The Eye of The Storm

A painting that I did using Multi media. I was inspired by a storm that was raging all around me at the time.

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Discovering Our Creative Side

I believe we all have creativity within us. If you want to unlock your own unique creativity, why not come along to a Mindfulness Creativity session!

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Just Paint!

I love this Van Gogh quotation. My Mind told me I could't paint for many years - then I discovered Mindfulness Creativity. You can too!.

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Getting past the ‘I’m just not creative’ mind-talk

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creativemuse2Far from being a rare gift, only possessed by the ‘artists’ among us – painting, drawing and many other forms of creativity can be as natural and instinctive to us as breathing – if we let it.  When practiced mindfully, painting, drawing and all other forms of creativity have the power to effortlessly lead us into a deeper relationship with ourselves and the world around us; turning these creative activities into play, into a dance of movement, an act of seeing deeply and connecting profoundly with life.

When children paint, draw and create, they do so instinctively, and generally without too much thought, they just do it and go with it.  They don’t generally even have a sense of good or bad, they don’t judge their creativity, they just create.  So, ‘creativeness’ is in all of us and as children the barriers of “I can’t paint” etc. were not there.  This is where engaging in mindfulness creativity can help us to get past the mind-talk and self-doubting, thereby enabling us to unlock and re-engage with our own unique creative being.

Engaging in mindfulness creativity

So how can we make a start on the path of mindfulness creativity?  Lots of things can get in the way, not enough time, low confidence, a strong voice inside saying we can’t do it –we’re rubbish.  But the truth is we’ve probably strayed onto it at some point in our lives already.  As an example, many of us engage with an act of mindful drawing without even realising that we are doing so.  This act is doodling, and in this simple practice many of the profound truths of mindfulness and drawing are contained.  It has become quite a recognised mindfulness practice and there is now the ‘Zentangle’ technique (a form of Zen Doodling).  There are now a number of Mindfulness colouring books, or you can just ‘mindfully doodle’.

Have you ever ‘doodled’ and then seen something in the abstract lines and shapes?  You can use the same technique in other art forms such as painting, sculpting, etc.  Just engaging with the activity without judgement or expectations.  Feeling the pen on the paper, the paint on the canvas – whatever the form of artwork, just ‘being’ in that moment.  Then seeing what transpires, where the flow of your ‘being’ takes you – actually becoming at one with the stroke of the brush, the flow of the ink etc. as you create.

The benefits of mindfulness creativity

Creating helps me stay mindful, centred and balanced.  Creativity and mindfulness are inextricably linked.  Keeping your creativity going (or getting it started) will help you live life in a mindful way.  This ensures you will be in a great space to embrace life in the here and now.

Mindfulness creativity helps us stay centred and balanced.  Whatever your creative outlet, it can turn up surprising results for all areas of our lives.

Creativity comes in so many different forms, and pays dividends in every area of our lives.  Make a little space in your life for a regular creative practice!  Making time for these activities – no matter how small – will make a difference to your mindset and mood, helping you accomplish more in your life.

What to do if you think you’re not creative

I believe that everyone is creative and that we are born with inherent creative ability.  Those of us who identify with being creative understand that creativity manifests in many different ways – from the ability to paint, write or draw, to making incredible food, planting out and tendering a garden or the talent for writing computer code.

Creativity is like a muscle – we can train it, grow it and develop it over time, simply by using it.  If you don’t think you’re a creative person, start your creative practice by choosing something simple and easy to achieve.  The growing popularity of adult colouring books is a fantastic example of a creative, mindful activity, but so is trying out some new recipes, beginning a daily journal or doing a photography project.

Creativity builds productivity

All too often, we fall into the trap that ‘we don’t have time’.  And yet I find by routinely making time to engage in mindfulness creativity, my mind is calmer, I am more focused and much more productive, I feel sharper, and more alert.

Exercising your creativity is like giving your life a fitness workout.  It will expand your possibilities, and assist you in achieving all of your goals.  So my invitation to you is to make time to engage in mindfulness creativity and discover the creative ability and the benefits this brings!

Rustic Ogham Mirrors of Mindfulness

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I found these two mirrors and decided to combine pre-Celtic Ogham with words of Mindfulness (translating the word into Ogham).  I used a wire brush to create a de-stressed look and then used pyrography to burn on the Ogham symbol and words.

Mirror - Peace OghamMirror - Calm Ogham

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Creating, not Judging – That’s Mindfulness Creativity

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When we are practising the art of mindfulness creativity, the marks we make on the paper, the landscapes we photograph, the poems we write – become an experience of discovery and creation, with the emphasis on connection, attention, lightness and playfulness.  Mindfulness creativity is all about process and becoming aware of the process – it isn’t focused on product or perfection.  This can bring a great relief for us – to not have to worry about end results, to engage with a creative activity as children do, free from judgements or self-criticism, fully immersed in the present moment.

If you’re trying to get started with your writing, art or photography, creative mindfulness is a great jumping off point for rediscovering your creativity, or overcoming the doubts that stop you.  For experienced writers and artists, adding mindfulness to an existing creative practice can make it feel more like play again – instead of work.  It can help prevent burn-out by supporting sustainable working patterns and above all will bring a greater clarity and insight to your creative ideas.

Creative Mindfulness1

Those who have an existing mindfulness practice, will find that introducing a creative element to it will allow them to deepen their insights and awareness.  Many meditators have told me that they find it far easier to stay present and be mindful when they are doing a creative activity, than they do sitting on a cushion.  For those who have never engaged in mindfulness practice, this can be a good way to explore and experience the benefits of mindfulness.

When teaching Mindfulness Creativity, I always encourage people to work quietly on their projects.  It is fine to perhaps have a chat and exchange ideas etc when initially getting together as a group, but once we engage with our individual projects, it is important that we do so in quiet.  The purpose of this is to tune out the left brain, the logical, rational side and to allow the right brain, the artist within, to shine through.  This can encourage each of us to pay attention to our respective projects, and just let it flow.  For some, at first this may seem a bit strange, like an instruction to follow in an environment that is supposedly promoting creative freedom.  But after a few minutes of actually paying attention and becoming more aware to the feel of the brush on the canvas or the pen on paper etc. the smell of the materials and the sound of the tools being used and so on, something tends to shift.  The ‘group’ and environment can seem to fall away and we become more deeply connected to what we are actually doing, fully engaged with ‘Being’ in that activity.  My own experience of this has led to a connection that can feel like it‘s just me and my paintbrush – all else slips away and I become totally connected to my actions in each moment.  Sometimes the connection is as so deep that all becomes one as if I was the paintbrush—we moved in unison.  I felt the rough canvas underneath me, the warm breath, as I leaned closer and closer to the canvas, paying attention to some detail.

Fully immersing ourselves in a creative project (whatever it might be) activates a different part of our brain. We lose track of time and our surroundings. Minutes blend into hours, and there are no thoughts apart from what’s happening in the present. It’s very much an exercise in mindfulness. For some it can be their first taste of meditation, impermanence and being in the moment.

Being an Artist

The right side of the brain is associated with creativity, intuition, visualising, emotions and daydreaming, among other things. Most of us don’t use it enough because we’re socialised to be logical and rational, thinking in terms of rules, goals, planning and structure. But, we can tap into that creative right brainart is just one of the many ways of doing so.

Art can wake us up from the dream we normally live in. Art can shock us into truly being in the present moment, and true art does this without having to try too hard. It does this by simply existing. Mindfulness Creativity can create a space for people to just be, without expectations, without judgments and without having to hurry on to the next thing.

Pablo Picasso once said, “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” It’s no surprise, then, that many people around the world use art as a means to deal with stress, trauma and unhappiness – or to just find greater peace and meaning in their lives. Art can not only help you deal with the negative stuff in life, but also help you appreciate and focus on the good things.

Mindfulness Wooden Plaques & Boxes

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Plaque - Live in The Now  Plaque - Breathe in Calm Breathe out Peace  Plaques

These are some of the wooden plaques that I created during ‘Mindfulness Creativity’ sessions.

They are all made from reclaimed wood and treated with natural oils to preserve them.  This makes them suitable for both interior and exterior display.

Wooden Chest Wooden Chest1 Wooden Chest2 Wooden Chest3

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Ogham Plaques

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Ogham Plaque

My interest in Irish culture and heritage has been an influence in my art work. This led me to create these Ogham Plaques, which are made using the technique of ‘Pyrography’ (a form of wood burning).  They come in a range of words with the Ogham symbol for that word above. Some of the more popular words are:

  • Be Still
  • Breathe
  • Calm
  • Dare
  • Dream
  • Faith
  • Friend
  • Love
  • Peace
  • Soul

but I have requests for quite a variety of words, names etc.

Ogham served as an alphabet for one of the ancient Celtic lanquages and dates back to between the 3rd and 6th century. Ogham inscriptions are found exclusively in Ireland, Scotland and Wales. While all surviving Ogham inscriptions are on stone, it was probably more commonly inscibed on sticks, stakes and trees.

The size of these wooden plaques are approximately 20 x 07cm.  Made from reclaimed wood, they are treated with natural oils to preserve them. Suitable for interior and exterior display.

These plaques can be ordered at a cost of €5.95 each and posted to anywhere worldwide (P&P extra andcan be quoted on request). Please contact me for further details.

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The Eye of The Storm – Painting on Canvas

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Eye of the Storm

Inspired by a storm that was overhead at the time, I came up with the idea for this painting on canvas.  I used a range of media including oil paint, acrylic, print, wax from used candles and some PVA glue that had gone off and was detined for the bin!

I have had lots of positive interest and requests for similar pieces.  If you wish to commission a piece like this please use the ‘contact form’ to enquire about this

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Welcome!

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Welcome to my ‘Mindful Art’ site and thank you for visiting.  Here you can find out more about Mindfulness Creativity (a form of Mindfulness practice that I teach) and the artwork I have produced in Mindfulness.  I hope to also feature other work by artists and crafters who engage in Mindfulness creativity.

I intend to use this site as a way of encouraging others to explore and unlock their own unique creativeness.  So I will be blogging about how Mindfulness can boost creativity and boost your life!

Details on new art & craft work will be posted periodically along with information about Mindfulness Creativity events and other interesting topics, so do pop back on a regular basis.  If you want to be kept up to date on new posts to this site, ‘like’ www.facebook.com/raysmindfulart andyou will get notified of all new posts to this site.

 

Categories: Artwork, Uncategorized