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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

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

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This Man Has ALS, And His Ice Bucket Challenge Will Make You Laugh. Then It’ll Make You Cry

The first time I (the bookworm, yes) heard, I mean, really heard about ALS was by reading “Tuesdays With Morrie” (have read the book to pieces by now, over and over again).
The wonderful Kindness Blog shares Carbajal’s Ice Bucket Challenge Clip and I recommend to watch it. Every minute of it.

Kindness Blog

Over the last few weeks, social media has gone berserk with the #ALSIceBucketChallenge, as celebrities, tech moguls, politicians, and people everywhere grab buckets of ice water and dump them on their heads

All this is in the name of raising awareness for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Anthony Carbajal

There’s been such a deluge of videos made of these ice bucket challenges (some of which have been hilarious, others more serious) that you might be tempted to skip this new video that was uploaded Monday by a man named Anthony Carbajal. But as Upworthy put it, this is one clip that “you really should see.”

The video begins humorously as Carbajal, aphotographer, dresses up in a neon bikini top and soaps up a car before being doused with ice water. “OK, that was probably the most embarrassing thing that I’ve ever done in…

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Your Gentle Reminder

I keep going back to this outstanding blog post by my inspiring friend David. And I feel like telling you that I made such an altar almost right away after reading it …and it’s so so worth doing this! more on this to follow soon. Thank you David to share this wonderful Inspiration in words and visuals.

smilecalm

matchbox altar D matchbox altar D

If we want to enter Heaven
on Earth, we need only
one conscious step
and one conscious breath. ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Make a simple, personal reminder
of our sacred existence
of this sweet, short life
of the web of life’s interconnection of all things.

On the surface
these matchbook mini-altars
appear as cut and paste
magazine and ribbon
arts and crafts.

But as a reminder of who we really are
they become powerful tools of transformation.

Try it with friends!
Place it where it most needs to be seen.

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song lyrics

This guitar is 25 years old. My dear grandpa gave it to me. Love to play it, and playing it means touching it...of course.

This guitar is 25 years old. My dear grandpa gave it to me. Love to play it, and playing it means touching it…of course.

As I am planning a series of smaller paintings bringing visuals to Songs I feel inspired by I had a closer listen to my all-time favourite Songs.

Jack Johnson has quite a few to offer… and “Symbol in my driveway” is one which got stuck with me. the past few days… 

If it turns into a painting or Collage I will post it here. For now listen to the song and find the lyrics underneath.

Would love to read about your favourite song lyrics, dear reader, if you feel like sharing them in the comments.

 

“I’ve got a symbol in my driveway

I’ve got a hundred million  dollar friends

I’ve got you a brand new weapon

Lets see how destructive  we can be

I’ve got a brand new set of stencils

I’ve been connecting  all the dots

Got my plans in a zip lock bag

Lets see how unproductive we  can be

I’ve got a light bulb full of anger

And I can switch it on  and off I

n situations it can be so bright

I can’t believe, how pathetic  we can be

I’ve got a perfect set of blueprints

I’m gonna build  somebody else

Might cost a little more than money

But what’s man without  his wealth?

I’ve got a phosphorescent secret

But don’t you tell nobody  else

Next thing you know, the whole world

Will be talking about all the  clues they got

They just ain’t no use, they’ve got us fooled”

Jack Johnson – from the Album “On and On”

 

Categories: music, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Some personal thoughts on contemplative artmaking

Mandala doodle over a circle smooshed with gel medium and acrylics

Mandala doodle over a circle smooshed with gel medium and acrylics

concentric circles. tons of layers, a 'few' spoons of texture paste...and a dark greyish purple mud structure getting a brighter existence. the Feeling of having managed to "brighten it up" was similar to a Situation in social life getting cleared up

concentric circles. tons of layers, a ‘few’ spoons of texture paste…and a dark greyish purple mud structure getting a brighter existence. the Feeling of having managed to “brighten it up” was similar to a Situation in social life getting cleared up

Two friends and I did this swirl in the Spirit (unlike the skills ;) ...) of Tibetan Monks. Lesson to learn: Patience, being in the Moment, letting go

Two friends and I did this swirl in the Spirit (unlike the skills 😉 …) of Tibetan Monks. Lesson to learn: Patience, being in the Moment, letting go

Working on "Buddha faces" - Stockmar crayons

Working on “Buddha faces” – Stockmar crayons

My major motivation to take a brush/Crayons/pens&pencils out to start creating something is to do something contemplative.

-the movement of your Hands,

-breathing with awareness,  witnessing of what goes on inside while making a particular brush stroke for example

-the choice of colours and shapes

-the choice of style and the activity of building layers, including natural ingredients such as smaller twigs or sand, tiny pebbles or a sea Shell

can be consciously chosen to develop a contemplative mind set – so circular movements are my favourites to deal with my “crazy monkey mind” (as Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche would put it)  – If you haven’t experienced it, just take some colour and a big Piece of paper and start making circles ….but: without the inention to create perfection. Witness the Feelings and sensations while doing so.

The results often are precious to me. And it’s not in the first place because I think the end result is so outstanding and good, it’s more like I have a Souvenir of a process which was unique and very likely to having taught me something about myself.

You see some of the latest ‘souvenirs’ in this post.

kreis_petrol_copyrighted

Kreis_magenta_petrol_copyrighted

‘Life is about using the whole box of crayons’ – (Unknown; source: Pinterest)

Enso - the first ever. The love for ensos was born that day and hasn't left ever since.

Enso – the first ever. The love for ensos was born that day and hasn’t left ever since.

‘Art enables us to find ourselves and to lose ourselves at the same time’ – Thomas Merton

Categories: Achtsamkeit, Art, creativity, intuitive artmaking, mindfulness, psychology, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

She Sacrificed Her Stuffed Animals For Real Animals

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365 times gratitude in pictures – you’d like to join?

Good morning everyone.
I know that I am most likely to be in a big crowd posting about plans for the new year.

-Yes, I do have a word (well, 3 of them, really) for this year.

-No, I didn’t make the classic resolutions, instead scheduled myself for 2 things by already getting the material ready to start it:

A jar

pens

paper

With a look on this photo I’d say the idea pretty much explains itself, doesn’t it?

photo source: Pinterest

The other activity set for my year – and having happy memories of Susannah Conway’s August Break – is  to take part in the

“365 grateful Project”

Again – this explains itself.

Expect me to keep you posted.

Have a good second day of this fresh and new year!

Categories: creativity, gratitude, life, mindfulness, photography, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Happy new year with a prayer from Plum Village

IMG_2263 (446x640)

Happy new year to everyone who is reading this post. May you have a wonderful year!

I want to post a prayer from Plum Village. For this purpose I copied the text here:

http://plumvillage.org/news/new-years-prayer-2014/

 

This prayer was offered by the Plum Village fourfold sangha as part of the midnight ceremony to mark the dawn of the New Year 2014.

“Dear Beloved Father Sun – Bodhisattva Mahavairocana Tathagata,

Dear Beloved Mother Earth – Bodhisattva Mahagaia,

Dear Beloved Ancestors, both Spiritual and Genetic,

 

We present ourselves before you at this solemn moment of the New Year to express our gratitude and deep aspiration as a spiritual family.

Dear Father Sun, your infinite light is the nourishing source of all species. You are our Sun, a great Buddha, a great Bodhisattva, our Great Tathagata Sun,our source of limitless light and life. You are not only in the sky but you are also ever-present in Mother Earth and in us. Just as our life depends on our heart, so too does our life depend on you. We bow our heads this evening with gratitude for your radiant non-discrimination and gift of life.

Dear Mother Earth, with your patience, stability, endurance and creativity you have nourished and guided us through many lifetimes. You have given birth to us and to countless, Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and Saints. You, our beautiful blue planet, are the Earth Refreshing Bodhisattva–fragrant, cool, and kind. Yet for many lifetimes we have suffered, and made you suffer, because we have been unable to see you as the Pure Land, as the very Kingdom of God: the most beautiful place in the Heavens. Despite our many mistakes, you have always forgiven us, and are always ready to open your arms and embrace us.

Because of our wrong perceptions and discrimination we have lived a life of separation, hatred, loneliness, violence and despair. We have allowed individualism to prevail, causing great damage and hardship to ourselves and to you, dear Mother Earth. We have run after fame, wealth, power, and sensual pleasures, forgetting that these pursuits can never bring us true happiness. We have become restless and distracted, running away from ourselves, our beloved ones and from you, dear Mother Earth. As a society and as a civilization we know we are going in the wrong direction.

Dear Mother Earth, Dear Father Sun and Dear Ancestors, tonight, on the occasion of the New Year 2014, we give rise to the deep aspiration to begin anew, to go in a new direction and request your forgiveness for all our mistakes. With great respect we make the deep aspiration to live mindfully each moment of our daily life. We promise to stop running away from our suffering, losing ourselves in consumption. We promise to come home to ourselves with compassion, to recognize, embrace and look deeply into our suffering. We promise to take refuge in you, dear Mother Earth, and your capacity to nourish, heal and embrace all that is. We promise to offer our true presence to our beloved ones and not to get too busy, striving for success – even in pursuit of our dreams. We know that we can realize our dreams in every moment, and we vow to live every day of 2014 as a realization of our dream. We know that time is not money. Time is life, and time is love. We promise to live simply, to love one another with non-discrimination, to build true brotherhood and sisterhood and respect our deepest aspiration.

Dear Mother Earth, you have been calling out to us for many lifetimes, and some of us have been able to hear your pain. You have asked if you can count on us, your children, to lovingly heal and transform ourselves and the present situation. In this solemn moment of the New Year, with our palms joined and body and mind united, we promise that you can count on us. You can have faith and confidence in us.

We shall practice for you, Mother Earth, Father Sun, for all our ancestors and future generations so that joy, peace, harmony and love will always be present in this world. Please accept our offerings of incense, flowers, fruit, tea, and love. Respected Father Sun, Respected Mother Earth, Dear Ancestors, please have trust in us.”

Namasté

Categories: Achtsamkeit, buddhism, life, mindfulness, nature, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Sparks pointing to the most different directions – all of them creative!

English: Sparkler, violent reaction (guy fawke...

Before this year ends I am coming around with a look back on 6 very Special weeks of this year –  from mid-october to late November. 

Tara Leaver, whose art and Website I have introduced in other blog Posts yet, for many good reasons, had developed the Creative Spark Ecourse.                          

Now, what is that ?

Official answer: it’s an online course which Tara – with a lot of wisdom, empathy, experience,                

passion and love for the very detail created to make People develop or re-kindle their creativity.               Tara herself is a visual Artist but she approaches creativity in such a deep, holistic way,                

she encourages to embrace “non-creative” phases by suggesting what to do and offers                

the most diverse sources for creativity. Believe me. I’m a witness.

I will never forget These 6 weeks, as they were one of the 2-3 very Highlights of this year which is going to end in just a few hours.

Tara had a post waiting for us each weekday during this six weeks, but this was only one example of her being present. In the closed Facebook Group she installed for the Exchange between us happy People taking part she always knew JUST the perfect word to say, the perfect hint to give.

Speaking of our Group: We just met for this Ecourse experience …and within shortly we developed a Group Spirit which went beyond my Imagination. This means, the conversations between us were deeply soaked in Support, understanding, interest and open-mindedness. Every time I logged into this Group I had a Feeling of bliss. Tara – thanks to her a zillion times and more – held it all together. I felt like I was in England, in Australia (especially!), in Canada, Scotland and the States because we all seem(ed) to be so Close together, I had the inner visions of an artstudio community constantly welling up talking to these wonderful ‘Sparquettes’ (we found a whole new language-code around the word spark).

As to the paining? I do paint, draw and sketch, it wasn’t a first but everything I have done so far has mostly been rather chaotically self-taught (yet very enjoyable) Never in this world would I have thought possible to develop such experience in “just” six weeks! Although I really did have the most positive attitude doing this course I can imagine. To give you a visual Impression of the six weeks let me take you on a stroll:

Week one  - blind contour drawing of this lovely autumn leave. Or is it a starfish maybe?

Week one – blind contour drawing of this lovely autumn leave. Or is it a starfish maybe?

IMG_2128 (800x459)

One of the first things I did in week 1 – blind contour pen drawing.

Blind contour drawing - graphite pencil  of rabbit Finn

Blind contour drawing – graphite pencil of rabbit Finn

The "Velveteen Rabbit"- this drawing and the conversations with the Group introduced me to this tissue-intensive beautiful childrens book

The “Velveteen Rabbit”- this drawing and the conversations with the Group introduced me to this tissue-intensive beautiful childrens book

Blind pencil drawing - with occasional cheating for the face I admit - coloured in

Blind pencil drawing – with occasional cheating for the face I admit – coloured in

Week 2

Week 2 was dedicated to shapes - here's an example of a treasure hunt trophy photo I took :)

Week 2 was dedicated to shapes – here’s an example of a treasure hunt trophy photo I took 🙂

IMG_2257 (640x434) IMG_2256 (320x640)

Week 3

Spent 4 hours or so on a very rainy sunday - drawing and painting withi graphite pencil and watercolour pencils.

Spent 4 hours or so on a very rainy sunday – drawing and painting withi graphite pencil and watercolour pencils.

Greece memories coming to life

Greece memories coming to life

coloured in

coloured in

Week 4 and 5

IMG_2283 (640x427)

Print of a coloured clingfilm

clingfilm to smoosh around colour on a gesso or matt medium surface. So-much-fun! Wonderful effects!

clingfilm to smoosh around colour on a gesso or matt medium surface. So-much-fun! Wonderful effects!

Collage Background. Yet to be worked with ...

Collage Background. Yet to be worked with …

Worked on a clingfilm print

Worked on a clingfilm print

IMG_2294 (414x640)

Circular clingfilm print. Love this one

Worked on clingfilm print. It's about taking time and looking what Comes up - due to shapes and colours. A very good way to connect with your intuition

Worked on clingfilm print. It’s about taking time and looking what Comes up – due to shapes and colours. A very good way to connect with your intuition

Week 6 – the final painting – in stages

IMG_2542 (640x550) IMG_2543 (640x427) IMG_2547 (640x399) IMG_2548 (640x427) IMG_2551 (640x570) IMG_2554 (640x542)

What happened during these 6 weeks:

I found my love for Ensos, thanks to all the wonderful Exchange in our Sparkgroup:

IMG_2263 (446x640)

I found myself having not one, not two, no THREE sketchbooks due to developing the main interests – again thanks to wonderful exchanges with those amazing People in our Group. And the Special Thing is: Joanne, my friend from Australia and I started a sketchbook cooperative. She started a yoga sketchbook while I started a Buddha art sketchbook.

IMG_2312 (640x303)

thank you, Tara!

thank you,  dear Sparquettes!

My best wishes for a happy and healthy, fulfilled and beautiful new year to everyone reading.

Namasté, Nicole

https://theartoflivingintheverymoment.wordpress.com/2013/05/14/soul-poetry-even-more-reasons-why-i-am-happy-having-discovered-tara-leavers-inspiration-what-a-treasure-noch-mehr-grunde-warum-ich-froh-bin-tara-leavers-inspirationen-entdeckt-zu-haben/

Categories: Art, creativity, life, mindfulness, Mixed Media Artmaking, sketchbook, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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