Monday, May 24, 2010

Weekly Reflection (week 20): Art Saves

This week the ever-inspiring Connie from Dirty Footprints Studio and creator of Art Journal Love Letters is guest curator over on Crescendoh telling her story for the Art Saves series. Click over to read and to see Yours Truly (and my postcards) spotlighted by Connie - an unexpected honor!

Connie's piece and the series Art Saves got me thinking about the role art has played in my life. As a kid I loved to color and paint. I took the usual pottery classes at the local museum; my parents paid for me to have private lessons with a woman who taught me all about proper proportions and alignment when it comes to the human face (not that you can tell from any of my current drawings); and I spent hours in my room drawing in notebooks pictures of rock stars, horses and for some reason, squirrels.

But the moment that changed my perspective and my life was when my mother took me to the Metropolitan Museum in New York to see an exhibit of Monet's paintings from Giverny. What I remember was walking through the galleries surrounded by paintings of waterlilies and Japanese bridges and feeling transported to another place and time. Not long after that, I got to see a retrospective exhibit of Georgia O'Keeffe's art and I was hooked. What captured my attention was the sense of total engagement with the world depicted on the canvas. As the viewer, I was being offered the opportunity to step into the eyes and skin of another person and experience their world, their perspective.

Studying art history, I loved the process of immersing myself into the culture, the events, the experiences of the artist as expressed through their work. And now as I use art making as a way to understand my life I am coming full circle in terms of appreciating Art's power to connect us. In making art of any kind, I am acknowledging my perspective, my beliefs and celebrating my individuality through the work. But what happens when my art goes out into the world and when I explore the work of others is a realization of our commonality, of an underlying Unity that connects us all.

How has Art Saved Me?

Art has saved me in that it allows me to tap into the universal energy, Shakti if you will, that pulsates through all life. When creating, I am in flow and I am connected to something bigger than myself - Creation/Source/Life. When I look at your art or read your words, I see how she moves through you. Celebrating our differences, I can see the ways in which we are all one.

Art is about wanting to understand and hoping to be understood. Art saves me in that it has leads me again and again back to myself. Through art, I am found. Through art, I experience myself as enough. Through art I recognize my place in the flow of life. And through art, I offer my heart, my hope, myself to another.

Connecting ... is there anything more vital right now?




Creating, connecting, play ... the juice of life. Connie, thank you for reintroducing me to my juicy life. Thank you Art for being the best juicing machine ever.


  1. that art connects us to the pulsation of shakti...YES! that is exactly what my experience in art making is too and shakti takes me on some wild rides! It's so amazing to me that Ann was your instructor for teacher training! What a small world! She is incredible! I was reading some of your past posts and came across the one where you described being really heard and seen in a co-listening exercise...she is still teaching that exercise and we had the opportunity to do it several times in our training...I sometimes feel like blogging is a bit like co-listening in a way and I admire the way that you always speak directly from your heart. I am still working on that! I am not sure what my yoga teaching schedule will be looking like on the cape this summer...but I'd love to talk about books!!!

  2. Dear Lis-this is such a great post-yes! Art SAVES! I love how you articulated the creative does connect us with the CREATIVE force of life (the Universe) and ourselves and each other. I am posting my piece on women and creativity tomorrow-and using one of your images. I tried to find your last name somewhere on your blog but could not, so I just put your first name with the link-hope this is okay? I would love if you stopped by tomorrow to take a peek and share your insights...thanks ! also-getting pretty excited about our e-course coming up!

  3. That was one of the biggest compliments I ever received...I am truly humbled and honored. Than you for being such a soul sister in my life--your Art and your honesty has been quite a teacher as well as a joy.

    When I was in Art school, at first I dreaded that I would have to take Art History courses--as a 18/19 year old--I didn't want to read about Art--I wanted to make it. But lucky for me--my first Art History teacher was this extremely eccentric man with one of those ZZ Top long beards. Every day as I made my way to class he blasted--and I am serious about the word "blasted" music as we walked into the door. Sometime it would be a classical piece, or music from a different culture or tradition, or sometimes simply a tune from Bruce Springsteen. He then would connect the music to the Art we were studying that day--AND--and the thing that made me fall in LOVE with Art History--that he passed down to me--is he barely had us remember all those dates and periods and times--even though we did--he instead delivered us all this juicy, juicy stories about the Art. The drama behind it--the way it might have been scandalous in its time--how it matter--who owned it--what life it had.

    I felt connected to Art through story telling. And I still do.

    I LOVE that. I LOVE how Art has a story to it---even our own Art. And, I think that is just another level of Creative juiciness!!!

    Big hugs

  4. It is wonderful the way you have expressed yourself and how you feel about art, both in words and images. Art saves is about so many things - making the connections, telling the story, talking about the whole process and what it all means and how everything inter-relates.