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Category: Art and Spirituality


Exploring New Things

I realize that in my post earlier about all of the things that comprised my retreat I forgot to mention the art class I took at the end which was wonderful.  The teacher showed us many ways of combining text and art and I was so inspired by her wonderful work.  She likes to work small so she can do several pieces at a time.  Below are some of my very beginning attempts at using embossing, graphite powder, crushed pastels, and colored pencils.  The scanner doesn’t reproduce the color and texture very well and also cuts off the lovely white border created by

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Living Between the Ancient and the New

A simple post tonight as I am very tired from two full days of teaching.  Our first session of Awakening the Creative Spirit was wonderful with twelve holy women participating.  This first session focused on an overview of all the arts and we had everyone use a collage process to focus on the question “What does your soul long for?”  Such richness revealed in that exploration.  As I made mine, a very simple one weaving together images of rootedness and the flow of ocean, I was tempted to add more images to it.  But, it felt done with all that spaciousness and simplicity.  While

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Articles of Interest

I have been asked if I would make my recent article in Presence (the journal of Spiritual Directors International) available.  It is on Using the Arts in Spiritual Direction and Discernment, and you can read it here. Also, Christian Century posted a great article about the RevGalBlogPals, a webring I am a part of.  You can read that one here.

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Expressive Arts

Neither of my parents were religious people, but they did instill in me an aesthetic appreciation through regular visits to museums and cathedrals and listening to great classical music.  My aesthetic sense was cultivated long before my spiritual sense, of course, now I realize that my spirituality was being shaped through my love of beauty.  So when I did make a formal commitment to a faith tradition, the two things that captivated me were the aesthetic and justice dimensions.  While working at a Catholic high school in Sacramento as a religion teacher and campus minister in 1994, part of my

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Clever Hands

My husband and I took a little pilgrimage up to Vancouver earlier this week to visit the Vancouver Art Gallery, where they have an exhibit called Raven Travelling: Two Centuries of Haida Art.  When we moved up here to Seattle three years ago we quickly fell in love with Pacific Northwest Native American (or First Nations, as they are called in Canada) art.  The Haida are especially extraordinary artists as this exhibit demonstrates.  The Haida people live on an archipelago in Northwest British Columbia called Haida Gwaii (Or Queen Charlotte Islands as Canada still officially calls them), a place I

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Art-Making as Spiritual Practice

So much of the work I do is making a safe space for folks to remember the delights of creative expression and to explore and play with paint, markers, collage, poetry, movement, words, and sound. I always introduce the practice of art-making in the context of prayer, hoping to convince others that God can really be found in the playful and experimental places of our lives. I often need to remind people that in the Judeo-Christian tradition we actually believe we were created in the image of a Creator God. This molding of humans as creative beings imparts a profound

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Creating Space

There is no getting around it. Creativity requires spaciousness. In a culture that demands we hurry up and do, produce, move faster and higher up the ladder, become breathless, worship speed and efficiency, finding space can be a real challenge. And yet, for me, here is where the spiritual life and the creative life converge—in the profound need and longing to make space to listen to the divine presence who, as the mystics tell us, dwells within us. Space to notice the stirrings of our souls, and to honor the newness budding there. In fact, we don’t just “find space,”

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