What you need:: Magazines, and art supplies (read about them here).
Candles, music, a bouquet or a posy of flowers, tea, and company, as well as any other additions you dream up to setting your space, to be with creative practice are optionally limitless!
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” ~Lao Tzu
Worms. Warming. New growth. Budding leaves greening on branches. Sap rising and flowing up, circulating from roots stretched out in the dark earth below toward the highest tops of trees promoting renewal. The promise and hint of blossoms to come. Tender flowers peeking out from the shade, between grasses, through leafy blankets, dappling the ground. Dandelions. Violets. Mayapples popping. Bloodroot uncurling. Bees, butterflies and birds busy singing their song. The whole world springing up, inviting;:
“Now is the time, come join in and participate, let’s arise and plant seeds together”.
Spring begins with the earth, cold from winter frosts, thawing and warming, brightness greening, gleaning, digging, tilling, preparing.
Look around at your every day with fresh eyes and write out what springs up in response to the questions . . .
What do you perceive that is a source of joy and beauty even in the most mundane not so ‘beautiful’ moments? What gives you joy? When are you truly happy? Shut your eyes for a moment. Breathe. Feel the warmth. Inhale deeply. Behind your closed eyelids, enter nightspace and look:: that which gives you joy is gazing back at you; what do you see?
How do you nurture and feed that which you enjoy? What fuel do you give to it so that the spark is kindled and burning? Does it need fresh air to breathe life back into it? Is it an ember that needs stoking to get it going again? Do you want to lay out a different fire in a new ring with a changed bundle of twigs, sticks, and logs gathered? What was dormant that asks to revitalize?
Imagine looking into a deep dark well, lowering a bucket to fill with fresh water that you can’t see but sense it’s there. What would you love, deep down inside, to pull up in the bucket when you draw it back up from inside the well? Is it what feeds and nourishes joy for you, opens your heart to loving, to being loved?
What blocks your ability to experience joy? What thoughts, people, situations, stuff dampen joy? What has served you before but no longer does? What are you willing to clear away, declutter, to make space for new growth? Look around as though you were in your garden . . . . what plants are crowded, clustered, filling up the space and taking up too much room? Which ones are you ready to pull up, weed, divide, thin, so there’s space for you to plant new seeds of your choosing? Identify them, perhaps there’s some you choose to keep and incorporate into your own original design.
What would you like to begin, to initiate at this time? What seeds will you plant into the dark earthy ground and attend to this year, that they may emerge and grow into the light above? What is the garden you envision in your heart?
“The way you look at things is the most powerful force in shaping your life.” -John O’ Donohue
If possible, begin the creative process with the new moon on March 17 2018, in the constellation of Fishes, and play with it ending at the full moon. Should you pause and let it rest a spell, return to it on another new moon, attuning with the waning moon to contemplate what showed up for you before proceeding.
Imagine:: the seed you are planting in your hand, a seed to grow, a precious seed filled with potential that given water and receptive ground, fresh air and warmth, will open::unfurling grounding roots and searching stem, pushing up through darkness toward light, going on to grow in health and vitality.
With nourishment, attendance, and care, this seed will flower, fruit, and return harvest to you . . . . and like most seeds, patience in the gardener and allowing time to do its part are crucial. Once planted, the seed asks for water during heat and drought, relaxing to rest in the ground where it softens and opens upward.
Imagine::a palm holding many seeds, seeds for which you have prepared ground upon which to scatter them, cover them up, where watered by rain they’ll begin sprouting and growing, budding and flowering; some of these seeds may be eaten by birds, providing food for them as they fly and nest as well.
Behold your seed, the palm of seeds, depending on what you have chosen, breathe and begin tilling and digging in the leaves that form the pages of magazines you’ve gathered.
“As artists, we must learn to be self-nourishing. We must become alert enough to consciously replenish our creative resources as we draw on them – to restock the trout pond, so to speak.” ~ Julia Cameron
Go through magazines scanning for imagery that feels like your seed, images that speak to your relationship with it. Images that reflect what it holds back at you. Images that you’d like to seed and grow yourself. Images that show your story, your conversation with all that your seed means to you visually. When you feel drawn to certain images that don’t ‘fit’ your ideas, pick them out anyway, they may have something hidden or surprising to share with you that you may glean wisdom from. Cut or tear them all out. Let them rest.
Carry on, or return after a day or longer. Remember this is your creative process, engage at a pace that suits you and feels right to you. Pause and replenish then return when you choose to begin again.
Go through the seeds you’ve collected and read through the notes you made in response to the earlier inquiries. Does a theme emerge? Is there a relationship between your writings and the images you chose? A thread? A story? Sometimes a picture emerges after moving color around on paper and playing . . .
Pick four colors::one for the past, one for now, one for ahead, and one for the unknown.
We’re going to begin by creating fertile ground for planting your seed in. Move gesso or white paint around on your paper. Let it dry then either prepare to work within an invisible circle or draw a big circle to represent your seed. Divide the circle with a vertical and a horizontal line into fourths, each portion is what’s embedded in the seed.
Starting with the color you chose for the past, move paint into the top right corner. This is the genetic matter that a seed carries, the ancestral information, stuff from before that is part of the kind of seed it is, from where it comes.
Moving clockwise, using the color for the present, add paint to the bottom right quadrant. This is your intention at this moment, it holds the attention and focus you’re putting into your garden, your awareness, labor, and effort.
Now move into the future with the color you chose, paint your hopes and dreams for this seed, what you imagine your seed will grow into, the garden it will contribute to.
In the fourth round, you’ll paint in the fourth quadrant to the top left, with the color representing the unknown, the acknowledgment of factors outside your control that also breathe life into the seed you’re planting, the something beyond perception; give it space and permission to do its work with you.
This is your seed that you’ve created and are beholding. When painting the different portions of the seed you can fill them in entirely with color or dab and dot, make shapes and symbols, curvy lines or straight ones, animals or insects, flowers or streaks. A spray bottle of water is fun to have on hand to give a drizzling of rain to the painting from time to time, tilt the paper and let the colors run from one portion to another, seeping out around the outsides of the circle. Do a quadrant at a time or all at once. Splatter paint from your brush onto the paper or use your fingers as the brush. Enjoy the process of creating this seed.
In the final step, you’ll go through the collage elements you picked out earlier. You’re going to narrow them down by picking one for each quadrant, one that vibrates and sings with the energy of what you really deeply desire for and from this seed. Keep the rest for another creativity session, they’re part of the story of this seed, but they’re also what you’re willing to let go of so you can commit to this particular seed with purpose and commitment. Move the images around on your paper in different sections until you know the ones that are calling to be placed. Sometimes you may whittle down your selection to four, and there may be images in your pile that relate to one or more of them, interconnected. When this happens you can cut them out as circles and ring your seed with them or overlap them; even though they may number more than four, in essence they’re enhancing or mutually collaborating or facilitating the central images and thus necessary to growing the sort of seed it is.
Once you have your images selected, glue them where they want to go. You can leave them as they are or pull them out over the seed and around the edges with paint, marker, pastels, and a sprinkling of glitter. Your seed is now planted. Keep your painting somewhere and come back to it over the season, see what’s springing up for you!
“Look closely at the present you are constructing. It should look like the future you are dreaming.” – -Alice Walker