In the past I have attended many spiritual retreats, but one in particular stands out in my mind. It happened some years ago. It was a women's retreat put on by our church. About a dozen of us went to Wallowa Lake Camp in the Blue Mountains of Oregon one weekend in March and had an amazing experience.
This happened to be at a very low time in my life. Isn’t it interesting that at those lows times is when we are most open to new truths?
The retreat was led by Ardis Letey. She is an artist from coastal Oregon.
She taught us some very helpful techniques and methods. We worked with several different media and learned and grew and had a marvelous weekend.
I’ll be the first to admit that I can no longer remember much of what we actually did during the retreat. Only one of the items I created, a painting of a sunflower drifting on the open sea, is still around. However, that doesn’t matter because of something Ardis told us which has stuck with me all these years. She told us:
“Art is the process, not the product.”
Read it several times, and then go back and read it again. All you tentative artists out there, ingrain it on your hearts and minds.
What you produce, or not, doesn’t matter. It is in the process where you find the art.
The hours I spend at my sewing machine sewing or at my writing table designing and drafting, that is the art. That is the satisfaction. That is the sweetness, the holiness, if you will.
My art is sanctuary for me. It is where I escape to when life has gotten in the way and the stress of keeping all the balls in the air has become too great.
For me, in art there is peace. When the pressure to produce something amazing, beautiful, wonderful, that everyone is going to “get” is lifted, freedom and liberty to simply create is granted and the heart and mind can truly soar. It is an incredibly uplifting feeling and I find often during this process is when my soul has its best communion with God.
I encourage everyone, with or without artistic leanings, to give this a chance. When you sit down to draw, sew, paint, write, sculpt or _____, grant yourself the freedom to move in the spirit and get lost in the process. The process that IS art.
I posted this several months ago, but really felt moved to repost as I am preparing to leave for Quilt Camp in less than a week. - Janie
13 hours ago