Art Before Breakfast

0219_drawing-breakfast-624x434Today I heard an interview with author Danny Gregory that charmed and captivated me.

He has just published a book:

“Art Before Breakfast: A Zillion Ways To Be More Creative, No Matter How Busy You are”

(I have no proprietary interest)

I know that many of you who subscribe and read this blog have an affinity for the arts.

I want to share this work with you,

particularly, as Self Expression and the Creative Process is dear to my heart.

I’ll quote a little from the author, and you can see for yourself the appeal.

(I hope)

“Be here.  Now.  Art stops time.  When you draw or paint what’s around you, you see it for what it is.  Instead of living in a virtual world, as we do most of the time these days, you will be present in the real one…tell your story.

Danny's Breakfast
Danny’s Breakfast

Life is just a long succession of small epiphanies.  You need to stop and seize them.  By making art, you will be recording what you are living through and what you are learning about it.  Your art will set a frame around it and give you perspective on what really maters…

Welcome to the world.  It’s not perfect, but beautiful. And the most beautiful things have character and experience built into them…We all live in chaos.  It’s the natural state of things…everything is always changing…turning into cosmic mush…Creativity is the act of shaping the mush of the world around us into something–of creating your own order.

There are always to0 many things to do, too many obligations and chores that take precedence over you.  Maybe you think to yourself, ‘Sure, I’d love to make art, but I don’t have the time to indulge myself right now, etc. etc.’  It’s the essence of life.  It’s what distinguishes us from the mush.  And it’s why our ancestors survived while other less adaptive critters perished.  They responded to change by being creative in some way, by inventing new answers to the chaos…art-before-breakfast-680x450

Creativity can become a habit that fits into your life, like Pilates or flossing, only a lot more fulfilling. You just need to shift your perspective on what it is to be creative…You just have to be you–and express what that means.

I plan to read his book and use it.

Anyone care to join me?

We could form the Vox Anima Breakfast Club.

Vox Anima,  SDM

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Illustrations by Danny Gregory

Other Art Credit: Tumblr

About Face IV

 “For by his face straight, shall you know his heart.”

Shakespeare, Richard III

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 “The face is the soul of the body.”

~ Wittgenstein

As I continue the exploration of Face, Beauty, and Soul, I thought I’d zero in on how much is really happening, phenomenally, in our one and only Face.

I don’t spend a LOT of time in front of the mirror,

(really, truly)

but when I am ill, I tend to be looking more (or maybe noticing more)

For?

Signs, symptoms, health, wellness…

The eyes are my barometer, measuring degrees of such.

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Let’s re~visit James Hillman on the Force of the Face.

“Not because of cosmetics and surgery is the face an aesthetic phenomenon, but because it is biologically so.

Besides the muscles needed functionally to chew, kiss, sniff, blow, squint, blink, and twitch  away a fly, most of the forty-five facial muscles serve only emotional expression.”

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Marilyn Monroe said:  “I can make my face do anything I want.”

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That is Mastery.

Lauren Bacall
Lauren Bacall

Hillman, continued:  “The face reveals character, the mirror does not lie.

My face announces my presence, reports my nature, and above all, by facing outward, bears a message for others.  Angels blow trumpets.  They call for awakening.  So does the face; it demands response.”

So, dear reader, I would posit this:  What message does your/my face bear for others?

What awakening is being called for in that face of yours/mine?

What response is being asked for, demanded?

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Hamlet to Gertrude:  “You go not, till I set up a glass–

where you may see the inmost part of you.

Vox Anima, SDM

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Art Credit:  Tumblr & Pinterest

Woman Without a Past

Jeremy Lipking
Jeremy Lipking

In my very first post, Priming the Pump,  I wrote about Source, or the Wellspring from which creativity and life flows…and my beloved Wilsonia.

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My family of origin, through trauma and tragedy lost all photographs and memorabilia.  It was, in effect, an obliteration of the ancestors.  The family history.  And, as time went on, it was as if some part of me, or my past had never existed.

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When I stumbled onto the art of Jana Botkin, a kind of photographic memory in my psyche was constellated.  And the realization that without the reflecting mirror of the image, the effect was akin to being a woman without a past.  No wonder, at times, I have been so orphaned and bereft!  No mirror in people, places or things to remind me of who I was, where I came from, and how far I have come!

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Stimulated by photos and drawings of my dearly beloved childhood sanctuary, helped me to remember myself.  

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It is through the image that healing takes place:

jungreading“The great problems of life…are always related to the primordial images of the collective unconscious.  These images are really balancing or compensating factors which correspond with the problems life presents in actuality.  This is not to be marveled at, since these images are deposits representing the accumulated experience of thousands of years of struggle for adaptation and existence.”  C. G. Jung

 

 It is through the artful image that body and soul are released and restored.

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bubblesVox Anima, SDM

Art Credit:  Robert Vickrey

Priming the Pump

 

Priming the pump is generally defined as:

a government action taken to stimulate an economy during a recessionary period.

I borrow the metaphor for the creative process, to get the juices flowing, as it were, after a lengthy period of —

Stagnation?  Stagflation?  Incubation?

At any rate, some sort of,  “-tion”.

Another way to look at the metaphor is the hand water pump.

As a child, my first experience of the water pump  was on the deck of the family cabin in Wilsonia, CA.

Jana Botkiin  The Cabins of Wilsonia
Jana Botkiin
The Cabins of Wilsonia

Located in the Sierra Nevada mountains at 6,617 elevation, our cabin was a refuge from Fresno’s blistering summer heat.

Built by my Maternal Grandfather’s family, the cabin served as my wild sanctuary.

I remember photos of these men in model T Fords crawling up those hillsides, like bugs, loaded with building materials!

The cabin was bare bones primitive.

A common room, with stone fireplace and built in dining table and benches (which held storage of games, cards, and books about mythology) was the heart of the place.

My favorite piece of furniture was the the suede fringe chair by the big console radio.  The mammoth photo of a snarling mountain lion hung over the couch nearby.  I preferred my distance from the cat.

Jana Botkin The Cabins of Wilsonia
Jana Botkin
The Cabins of Wilsonia

A tiny kitchen, the size of a small closet, was the place for meal preparation and clean up.

3 Bedrooms, with strange wall art that the family had accumulated in the Southwest–very Georgia O’Keefe.  Patchwork quilts made up the old brass beds.  Each room had a chamber pot, in the event one did not wish to make the long trip  outside and down the steep stairs to the outhouse.

The only running water to be found was out of that miraculous marvelous hand pump on the deck.

After minutes of pump priming, freshets of icy pure mountain water would emerge, never failing to delight me.

When the plumbing upgrade happened, bringing a shower and running water inside, I was deflated.  Perhaps, the reconfiguration away from the source was drying to my little soul?

…C.G. Jung utilized the image of the riverbed as a way to describe archetypes.

 The riverbed may dry up at times, but the water surely finds its way back to the grooves laid down over eons.

Perhaps, the beginning of this blog is like that initial trickle of water from the aquifers of the Soul.

I invite and welcome your comments as we prime the pump together.

Vox Anima, SDM

Aquifer Melody Johnson
Aquifer
Melody Johnson