A Journey of Creation


It’s been a rough week.  Volcanos, earthquakes, riots.  It makes people forget the beauty in the world, and the importance of creating beauty.

I found this talk, by Sabina Ulubeanu, a music composer, and Co-Artistic Director of InnerSound New Arts Festival in Romania, on the TED Talks channel on YouTube and wanted to share it with you, my loyal readers.

Sometimes, when things seem the worst, we need to remember that there is still beauty in the world, and that the creation of beauty in all its forms — music, art, poetry, prose and, yes, science — is the most important work of all.

An Artist and A Feminist


This Young Woman Walked Through Kabul Wearing Metal Armor To Protest Street Harassment

Artist-activist Kubra Khademi took to Kabul’s streets in a metal jacket in a defiant protest against sexual harassment.

Unlock Your Creativity


There is a new art medium that helps artists to focus and to get into the zone. It is a way of combining meditation and creativity together and it opens you up to increase your artistic flow.

“Keep creating and it will change your life.” —Beckah Krahula

This medium is called Zentangle and it totally combines your creativity and your meditation. There are not a lot of supplies needed. The process of creating a Zentangle teaches us to become comfortable letting your instincts out and following them where they would lead you. It also teaches you to see your work from every angle. You learn to acknowledge all the possibilities in your work. Not having a planned goal can take the stiffness or rigidness out of your art. Once you begin to tangle, you can just let go.

They say to do small projects. They call them tiles and they should not be any bigger than a tile. The official and real Zentangles are the size of a ceramic tiles. These are the rules, but since I don’t do well with rules, I do small ones and large ones. Whatever I feel like doing.

Tiepolo tiles are the official and original Zentangle tiles. You can tell if they are real because there is a red block on the back of the tile with a Zentangle inside of it. It is also recommended that you use a heavy paper. Many artists use a black tile for the contrast it provides.They also recommend a sketch book to practice every day. I like doing mine in a sketch book. Tangles can also be used in sketches to increase the beauty of the scene.

Because this is a meditative art form it is good to practice it every day. Many artists will do a Zentangle to sort of warm up. To get into the right place and let the creative energy just flow out. Then you can go on to your regular medium completely focused and ready to just let go. Some people use tangles as a form of self-expression or to unwind at the end of a stressful day.

I have found that I like to do them to prepare for working on a painting and simply as a meditative exercise. It calms and de-stresses. The sheer fun of just moving your arm on the paper and freely allowing your emotions to come to the surface is therapeutic.

I find that this form of art leads to inner peace, compassion and a positive outlook. What a wonderful way to change the structure of your day. And I can still meditate and I can feel love and joy just radiate from my soul.

Allow your creativity to lead you farther and farther down the path of your life’s journey. I bet you will see a person smiling at you from the mirror more often.

Zentangle by Barbara Mattio

Zentangle by Barbara Mattio

Namaste and happy tangling.

Zentangle by Barbara Mattio. Copyrighted 2014

Zentangle by Barbara Mattio. Copyrighted 2014

The Art of…


I would like to propose the idea that thinking is an art. It is an art in the same way as is writing, photography, textile making, composing a song, painting, drawing, playing a piano or any other medium.It is a purposeful activity over which we exercise some control. Control is the key word. Thinking is not always conscious. The evidence that the unconscious mind can join in purposeful mental activity is overwhelming. For example: when you come up with the perfect answer just when you stop working on the problem. Your conscious mind turns to other matters and yet you receive the answer.

 

Thinking is any mental activity that helps formulate or solve a problem, make a decision, or fulfill a desire to understand. It is searching for answers, and finding meaning.

 

I believe, as do others, that our schools don’t teach our children how to perform the art of thinking. Thinking and not just experience a reflux of information is very different. With so much emphasis on testing, our children know facts and yet can not think through the facts to make good decisions for their own lives and for others. Without the actual thinking, it is easier for governments and religions to just move us along on the path they want us to take. The one that best serves their agenda.

 

Thinking in terms of tradition, often there is a basis for accomplishing certain activities. It is always a good thing to learn from the past. But there must be a balance between traditional activities and thinking about a better action or answer. Factual knowledge does not always guarantee success in solving a problem.

 

I am sharing this poem not because it is emotional, or better than any I have read here on WordPress. It does teach a lesson and I am sure that each of us will come up with parallel situations.

 

“One day through the primeval wood

A calf walked home as good calves should;

But made a trail all bent askew,

A crooked trail as all calves do.

 

Since then three hundred years have fled,

And I infer the calf”s dead.

But still he left behind his trail,

And thereby hangs my moral tale.

The trail was taken up next day

By a lone dog that passed that way,

And then a wise bellwether sheep

Pursued the trail o’ver hill and glade

Through those old woods a path was made.

 

And many men wound in and out

And dodged and dodged and bent about

And uttered words of righteous wrath

Because t’was such a crooked path;

But still they followed—but do not laugh—

The first migrations of that calf,

And through this winding woodway stalked

Because he wobbled when he walked.

 

This forest path became a lane

That bent and turned and turned again;

This crooked lane became a road,

Where many a poor horse with his load

Toiled on beneath the burning sun,

And traveled some three miles in one.

And thus a century and a half

They trod the footsteps of that calf.

 

The years passed on in swiftness fleet,

The road became a village street;

And thus, before men were aware,

A city’s crowded thoroughfare.

And soon the central street was this

Of a renowned metropolis;

And men two centuries and a half

Trod in the footsteps of that calf.

Each day a hundred thousand rout

Followed this zigzag calf about

And o’er his crooked journey went

The traffic of a continent.

 

One hundred thousand men were led

By one calf near three centuries dead.

They followed one hundred years a day;

For thus such reverence is lent

To well-established precedent.”

—Sam Walter Foss

 

Sometimes, tradition is nothing more than “well established” precedent. Sometimes the best answers are found within our subconscious; when we develop the art of thinking.

 

 

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The Thinking Man, Cleveland Museum of Art. Cleveland, Ohio

The Thinking Man, Cleveland Museum of Art. Cleveland, Ohio

Opting to Matter


Deciding to matter is something that most creative people need to decide to have in their lives. It isn’t a cosmic expectation but it really is a conscious decision. If you are brooding about meaning, you need to change your perspective.

 

We must accept that as artists we have egos, drives, desires, dreams, talents, a brain, a heart, and a complete human interior that makes potent demands on us. This humanness should be respected and accepted.

 

Life gives us information and it is up to us how we will process the information. Come to your own conclusions about what life means to you and how you should act. We are the only arbiter of meaning.

 

We can only understand ourselves and other humans can not because the can’t be objective. We need to consider our biology and psychology. We can figure ourselves out by observing ourselves objectively. This can be a huge endeavor.

 

We need to live a righteous life, according to the sense of ethics we have developed. We are our own moral compass.

 

We need to find a  way to tap the energy needed to accomplish these goals.We must generate our own energy. We need to activate  our passion, our enthusiasm, and tap into our creativity.

 

We must not live in the present moment. Let go of the past as it is gone and we can not effect it anymore. Do not spend all of your time focusing on the future. The future will never arrive and if it did, it would be the present. Your inspirations for your art are available in the present.

 

If we decide to opt to matter, we may have to tap into our courage and bravery. Accept that you may have to show heroism. Virtually no creative person reaches these high ideals. Most get mired in the first steps of opting to matter. We may have been born creative, but we have to choose to be good. Don’t fall into the pit of lording it over other creative souls. The gift of creativity does not mean that we can do whatever we please. This is where responsibility comes in. The creative person is subject to the same moral directives as the rest of humankind is. We may need to heal ourselves before we can use our talents to the highest level.

 

Creative people need to have a mantra and I suggest this one. Healing and transformation will make us into a person who can manage meaning effectively. ” This is who we are and this is what I choose to become.”  Follow this and you will develop a true passion for life. This passion will fuel your passion for creativity and enhance your art no matter what medium you choose to work in.

 

 

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Allow yourself to shine.

Allow yourself to shine.

 

 

Sepia wine and cheese photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2014

Sepia wine and cheese photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2014

Who Wants War?


Many People have wanted peace for millenniums. Artists of every different types of media have to ability to see and feel the importance of peace. Many have written affirmations. Composed song lyrics, written poems.  Artists paint for peace and sketch for peace. Artists need to rise up and make your voices heard. Not in a violent way, but loud enough to shake the rafters.

 

 

 

 

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                                 Vincent Van Gogh

 

 

 This quote is from Vincent Van Gogh

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