Posts for Tag : Alexander Technique and creativity

Tao Te Ching – Sixteen

Empty yourself of everything.

Let the mind rest at peace.

The ten thousand things rise and fall while the Self watches their return.

They grow and flourish and then return to the source.

Returning to the source is stillness, which is the way of nature.

The way of nature is unchanging.

Knowing constancy is insight.

Not knowing constancy leads to disaster.

Knowing constancy, the mind is open.

With an open mind, you will be openhearted.

Being openhearted you will act royally.

Being royal you will attain the divine.

Being divine, you will be at one with the Tao.

Being at one with the Tao is eternal.

And though the body dies, the Tao will never pass away.

LAO TSU

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I’ve spent a few days sketching ideas for the mural, but I think writing down what I want to achieve might start to clarify ‘ten thousand things!’

So, what do I want to say? My Shirley Valentine wall moment!

Vibe – fun and magical, a place where the children can find imaginative freedom. Smile generator.

Scale – The bigger I can make it the more impact and fun. Need scaffolding! Wheelchair height detailed elements, bigger shapes higher up.

Comical elements – in the form of good ideas and the way I draw – expressions, action etc

About – the natural world and freedom of imagination

Incorporates – wildlife, trees, flowers, animals, birds, insects and perhaps a magical unicorn too. So much potential as to what to paint and how to paint it that the ‘ten thousand things’ become overwhelming. Let ideas rise and fall until I see what is left. I love the words in this verse – ‘the way of nature.’

The Way of Nature – a working title for the wall!

3d elements – planters planted with brightly coloured real flowers. Real nesting boxes attached to drawings of the trees. Eric said he would make some boxes. Could attach bird or other cut out shapes to the front of the boxes, so the nesting holes became mouths. Other 3d ideas?

Colour – Paint the walls a colour first. Get rid of the white! Maybe section areas into key colour elements and get help from the groundsmen to do the big painting job! Good plan. Pale greens and blues for one wall. Maybe reds and brights for the other.

I am realising that good planning is key to the success of this

So here is a thing –

Anxiety, caused by living in the future!

Depression, caused by living in the past!

Creativity, freed by living in the moment!

So my task is to keep staying present with ideas and let them come. That presence is what I think is meant be ‘constancy’ in the verse.

The wall will start to come alive with the planning I do now. Keep planning! Enjoy the planning! It’s a learning curve.

I’ve noticed moments of anxiety over the past couple of days when I jump too far ahead with the project and moment of feeling low when I think because I’ve never done a huge mural before I’m not capable. Past and future mind games. Best avoided by noticing and letting go. Lying in Alexander Technique Constructive Rest for a few minutes usually changes my mind!

This mural is a wonderful challenge – learning loads already.

So another thing – fear and excitement are much the same feeling. Label this excitement, so as not to keep hitting the wall!

Photo – second wall that I can paint.

www.kirstenharrisart.co.uk

Tao Te Ching – Eight

The highest good is like water.

Water gives life to ten thousand things and does not strive.

It flows in places men reject and so is like the Tao.

In dwelling, be close to the land.

In meditation, go deep in the heart.

In dealing with others, be gentle and kind.

In speech, be true.

In ruling, be just.

In business, be competent.

In action, watch the timing.

No fight: No blame.

LAO TSU

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Go backwards to go forwards – words come to mind.

Walking backwards – remembering how it enlivens the back, empowers forward walking, changes habits. Imagining Alexander Technique hands on my back, calling my presence back, back to your back, come home.

Maisie looked confused, wondering which way we were going? Good question Maisie!

Another day spent tidying artwork, looking for space, slightly frustrated. I want to sit down and paint and let the beautiful words from the Tao flow through. A day’s not long enough! A lament!

Again – go backwards to go forwards…

I work on a painting in oil for a short while, adding a layer. Backwards to resolve. Backwards to complete.

Then walk Maisie. Bitterly cold wind, a hat, a hoodie, the hood of the coat. The words – slow down enough to see.

It takes time to slow down. The irony doesn’t escape me, days pass fast. So much to do, self care a challenge. Maisie needs to run. No time for the Tao!

The beech trees are dying, their ancient feet in water. Remnants of wire scar their trunks, grimacing faces. Tree people.

I photograph the same trees over and over for years.

The last photo homeward inspires.

The woodpecker had eaten a tree.

An idea for a drawing pops.

And there it is! Reconnecting to an idea during first lockdown: I attempted to write a children’s story to illustrate. A story felled when a friend pecked holes in it. I cried, heartbroken.

No blame, time changes everything.

I’ll paint to plant trees.

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Painting – ‘Ascension’, Oil on Canvas, 100 x 150 cm Work in progress.

www.kirstenharrisart.co.uk