Friday, April 22, 2011

So this is art

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


sonyamacdesigns said...

beautiful and uplifting words ... on the creative process of the WHAT? Thank You!

Anonymous said...

I'm stopping by from Sneak Peek. Thank you for posting this again. I've actually been feeling led to enjoy the process more...and be creative. I recently finished a piece totally new to me, but I am so happy with myself...and that I stepped out of the mold of sewing I've been in for so long.

Cindy said...

Wonderful words! The process IS the art! What grows within is what the Master Creator is most concerned with...the master artist knows how to manipulate the canvas (us) that He is working upon...


Sherri@SDGartistry said...

Thank you for the reminder that Art is the process! Fantastic!

Jennifer @ Studio JRU said...

This is beautiful! Yes... get lost in the process. You will enjoy creating whatever you create so much more if you just get lost and have fun! Have a wonderful time at your quilt camp... would love to hear about it when you are back!

Diana said...

Your words have especially touched me..."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" this. I have to try to remember this. Thanks for sharing.

Janie said...

Thank you all for you very kind comments. I am never sure how my words will be received. Often when God lays them heavy on my heart I am compelled to share. Kinda like art it is nice when the product is well received, but the process can be cathartic.

con-tain-it said...

Wow...I love this message! AND so many times when I've taken or taught classes I have to tell people (especially my sister ;) that "better done than perfect". We are here to learn the process and not create a perfect copy of the class sample. Have a great time at quilt camp and hope you have a wonderful weekend. Fondly, Roberta
Visiting from Sneak Peek Friday

Carissa said...

Love this. Thank you so much for encouraging me to read it :) I am tucking it away in my heart.