nourishes others. If you’re happy, you know how to live deeply every Moment of your life, then deep understanding, joy, and compassion can come. Your art will reflect this understanding and will share it with others”
-from: Your True Home, by Thich Nhat Hanh, No.206, “An Act of Love”

 

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Categories: Achtsamkeit, Art, buddhism, creativity, life, meditation, mindfulness | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The November of Ensos – how about joining?

Enso_1_copyrighted (548x640)

This is my first ever enso. Not a typical one Definition wise but I used up leftover acrylics there and painted in long circular movements….

 

 

So today is Halloween Day  – actually I am hearing a bunch of Kids rehearsing their trick or treat rhymes from outside as we speak. And it’s also – well, as you all know – the last day of October.

In a wonderful circle of creative People I have drawn and painted almost each day of October thanks to Tara Leaver’s “31 days of playful drawing” Project, also see recent Posts, which will get an update pretty soon.

As the everyday-creativity feels very healthy and makes my life richer in many ways, I decided to find a new Project in November. Let’s have a look at November for a moment… Many People find it a wet, foggy, cold, grey month.

Now, let’s reframe November:

mystic? Yes, I think so, thanks to the foggy mornings. A gift for photographers by the way.

Lots of invitations to get the candles out.  To find a lovely spot for fairy lights.

berry light (640x597)

 

a time for cocoon, maybe, to catch a big breath before the Christmas crazyness begins. And speaking of “breath” – how about refreshing your Meditation / mindfulness practice if you are interested?

Besides sitting Meditation the Enso painting is a way to do this. And *bam* – there we are in the middle of what I want you to invite you to.

Enso

What is an enso?

An enso is a hand-drawn circle. Traditionally it’s drawn in one, (fluent) movement, not too slow, but definitely not fast. Moderately, a mindful circle comes to life. 

Some buddhist monks have giant brushes, big as brooms, to draw an enso on a big table-cloth sized surface on the ground, it’s very fascinating to watch this as it is a whole-body experience. If you have the opportunity and a room, I highly recommend trying this.

What is an enso and what does it mean?

Enso is a japanese term which means circle. It corresponds to the wabisabi concept. If you look at photos of enso, see inserted links below, you see the opening of the circle as a typical trait and the obvious fact that it’s not made with any kind of compass. The drawing wants to remind of the imperfection which is an inherent part of our existence. It also stands for enlightenment, strength, the universe and the Buddhist understanding of the void (meaning, in very short terms not an emptiness but the lack of “not-connectedness” of things and beings)

How about a November of Ensos?

So, here is the Basic idea:

For each day of November, we will take a good ten minutes out of our busy days, sit down, light a candle maybe, and drawn an enso.

What do we need?

Here are my recommendations – but you are totally free to choose whatever art supply you feel drawn to, just stick to a brush or maybe your fingers, not a pen.

  • a thick brush, a round tip
  • a thick paper, at least 100g/square metre
  • a quiet space
  • a table where you can move your arm without stopping

Making it a meditative practice – further ideas

Here is how I will go about my daily enso practice:

-lighting a candle, probably even finding a candle which will stay at this spot for every enso drawing day of November.

-lighting incense

-sitting with a straight, yet relaxed back

-breathing deep and watching my breath for at least 3 in- and outbreaths

-then slowly taking the brush, dipping it in the colour of my choice and drawing an enso.

 

Further creative Ideas are:

– if you feel especially crafty, of course it’s fantastic to prepare a few backgrounds.

– to do so, choose acrylics or watercolour and paint the backgrounds with them so you have a few waiting for the next ensos to come.

-if you have A5 index Cards, These are great for ensos, too. and they are small enough to Frame or hang a collection of your favourites.

driftwood and circles i

Not an enso but a natural circle which always inspires me for ensos

 

-I am planning to paint a few dark backgrounds, maybe dark marroon or dark Petrol blue, and paint a White enso .. just one way to Experiment with colour combinations.

If you feel like joining, please feel free to drop a comment and maybe a photo Gallery contact info, maybe us interested People can blog-link each other to Exchange. I am very much looking forward to Hearing from you!

To see you off, here are a few inspiring Impressions from Thich Nhat Hanh’s beautiful artwork:

http://www.thichnhathanhcalligraphy.org/newyork/

http://plumvillage.org/news/calligraphic-meditation-the-mindful-art/

Enso_smile_breathe (480x640)

Inspired by Thich Nhat Hanh

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Achtsamkeit, Art, buddhism, meditation, mindfulness, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Golden october sunday

Today has been all about the pursuit of Carpe Diem – spending the first half of the day outside on a long photo walk- and the second half at the open Windows of my favourite room in my Appartement, sketching, drawing, colouring the latest ideas from the bottom of my heart.

Here are some impressions:

Collage_Autumn_Impressions

As to the drawings – imagine being invited to have a peak at my vw campervan – Daydream-Edition 🙂

polaroidstyle_campervan

polaroid_campervan_2

Categories: Art, colours, contemplative photography, creativity, drawing, nature, photo blogging, photography, sundays, walks | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Some of the latest contributions for 31 days of playful drawing Day 8 and 11

31daysofdrawingBUTTON300

 

This daily drawing Project started out with one new sketchbook – but I soon decided not to fix it to one drawing surface and rather  go with whatever material and surface feels right.

You see here the finished contributions for Day 8 “favourite item of clothing” and Day 11, “still life”.

my pencil drawn collection - going Polaroid and Wood optic

my pencil drawn collection – going Polaroid and Wood optic

 

Red chalks for drawing a reference Image I found on Pinterest - "A coffee and writing still life" - two things which are right up my alley actually

Red chalks for drawing a reference Image I found on Pinterest – “A coffee and writing still life” – two things which are right up my alley actually

Categories: Art, coffee, creativity, drawing, sketchbook, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On creativity (pt I of probably a whole series)

wpid-IMG1560.jpg

This might become a post which is partly “everyday-philosophy”, partly gratitude related.

I am in the very lucky Situation to have not only amazing friends per se, and also, there is a deep exchange about creativity. A wonderful day spent at my Long-time friend U.’s house yesterday, 7 hours of crafting and talking and happy-sighing lies behind me time wise but is still present in my heart. A talk to my friend A. a few days ago about how it feels to do creative activities, how you define creativity and how often you want creativity in your life keeps ringing in heart and head, too. Both talks make me deeply grateful and inspire me in ways I can hardly put in words. Ideas spark ideas, and I am well advised to Keep a paper and pen attached to my Body. Very deep written into my soul’s interests are Tara Leaver’s thoughts on creativity – you can read them in her amazing book “Creative Spark” and her blog.  

Am I an exception there? No. And here’s my theory:

If you make room for creativity, if you make creative Actions a Habit in your every day life, even if it’s “only” for ten minutes a day, you will notice a Change in your thinking. Maybe even more, if you commit to a form of Meditation, this is a particularly personal take on things and also said with grateful experience. I started a morning Habit of sitting Meditation in April 2012 and have kept to it ever since, days having missed out I can count on my two hands. After having found about Tara’s take on artmaking, I found myself several times a week, drawing, sketching, etc. on index Cards, in sketchbooks, or being inspired by wonderful Susannah Conway and Journal my heart out, or girly with masking tapes and Stickers to decorate away happily.

But sketching, drawing, writing and decorating are just a few examples of creativity, or, they are the outside result of a creative Soul pursuing her need to act out on ideas. The creativity takes place inside and you take Actions. Here is a list (a list, imagine that, dear freuqent Reader ^^) of things I personally consider as creative, although These things might turn very left brained, too, admittedly.

The things many People agree to call creative:

  • Collage
  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • sculpting
  • sewing
  • writing short stories/poetry/fiction
  • land art
  • film making
  • photography  …

You get the Point, right?

A bowl of veggie soup ..as a way to make someone feel home. Works for me.

A bowl of veggie soup ..as a way to make someone feel home. Works for me.

 

 

Something very sweet  I read in Tara Leaver’s Creative Spark and on her blog:

baking or cooking. She suggests that when you turn away from easel or desk and you feel uncreative, yet you feel like bringing Forward something, cooking a simple recipe might be a very good thing to do.

What do you do when you bake a cake or cook a veggie Rice recipe for example? You Combine. You measure. You decide. lots of things involved in every creative process. Quod erat demonstrandum. 🙂

What I would like to add to a creativity list:

  • decorating the Apartment
  • developing a concept for a particular purpose
  • planning a Party
  • simply Setting a table
  • plucking flowers and arranging them to a Bouquet
  • organizing your day with our without day planner (not the right blog post to get me started on the creative use of my filofax ^^)

TSA_collage

 

Please feel invited to add to this list, as it’s far from being enough. And I am so curious. Looking forward to hearing from you all.

 

Let me add this wonderful blog post in case you feel the list bit curious about making time and space for creativity in your life:

http://taraleaver.com/2014/10/how-to-find-time-for-art-in-a-busy-life/

 

Categories: Art, cooking and baking, creativity, drawing, gratitude, meditation, psychology | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 6 of ’31 days of playful drawing’ – kitchen love

Today’s prompt is an ever-favourite. Kitchen! Yes, I am in love with my kitchen,

  • the wooden cinnamon coloured cupboards I bought from the Family who had this Apartment before me,
  • the “latte macchiato”-coloured wall facing the cupboards,
  • the windows looking out on my other very favourite room, the Loggia and even further to the back gardens with their beautiful old trees.
  • the fact that there is always a gentle scent of coffee in the air
  • the fact that I could do a “Cup Party” with lots of People, as I do have …well…lots of mugs and teacups. Each has a history, really each.
  • the big kitchen table who today met sepia ink. It took it quite well. 🙂

On another note: Yes, I am happy to have 2 weeks of fall break, it’s a bliss. For this reason I dedicated 3 hours of this afternoon to drawing and colouring today’s prompt, kitchen.

Translated: I drew and coloured with a considerable amount of concentration…and dedication, so, put love and energy into something which means a lot to me, which makes me happy and grateful: the coffee with chocomel, a Cup of verbena-lemongrass tea at night, candle light, fairy lights and so much more…

The result? Feeling accomplished and grateful, even more as I like the outcome but it wasn’t even the most important Thing. The process, the positive thoughts while being engaged, this is just so good, so nourishing that I want to practice it as often as possible.

Thanks heavens there 25 days of october left, and then: repeat 🙂

IMG_3427 (800x766)

Categories: Art, coffee, cooking and baking, creativity, drawing, gratitude, life | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sunday morning – counting my blessings (Day 5 of “31 playful days of drawing”)

Colours expressing the warmth, cosyness and Chosen slow motion mode of my favourite kind of Sunday Mornings. Images Show how much I love the simple things: a good Cup of coffee, a candle, journaling, having beautiful trees in front of the window (or being able to look at the kitchen AND Loggia window to see them)

Colours expressing the warmth, cosyness and Chosen slow motion mode of my favourite kind of Sunday Mornings. Images Show how much I love the simple things: a good Cup of coffee, a candle, journaling, having beautiful trees in front of the window (or being able to look at the kitchen AND Loggia window to see them)

Categories: Art, colours, creativity, drawing, gratitude, life, sketchbook, sundays | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Welcome, October – and welcome, “31 playful days” with a huge thank you to Tara Leaver

Day 2 - reminiscing the love for blind contour drawing the way Tara's taught us... and doing a happy Memory timetravel as I was so reminded of our Creative Spark course.

Day 2 – reminiscing the love for blind contour drawing the way Tara’s taught us… and doing a happy Memory timetravel as I was so reminded of our Creative Spark course.

Day 1 - favourite coffee mug. The Cup which "stood model" is similar shape wise, but intuitively I went with how the Cup and the yummy coffee inside makes me feel. Cosy, warm, at home, Content... Besides that, it was fun to experiment with loads of texture.

Day 1 – favourite coffee mug. The Cup which “stood model” is similar shape wise, but intuitively I went with how the Cup and the yummy coffee inside makes me feel. Cosy, warm, at home, Content… Besides that, it was fun to experiment with loads of texture.

This year, welcoming October could hardly be easier, for so many reasons:

-It’s warm and sunny, the sun turns everything into Gold here and I Keep admiring the red beech and a maple tree in front of the window, and how much Beauty they have to offer

    • -I purchased 2 new Memory Cards for my camera and cannot stop taking photos of the treetops and the deep blue sky
    • -It’s my fall break – hip hip hooray
    • -The long awaited new novel by Rachel Joyce, “The Love Song of Queenie Hennessy” has been released – at the beginning of my fall break, how happy am I?  (This will take an extra blog post sometime today or tomorrow)
    • -last Wednesday, “31 playful days”, Tara Leaver’s generous and amazing drawing Project started. Again: how happy am I? (Very)

This morning is a rather grey-ish Sunday, and – oh happy fallbreak – a perfect reason to catch up with Tara’s blog. Next week will be the Creative Spark anniversary, means, it’s a year ago that I took part in Tara’s first ever online course (see related blog post) and not only did I create drawings and paintings I hadn’t before, I also met the most amazing People, and made amazing friends, way beyond social media !! One of many reasons to keep going back to Tara’s ever-inspiring blog, especially without jumping up for desk work or other chores.

   The latest post is a very precious gem in Terms of learning about creative process, intuitive artmaking, Living a creative life, Inspiration to get the art supplies out! Not to speak of the artwork added in the photos!! Go see yourself:

http://taraleaver.com/2014/10/creative-process-blog-hop/

October might also be a Blogging-intensive month here – as I plan to Keep you updated about 31 playful days. Day 1 and 2 are up there, well, obviously :), and here are Day 3 to 4. Day 5 is yet to be born.

Day 4 - A Way To Travel Everyone who knows me just a little won't be surprised with this choice.

Day 4 – A Way To Travel
Everyone who knows me just a little won’t be surprised with this choice.

Day 2 - reminiscing the love for blind contour drawing the way Tara's taught us... and doing a happy Memory timetravel as I was so reminded of our Creative Spark course.

Day 2 – reminiscing the love for blind contour drawing the way Tara’s taught us… and doing a happy Memory timetravel as I was so reminded of our Creative Spark course.

Categories: Art, books, creativity, intuitive artmaking, sketchbook, sundays | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My hometown from an interesting – sunlit – perspective

Even before going on today’s adventure I was convinced: It’s so much fun being a Tourist in your own City.

Yet I have learned that experience got its own ways, or, in other words: It wasn’t just fun, it was even better!!

It’s been a late September Day, very warm, golden sunlight and I decided to try out the muchly admired City Tour bus which passes by at Burg Frankenberg near my place. So, off on the upper deck, appreciating that the nice bus Driver opened the Roof and I was in for 2 and a half hours of sightseeing of an area of about 10 kilometres altogether. If you have such things in your hometown and haven’t tried it out – I can recommend to pencil in a date for this and go ahead. And – don’t forget your camera. Here are today’s impressions of my hometown, Aachen, Germany, with bits of information or rather subjective comments on the places or Events.

On my way to the bus stop - autumn is saying hello and I feel ready to face the Beauty of leaves

On my way to the bus stop – autumn is saying hello and I feel ready to face the Beauty of leaves

 

At the bus stop - the schedule and information about the tour and fees

At the bus stop – the schedule and information about the tour and fees

 

Drinking out of a camera-objective-styled thermo Cup caused a certain bewilderment, especially with the guy next to me who introduced himself (or rather his character) by asking me if I am at all able to handle such a camera :)

Drinking out of a camera-objective-styled thermo Cup caused a certain bewilderment, especially with the guy next to me who introduced himself (or rather his character) by asking me if I am at all able to handle such a camera 🙂

 

Elisenbrunnen = Elisen-fountain, nice architecture combined with smelly Sulfur water coming out of wells. Not everyone's Cup of tea. Behind Elisenbrunnen lies the ancient part of the City with pretty cobblestone streets and lots of Cafés and stores.

Elisenbrunnen = Elisen-fountain, nice architecture combined with smelly Sulfur water coming out of wells. Not everyone’s Cup of tea. Behind Elisenbrunnen lies the ancient part of the City with pretty cobblestone streets and lots of Cafés and stores.

At Elisenbrunnen, too. The upper deck of the bus offered a special perspective

At Elisenbrunnen, too. The upper deck of the bus offered a special perspective

 

Passerby blurry Impression of my neighbourhood

Passerby blurry Impression of my neighbourhood

 

Ludwig Forum, a former umbrella factory, now Hosting important pieces of Modern Art. A good place to go actually, yet the neighbourhood isn't my favourite...

Ludwig Forum, a former umbrella factory, now Hosting important pieces of Modern Art. A good place to go actually, yet the neighbourhood isn’t my favourite…

Tivoli, the Soccer Stadium and home of Alemannia Aachen.

Tivoli, the Soccer Stadium and home of Alemannia Aachen.

 

Aachen is famous for their horse riding tournaments, world wide even. CHIO is the name of the game. There are rumours in Aachen that it always rains during the CHIO week. As it often rains anyway it's hard to prove ;)

Aachen is famous for their horse riding tournaments, world wide even. CHIO is the name of the game. There are rumours in Aachen that it always rains during the CHIO week. As it often rains anyway it’s hard to prove 😉

 

This is a very new bridge next to the Stadium for horse riding and Soccer. It's the northern entry/Exit of the City.

This is a very new bridge next to the Stadium for horse riding and Soccer. It’s the northern entry/Exit of the City.

 

Ha! Spotted a van. It's a good day when I spot vans :)

Ha! Spotted a van. It’s a good day when I spot vans 🙂

 

Alley

Alley

 

Lots of houses in Aachen have this kind of beautiful statues

Lots of houses in Aachen have this kind of beautiful statues

 

Europaplatz - Europe square. A huge roundabout, framed by the flags of many European countries. Aachen gives an Award for extraordinary success in european dialogue each year called The Karlspreis, "Karl's Award", named after the Emperor Karl der Große

Europaplatz – Europe square. A huge roundabout, framed by the flags of many European countries. Aachen gives an Award for extraordinary success in european dialogue each year called The Karlspreis, “Karl’s Award”, named after the Emperor Karl der Große

Blurry but colourful view into Pontstraße, heart of the Student quarter, Café next to café

Blurry but colourful view into Pontstraße, heart of the Student quarter, Café next to Café

This lizard looking building is a rather new helicopter landing spot at the (incredibly ugly) University Hospital Aachen. I don't find it pretty but I am very fascinated of its architecture again and again...

This lizard looking building is a rather new helicopter landing spot at the (incredibly ugly) University Hospital Aachen. I don’t find it pretty but I am very fascinated of its architecture again and again…

Seriously, can you believe THIS is a Hospital? A renowned one, even!

Seriously, can you believe THIS is a Hospital? A renowned one, even!

On the way up the narrow curves towards the Three-Country-Spot "Dreilaendereck", where Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands meet. It's the first time I haven't gone up here by bike. Imagine the calories you burn going there by bicycle. But you'll be rewarded with sodas and icecream at the top :)

On the way up the narrow curves towards the Three-Country-Spot “Dreilaendereck”, where Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands meet. It’s the first time I haven’t gone up here by bike. Imagine the calories you burn going there by bicycle. But you’ll be rewarded with sodas and icecream at the top 🙂

The top

The top

Information about the Dreilaendereck and the fun Labyrinth (with surprise fountains in it)

Information about the Dreilaendereck and the fun Labyrinth (with surprise fountains in it)

Platform up at the Dreilaendereck. There will be one more platform to Show and for all of you who are afraid of heights, too, you should know that this is the easy one. Not that I went up there... goodness no.

Platform up at the Dreilaendereck. There will be one more platform to Show and for all of you who are afraid of heights, too, you should know that this is the easy one. Not that I went up there… goodness no.

Probably a very good Point to look out to three countries at one climb - but I will never know. :)

Probably a very good Point to look out to three countries at one climb – but I will never know. 🙂

 

This Beauty looked at me in the park near the bus stop where I stopped by after the bus tour.

This Beauty looked at me in the park near the bus stop where I stopped by after the bus tour.

Home - my favourite square - where Saturday markets delight my heart as well as Saint Martin bonfires ...

Home – my favourite square – where Saturday markets delight my heart as well as Saint Martin bonfires …

Thank you very much for staying and looking at all the photos. I sure hope that you might feel inspired to do something like this, too. It’s worth the time spend, especially if you find a good Balance between taking photos with eyes and heart and with your camera. One comment on the Headline of this post. The perspective was so Special as I sat way up on the sunny deck. Like this:

I sat on the right top seat in the front. Prime photographer seat as the busdriver expressed :)

I sat on the right top seat in the front. Prime photographer seat as the busdriver expressed 🙂

Categories: contemplative photography, life, photo blogging, photography, sundays | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Counting down the days until October 1st!

Brush bouquet

Brush Bouquet

More or less exactly a year ago I was counting down the days as well for at least two reasons:  First, for fall break, which meant 2 weeks off work :), and second, for the start of the Ecourse “Creative Spark” by Tara Leaver, which turned out to be beyond bliss. In case you’re interested in this, go to https://theartoflivingintheverymoment.wordpress.com/2013/12/31/sparks-pointing-to-the-most-different-directions-all-of-them-creative/ The same Tara Leaver (and I might be allowed to add that by now I am the very happy and proud owner of one of her original artworks) is my very – sorry for the woo woo word – Guru of creative Inspiration. Why am I telling you this? (Because it’s my blog and I could even write about my neighbour’s goldfish and there wouldn’t be anything you could do about it ha ha, no) Because – in this jungle of free here and free there, and “oops, yes, it’s free but you migh need a sum of 130 $ to get your art supplies” and gorgeous Workshops who somehow went unnoticed – this one I am going to link here is for someone interested in creativity like 200% candyland. It’s the structure, and I can tell you after having experienced Tara’s amazing ability to connect people, it will be about the encounters and the exchange as well. Go to http://taraleaver.com/2014/09/you-are-invited/ Treat yourself. Best to all of you –                                                                                                      wpid-IMG1560.jpg – Nic                                                                                                                                                                                           

Categories: Art, colours, creativity, drawing, sketchbook | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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