Expression from the Other Side

Non-dominant hand wants to come out and play!

Simplicity and play are two facets of pure soulful expression that I like to share with others through many art forms and processes.  The seed for this art process was planted back in November when visiting a local vendor fair. I purchased several origami star bursts from a young boy who had his own vendor table (next to his mom’s!) using colorful post-its as his paper source. Yes to supporting a young budding artist!

Origami Star Bursts

The motion, colors and 16 rays kept the curiosity flowing and led me to the next step – painting these star bursts using a new tool I’ve wanted to explore for an upcoming art event. The tool is called a sponge stick and many artists use these for blending charcoal and pastels, they are also used for crafts. Let’s see what happens when we use watercolor paints! Once I started making marks on the paper a texture appeared that brought on a feeling of new birth, something wanting to come forth from the painterly marks. The space between the painterly marks became the space between each thought and breath, a graceful dance and meditation. Now on to sharing this process with others.

sponge sticks

star bursts

But wait! Let’s add another element, painting with our non-dominant hand! Yes to gifts from the universe, a recent fall and wrist fracture of my dominant hand – this art process has allowed me, and my left side, to express movement and change while staying in the present moment, exploring new patterns with different color pallets and simply being open to process. Creating in this way has always empowered me in service to working with others. This time around with love, compassion and purpose heightened to a new level of awareness. I am grateful for this.

We are all conduits of pure Source energy where creativity and natural forces of nature flow.  Bring on your expression from the other side.

With Sweet Grace.

 

 

Mandala, Purple & Gold

Beauty in Motion with Many Moons

Purple & Gold Mandala

The newest in a series of mandalas where intention, play, construction, introspection and beauty come together. Each mandala begins with an intention, and then the play begins, creating a variety of artworks using different mediums and techniques. Each mandala’s intention acts as a guide through creating the shapes to use for all the artwork and arranging the shapes in patterns and design. After the mandala pieces are laid out the paper colors are chosen for the circle and backing and beads are added to flow with the whole. Every shape that gets glued down, along with every stitch and bead is gratitude in motion.

The intention for this mandala is our connection to water and many moons, as in storytelling – many moons ago….

Mandala assembly
Shapes are laid out and the paper color and beads are ready for the final step. Size: 20″x20″
bamboo is used for hanging
Bamboo is used for hanging. Cord or cup hooks can be used to support the bamboo.

Mandala Series
https://naturessweetgrace.wordpress.com/2014/09/22/seasons-change/

The magnificent mandalas in this series bring vibrance, peace and beauty to any environment. Contact Nature’s Sweet Grace to have a mandala created for your business or home.  Workshops or week-end retreats are also available.

With Sweet Grace.

Ageless Grace and Musical Vibrations

F. Chopin, Valse, Opus 64-No. 2

My neighbor, 82 years young, is a classical piano teacher. She’s been teaching for 50 years! I have the pleasure of listening to her play almost everyday…through the walls. Sound and musical vibrations travel! She lives on the second floor back apartment and I live on the first floor front apartment. When I hear her play, usually late afternoon, I stop what I am doing and listen, taking in every note and graceful touch of the piano keys.

Recently I saw my neighbor (choosing to stay anonymous) as she was leaving and I was entering our building. I expressed to her how much I enjoy her classical piano music and asked if I could take a video of her playing and share it on Nature’s Sweet Grace blog. She agreed. The intentions for creating this video also ties in with a fitness & wellness program I take part in called Ageless Grace, Timeless Fitness for the Body and Brain which is based on the science of neuroplasticity. Her piano playing is a beautiful expression of Ageless Grace and the body, mind & spirit connection.

Music is what I love. When playing classical piano you use the brain and the whole body – head, shoulders, arms, hands, fingers all the way down to the feet.

Get to know your neighbors. You never know what gifts and talents they are ready to share with you. Enjoy F. Chopin, Valse, Opus 64-No. 2!

With Sweet Grace.

Friendship Art


Connection Through Our Gifts

Keara-community-web-2
Illustrator Keara McGraw – Gifting Artwork to Friends
Keara-community-web-1
Illustrations on their own are strong, heART felt and beautiful.

Four friends are to each receive a flower illustration. The magic happens when Keara arranges the four illustrations together and adds the color. The color addition creates a new collective art piece symbolically illustrating that each recipient and illustrator are connected and part of a whole. A powerful representation of how artistry, friendship and meaning come together through our gifts and talents we share with the world.

See more of what Keara is up to at kearamcgrawcreative.com.

With Sweet Grace.

The Mother Tree

A gift to all children in a story of letting go

The Mother Tree

Mother Tree: Hello Children! Can you feel it? The time has come. Your color is changing and you will soon fly off on your own. Your friend Mother Earth is ready to receive you. It’s OK, she will be your guide through a magical and transformative journey that holds great meaning and purpose. You’ll nourish the earth with new growth as deep rich compost. The same way the children who came before you have done. The animals will play and dance around you. A human child will pick you up and admire your beauty. Every bud that blossoms in the Spring will give thanks for your journey.

Children: But Mother Tree, I am scared to let go. What is it like to fly down to Mother Earth?

Mother Tree: Dear Children, there is nothing to fear. You have many friends along the way supporting you. Your friend Sun provides the light within you that flows with everlasting love. You’ll be carried away by your friend Wind and create an amazing dance together. Wind says there are many ways to fly. Who shall be the first?!

Children: Mother Tree, look at me! I’m twirling! Mother Tree, look at me! I’m floating! Mother Tree, look at me! I’m gliding! Mother Tree, look at me! I’m waltzing! Mother Tree, look at me! I’m circling! Mother Tree, look at me! I’m flying!

 Mother Tree: Know that you are deeply loved my children. Know that you are deeply loved. I love you.

Sunshine Love

Photography and storytelling love to collaborate with each other when it comes to Expressive Arts. For your next creative project, photograph an image, scene or person that interests you and write a short story. Short stories create a moment for taking the next step to longer writings. They make for the perfect daily writing exercise.

With Sweet Grace.

Art Journaling & Doodles….

for connection with others and going with the flow.


art journals and doodles

Art journaling and doodling are creative outlets for bringing your ideas, visions and expressive nature into physicality. They also act as portals for the extraordinary. Putting to paper, bringing them out of the ethers, is a key component for creating. You can come back to the drawings or doodles and expand on them at another time.

I’d like to share with you two of my favorite journal/doodle tips and exercises.

1-tip) Designate mandala pages throughout your art journal. Take a cup, bowl, or round object to trace and fill the page with a circle. Fill at least 1/3 of the journal pages with circles. Of course, you can make every page a circle too! Having circles in place for the next time you pick up your journal is helpful and you’re ready to go.

1-exercise) Group Art Journaling/Doodling – Ask a friend or family member to participate in drawing or doodling with you. You can both begin with a shared inspired intention or simply see where the drawing takes you. Take turns adding to the journal entry or doodle. It’s fun, intimate and a collaborative art activity. The two colorful mandala examples shown here were with my daughters.

2-tip) Keep pens, pencils, small notebook, sketch pad or loose paper available where ever you go! Keep them in your car glove compartment, near your computer or reading chair, in a tote, fanny pack, or any type of container so supplies are available in the spur of the moment.

2-exercise) Doodling With Spirals – Draw a free-hand spiral leaving enough area for drawing as the spiral gets larger. Begin at the spirals center and fill in with patterns, images, symbols, words and what ever comes to you in the moment.

Happy journaling and doodling to you!

With Sweet Grace.

We As Creators

Intentions – Boundless Creativity

flowers2

Have you ever come across a book where you found yourself saying, “I wrote that!” All the words resonate with you on a higher level and knowing. It’s as if you co-authored it coming into your physicality…all ego aside.

craftingcalmRecently, a participant in a jewelry class I was facilitating brought a book to share that she checked out from the library, crafting calm-projects and practices for creativity and contemplation by Maggie Oman Shannon. Looking through it I could tell this book held much wisdom. After class I picked up the book at a local bookstore, went home and created a space for embracing the wisdom, creativity and energy within crafting calm.

In Maggie’s Introduction, and throughout the book, she shares simple yet profound reflections on creating.

The soulful statement that I hope this book makes is that whether you call yourself an artist or a craftsperson, both or neither, we are all creative. We are all creators. We are all creations of creator. It is to this that this book speaks–how we can stoke our deepest sense of ourselves and the Divine by employing the inherent flame that lies deep within each of us: creativity.

I see this essence when facilitating expressive arts classes. There is a creative spark that’s lit and participants voice this with an I wish the class could go longer, I could do this everyday, oh thank you so much, and this is fun! When we connect with the creator within us, we are at home with our Divinity. And that feels amazing. It’s light, at ease and timeless. It’s available to us when we are present.

It doesn’t matter if we are creating a craft or another life modality, the act of creating extends out to all creations; creating a meal, a vacation itinerary, a new space to relax, foundations for a new business, peace within a relationship, or a musical composition, we are all creators.

 At first glance, some of these crafts and suggested spiritual practices might seem simple, even simplistic. But everything–including the simple act of breathing–always offers an invitation to go deeper. The key, the alchemical ingredient that changes an activity from craft to spiritual craft, is one’s intention. How one consciously chooses to dedicate his or her creative time–and to what or whom one dedicates that creative time–is what turns an ordinary crafting experience into an experience of the holy.  

Intention is powerful. In this moment create an intention for what you have in front of you – maybe it’s a garden that needs weeding, a blog that needs completion or meal preparation for family and friends. How will what you are creating serve others and your well Be-ing?  As I begin _____________________, my intentions are _________________________. Apply this throughout your day and see how the energy of the world around you shifts. As Maggie Oman Shannon expresses it, crafting calm.

What are you presently and intentionally creating?

Enjoy the creative journey!

With Sweet Grace.