Creative Meditation #10: Life in Layers

The Creative Meditation is a new project that has grown out of last year’s “Something Beautiful” initiative. It may happen every day or when the spirit moves me.

I share a birthday with Robert Frost and I celebrated for both of us this week. His poem “The Road Not Taken” embodies a personal constitution.  A reminder of the choices that move life from the mundane to the extraordinary. Small and incremental. Large and spontaneous. Shifts in thinking and shifts in doing. As an artist, the unworn path must always be within awareness and explored regularly.

In this third chapter of my life, I have come to fully understand that being an artist means dealing constantly with duality. We walk a more solitary path but need outside stimulation. We need space to gain perspective but space can become a solitary confinement. We need to create but the need can become so relentless and demanding that, instead, ideas are imprisoned unable to get free. I push harder ito pry loose an inspiration. But just the opposite results. As in life, learning to let go is difficult and sometimes painful but the only chance of moving toward what you want.

For artists, the tension between the need for social contact and space to think and synthesize is an ongoing reality. But coming out of the creative cave to experience the light of stimulation is essential. Never more than now have I valued creative kinship.

One of my closest creative sisters came to celebrate my chronological milestone and “play” for a few days. We saw. We sketched. We explored. We talked and talked. She supported, expanded, and fanned the flames of a great new idea that has been brewing for years. She spoiled me rotten. Part of her extravagant banquet of gifts was new art media. During our travels around town, we noted inspirations and sat down last Saturday to begin translating those ideas into prints.

Today I went back to the abstract backgrounds I printed last week and began adding layers. First I printed over them. Then I came back to experiment adding watercolor pencil. I wish I had photographed the original backgrounds, but I did take photos of the second and third layers added. (The photos below show you before and after.) Several of them were interesting and fully finished as they were. Then I went back to see if they could be improved by adding another layer created with watercolor pencil. As in life, some were fine without change. As in life, moving forward involves growing and changing. It takes risk. Some risks pay off. Others do not. At the end of the experiment, I know more and will endeavor to remember those lessons next time — as in life.

Thanks for reminding me, Bonnie.




About vbassoc

Donna Van Bogaert is a researcher and consultant in the field of cognitive styles, health communication, and organizational communication and behavior. Her business, Van Bogaert & Associates, Inc., specializes in cognitive-based coaching, management consulting, and leadership development. When the winds are blowing her way, she travels and talks about workplace potential and creative problem solving. In another life, Donna sings jazz. For a very long time, she fronted two 18-piece big bands —All That Jazz (Madison, WI) and The Gardenia Big Band (Rockford, IL). She currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio where, in a third parallel universe, she leads a media branch of a national research institute. Mostly she has returned to painting, poetry, and plotting the next chapter of her life.
This entry was posted in Adventure, Art, Beauty, creative living, Creativity, Design, Graphic Design, Philosophy, Photography, Poetry and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Creative Meditation #10: Life in Layers

  1. Bea says:

    Nothing is ever wasted in experimentation, in art, as I have come to understand. If I get to a layer just added that perhaps did not need to be added and I don’t want to cover up too much more I slice it up. No matter what I have experimented on when folded, cut, made into a 1/2″ or 1/4 ” it can be added to something else. Two pieces of the same experimentation cut into different size widths can now “talk to each other in another piece”. I love how you have played. I love the results. Keep on playing I can see your soul is dancing! :)B

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