Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Way

Donna Watson, The Ancient Way, 20"x20"
Creativity is an integral part of being human, as basic as walking, talking and thinking.  The creative process is intuitive.  It points us towards our essential nature.  Zen teachings can help us understand and cultivate our creativity.
Donna Watson, page from handmade book, MEMORY LANDSCAPE
Zen is about experience and activity and not about words and ideas that try to describe it.  THE TAO OF PAINTING, a book written around 500 C.E. is a classic canon on the art of painting as a spiritual path.  In the action of no-action (wu-wei) the mind is silenced and the work is allowed to express itself.  
Donna Watson, image of tools and journal pages
Zen masters began to use art as a way of teaching enlightenment.  Zen arts, creativity and realized spirituality are seen as inseparable.  Zen aesthetic developed to express eternal truths about the nature of reality and our place in the universe.
Donna Watson image, sunrise, view from my bedroom window
These Zen arts do not exist for the purpose of creating a work of art, but rather a method for opening the creative process.  They comprise means of training the mind and living our lives.  These arts were called ways because they were disciplines or paths to the artist's understanding of him or herself.  The suffix "do" means way.
Donna Watson, image of ways to create new art works from flea market finds
Chado, the way of tea.  The ritual of the tea ceremony (simplicity, purity) influences all of Japan's fine arts.  Creating harmony with opposites is an important aspect.  Inside the tea room, it is important to display a piece of calligraphy in harmony with the spirit of the tea and an ikebana (flower arrangement) in a pure and simple style.
image from Museum of Fine Arts Boston website
image via Flickr, fujijardins, Thierry Del Socorro
image via Flickr, fujijardins, Thierry Del Socorro
Shodo, the way of the brush.  Calligraphy is a striving for inner perfection, yet it is always incomplete, open like the enso (circle) of infinity.  Shodo is a discipline that takes many years to master.  It is a way to enlightenment.
  calligraphy tools
an ancient pond/ a frog jumps in/ the splash of water..  Matsuo Basho, 1686
Ginkaku-ji temple, Kyoto, Japan, by David M. Bryne
Kado, the way of the flower.  Ikebana or flower arranging is another art form that incorporates harmony and balance.
Toshiro Kawase

The emphasis is on the creative process--- not on technical skill.  The creative process is unique to each individual.  It is unique to YOU.  The creative process helps each of us discover our own way of expression.

image via Flickr, lightsongs, Kerry Singh
This process of discovery is the endless spring of creativity.  It is already present in each of us, waiting to be uncovered.  Ultimately, the experience of the arts helps us to see into one's own heart and mind and to bring to life that which is realized.
  
 
 
 
 
    


39 comments:

india flint said...

i think finding my way is probably going to take up the rest of my life
until
i drop by the way at some point...

:o)

mansuetude said...

i know where my soul is at, by what i write or do or make or how i see and touch the day.

art becomes a gift we give ourselves--to re harmonize the inner music.

very beautiful, again. thank you.

Valerianna said...

Beautiful images... wonderful post. I was sitting with what to offer my Myth & Symbol students tomorrow for their "Inspirational Tidbit' to start the class. Your post is perfect! Thanks and hope you are well.

Roberta said...

beautiful photos and thoughts. I need this right now. Thanks.

Velma Bolyard said...

the path one hikes should at least be of interest, and your illumination is always interesting. thanks.

Leslie Avon Miller said...

"In the action of no-action (wu-wei) the mind is silenced and the work is allowed to express itself."

Flow, drawing from the deep well, working from the silenced mind; however it is expressed, there is a richness in our own way, if only we trust.

Thank you Donna.

Rosie Kearton said...

So enjoyed this post Donna - the way is always there to be discovered - thank you

Emma said...

beautiful marks in your book & journal. I yearn for the simplicity of mark making & delight in looking to find my way every day.

Laura said...

Images and words together in this post are so gentle. I've just entered into this awakening with a wonderful woman's spiritual retreat and then to come to your blog post and see all this, there truly is something about disciplines and I love that you shared training the mind and living our lives...I'm a fragment kind of a girl and my mind only allow slips and glimpsy to sink in in quick moments. Knowing this it's a wonder sometimes I can even function but with that disciplines it's really helps. Thanks Donna for sharing you inner beauties with us.

ArtPropelled said...

"It points us towards our essential nature" .... I like that. I can see you in The Ancient Way..... a beautiful artwork, Donna. Your flea market finds are always captivating too.

Diane said...

Thank you! Your art is breathtaking - peaceful. Your words as well. Thank you again for sharing your art and words.

Chris said...

Always enjoy your posts and your incredible art

Cynthia Schelzig said...

Thanks as always for your inspiring words of wisdom. I was just talking to an art friend about finding our own way. Wonderful art too....have a peaceful Monday.

ZenDotStudio said...

ah, another one of those lovely posts, Donna. I always look forward to them. So many wonderful images and words pointing to what is truly important. your posts fill me with peace and point towards what is truly important

It is the "do" in all these words that means way, if memory serves me. And as well as allowing us to experience our creativity these practices are meant to encourage/allow us to experience being fully present in the moment. Everything else falls away when we are fully with what we are doing.

And as India mentioned the creative process, the practice of being here, now, is a life's work.

Wishing you many peaceful moments of creating!

Leslie Avon Miller said...

P.S. I love your new painting, The Ancient Way. Is that a tea bag I see?

ELFI said...

avec une vue si belle .. pas d'étonnement sur la qualité de ta création!

deborah from collagewhirl said...

Beautifully explained, Donna. I agree with India--every day I'm grateful to be able to practice creativity.

George said...

A beautiful and informative post, Donna. This is indeed the WAY!

by land by air by sea said...

your sunrise is my sunset...

Seth said...

I do love your posts Donna. Each and every one is so special...so thought-full. This is no exception, with images perfectly matched to the words. Beautiful!

CERULEAN said...

Beautiful post. They're always a meditation.

diane said...

Donna -

always beautiful, thoughtful, inspiring, a meditation. Thank you.

Diane

Tammie Lee said...

so many lovely images
and inspiring words
thank you for sharing what touches your heart and spirit
so that it may touch
ours ~

Mo Crow said...

such gentle peace
namaste

Francine Vernac said...

The Ancient Way, tel un panneau indicateur.
Une cordelette, quelques points en touches inégales, un fin rouleau de papier.
Et se déroule, comme une offrande, une suite méditative pour nos chemins de création.
Gratitude.

susan bowers said...

I am too full of what you have said to be able to say anything.....

except

I do love your new work - The Ancient way.

rivergardenstudio said...

Thank you for this post, Donna, I was here before, but wanted to read it again so I could really soak it up. After drawing and painting realistically all my life, where I planned and studied and judged, it is so wonderful for me to make collages. The intuitive process feeds my soul.
Have a beautiful weekend.
roxanne

annell said...

As always your post, images and words is wonderful -- full of wonder. Thanks. annell
Somethingsithinkabout-annell-annell.blogspot.com

susan christensen said...

'This process of discovery is the endless spring of creativity'. What hope in that thought! Thank you for this informative and inspiring post, Donna. Beautiful images. -sus

Barry said...

D- thank you for the reminder - and we can only have our own way no other- so I guess I will just have to continue to follow mine. Go well. B

Gaby Bee Germany said...

I always enjoy your posts, Donna! Beautiful pictures and thoughtful words.

Have a great week!
Gaby

Lynn said...

Another gorgeous post, Donna, full of such beauty and inspiration. Thank you for the peek into your sketchbook. Your collage and book - beautiful!

Tammie Lee said...

stopping by to say hello
and take your beautiful post to heart again.

lovely day to you ~

Laura said...

beautifully expressed Donna... may we all continue our creative explorations, awakening more and more with each breath and each moment of experience. Gorgeous images along with your wise thoughts and teachings.

mano said...

beautiful! I love your fleamarkt finds and journal pages very much!
:)) mano

Laura said...

Hi Donna,
Thanks for commenting about your color scheme. I think it takes sometime and personal exploration to come to balance and comfortable to us and acceptance that it is what and where your to be with our art/creative life...I've also heard you got to put in a good 5000 hours before all that is established to a good understand for yourself.. not to get off topic here but back on, my fasionation with a more holistic approach as you have is driving me to learn more for myself...so thank you again for sharing.

Harga Printer said...

Nice Image ... thanks for share to us... very like image efect... .. Hurt my heart

Charlton Stitcher said...

What a beautiful calm blog - I've only just found you but I'll be returning. Thank you.

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