Join us for a monthly circle dedicated to making contemplative arts and crafts!
Each month we will have a different project, which we will complete together at the circle (which will be on Zoom until it is safe to meet in person). The projects will range from painting to clay to collage to calligraphy to jewelry making. Each month will have a contemplative focus.
In advance of the circle, you will receive an overview of the project, including a list of materials, background information, an example of the final product, and instructions on how to complete it.
Why contemplative arts?
Making art is a wonderful way to center you in your body, put yourself smack dab in the present moment, and to actively practice quieting your inner critic.
Making art centers you in your body.
Engaging deeply with color, shape, and texture is a visceral experience. The act of smearing paint across a canvas, or cutting shapes for a collage pulls you into your senses and provides a focus for your mind. You feel the give of the canvas, hear the brush as it moves across the surface, smell the paint, watch the colors blend, taste….well, it’s best if you don’t taste most art. But you get the point, right?
Making art roots you in the present moment.
While you’re busy cutting along the line, mixing the colors, putting the pieces together, the outside world just….falls away. Time stands still. It’s just you and the art. If you’re one of those people who finds meditation daunting, you might find contemplative art to be a more accessible spiritual practice.
Making art teaches you to silence your inner critic.
In my experience as an art teacher, I have found that the biggest challenge to helping people make art is not teaching the art skills, but rather it’s helping people work through self-doubt and criticism. “I can’t do this. I’m a horrible artist. This thing I made sucks.” I’ve encountered these mantras enough to say with confidence that these feelings are normal! And it’s okay. In fact – it is an opportunity. Making art gives you the chance to actively practice shutting down that inner critic, and to do it in a relatively consequence-free setting. And once you know how to shut down your inner critic, the sky’s the limit! This skill will come in super handy the next time you are putting yourself down elsewhere in life.
You don’t need to be an artist; you don’t even need to have skill! Contemplative arts are all about the process, not the product. (I mean yeah, it would be nice if the product is something worthy of showing off, but that’s just our ego talking and we need to let that go…)