Monday, September 23, 2013

The Beauty of Nothingness

"Creativity has more to do with the elimination of the inessential than with inventing something
new."  ----  Helmut John
THE BEAUTY OF NOTHINGNESS,  Donna Watson, page 9
I found some blank journals that were perfect for creating a book.  They are square in format which I like.  The paper seemed sturdy enough for collage and the best of all, the pages lie flat when opened.
And the journal is not too thick....just 45 pages which was perfect for what I wanted to do.
THE BEAUTY OF NOTHINGNESS,  Donna Watson,  page 14
I had been reading books on Zen all summer and I wanted to use words and phrases that helped to explain a Zen tenet... the importance of NOTHINGNESS.  Emptiness or nothingness in Zen philosophy can be mistaken for sheer nothingness, but is in fact the reservoir of infinite possibilities.
THE BEAUTY OF NOTHINGNESS,  Donna Watson,  page 20
In meditation, one can 'empty' their mind of all the daily clutter, the constant inner dialogue that can be distracting, negative or creating barriers.
THE BEAUTY OF NOTHINGNESS,  Donna Watson,  page 21
The Still Point is at the heart of creativity.  In Zen, you access this still point through meditation.
To be quiet, to simply be in the moment, and in stillness.... is the basis of our existence.  It is not a void... but a means to empty yourself from the incessant flow of thoughts and create a state of
consciousness that is open and receptive.
THE BEAUTY OF NOTHINGNESS,  Donna Watson,  page 27
As one counts the breath:  inhale, one;  exhale, two...  the mind empties of all the incessant inner dialogue of judging, complaining, analyzing, wishing and so on.  We can spend our time preoccupied
with the past, or with the future which has not happened yet.  As a result we miss the moment to moment awareness of our life.
THE BEAUTY OF NOTHINGNESS,  Donna Watson,  page 29
After 2 trips to Kyoto, Japan and their flea markets, I had accumulated a large supply of old envelopes, old letters, post cards, receipts and books.  I used these envelopes and letters as well as my hand painted rice papers to create 43 collages (43 pages in the book).  I have posted some of the pages here as examples from the book.  You can view the whole book at this link here.
You can also purchase the book.  There are 3 options:  soft bound and 2 hardbound versions.
THE BEAUTY OF NOTHINGNESS,  Donna Watson,  page 37
"There are two journeys in every odyssey, one on worried water, the other crouched and motionless, without noise."  ---  Derek Walcott

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Dark to Dawn

Histories, assemblage by Donna Watson

I'm back.  Some of you may have noticed that my blog posts have been on a long hiatus.  After 2 years of health issues, I have spent the past several months trying to change my life style including diet, mediation and yoga.  All these changes have taken much of my energy and focus so my short hiatus turned into a much longer unplanned break from the blog world.  

I have also tried to get back into my art work, and studio and this strong effort also proved to be more difficult than I thought it would be.

Identity, collage by Donna Watson
"A time of bleakness can also be a time of pruning.  Sometimes when our minds are dispersed and
scattered, this pruning cuts away all of the false branching where our passion and energy were leaking out.  While it is painful to experience and endure this, a new focus and clarity emerge."
      ---- John O'Donahue,  Beauty:  The Invisible Embrace:   "The Lost Voice"
Identity 2, collage by Donna Watson
And in my new found focus, energy and desire to get back to work in my studio, I focussed on the trees and did not see the forest.  I concentrated on techniques and mediums and what I wanted to
paint, which only led to more frustrations.  I forgot why I wanted to paint.
Promise me
You will not spend
so much time
treading water
and trying to keep your
head above the waves
that you forget, 
truly forget,
how much you have
always loved to swim.
--- Tyler Knott Gregson
".... all progress must come from deep within and cannot be pressed or hurried by anything.  Everything is gestation and then bringing forth.  To let each impression and each germ of a feeling come to completion wholly in itself, in the dark.... and await with deep humility and patience the birth-hour of a new clarity:  that alone is living the artist's life, in understanding as in creating."
   --- Rainer Maria Rilke