Monday, June 30, 2014

The Zen of Creativity

FLIGHT, cold wax and oil, collage 16"x16", by Donna Watson

Note:  Upcoming Workshop.  There are some openings in my upcoming 4 day workshop, 
Sept. 15-18, 2014 in beautiful Coupeville, Whidbey Island, WA for the Pacific NW Art School.
Personal Expression:  A Design Approach is for all mediums and all styles of painting or art creation.
At their website here look for more information or contact me.

SANCTITY, cold wax and oil, collage  18"x18", by Donna Watson

I have read this book, THE ZEN OF CREATIVITY by John Daido Loori, 3 times.  This book taps into the principles of the Zen arts and aesthetic as a means to unlock creativity.  "Well written, wise, insightful...enhanced by fine Zen dialogues and stories, poems, koan, photographs and illustrations as well as apt, stimulating quotations from many writers and Zen teachers."  Peter Matthiessen

The creative process is intuitive, and based on our experiences.  It points us to our essential nature which should be reflected in our artistic work.  As artists, we should always be looking inward to discover our true expression.  To do that we need to quiet our minds, empty our minds, and only be
aware of each moment around us.  Once our minds are empty we are open to new ideas.

All images here are by Donna Watson in her studio

How do you go straight ahead on a narrow mountain pass which has ninety-three curves?
An old Zen Koan

Where the spirit does not work with the hand there is no art.
Leonardo da Vinci

To study the Way is to study the self.
To study the self is to forget the self.
To forget the self is to be enlightened by the ten thousand things.
Eihei Dogen

The inner ---- what is it?  if not intensified sky....
Rainer Maria Rilke

When you look, it is formless;  When you call, it echoes...

No muse appears when invoked, dire need 
Will not rouse her pity.  May Sarton

WHEN I MET MY MUSE by William Stafford

I glanced at her and took my glasses 
off -- they were still singing.  The buzzed
like a locust on the coffee table and then 
ceased.  Her voice belled forth, and the 
sunlight bent.  I felt the ceiling arch, and
knew that nails up there took a new grip 
on whatever they touched.  "I am your own
way of looking at things", she said.  "When
you allow me to live with you, every 
glance at the world around you will be
a sort of salvation."  And I took her hand.


Seth said...

All these vignettes tell such a story and call to me. And yes...when I am in "that zone" I am only aware of that moment and so open to new ideas and possibilities.

Sue Marrazzo Fine Art said...


ELFI said...

les idées me viennent ..en travaillant..le vide se fait peu à peu..
tes créations me plaisent beaucoup...

Lynn said...

These new oil and cold wax collage / paintings of yours are just wonderful, Donna.

Jennifer said...


Roberta Warshaw said...

Thanks for the book suggestion. I just ordered it from the library and will bring it with me on vacation. I won't have my paints with me so I will read and draw.

Laura said...

Enjoying all the imagery and the book suggestion.

annell4 said...

Love this post!

Velma Bolyard said...

i do hope it's ok to just say how much i like those brushes!

Ruth said...

Beautiful post, Donna. Your new work is poetic. I'm so glad you tried the Cold Wax! And the brushes make me want to paint :)

Sharmon Davidson said...

What a gorgeous collection of photos and quotes. I feel inspired by everything I see here, particularly your new pieces, which are like visual haiku. they say just enough, but not too much. "Sanctity" is exquisite. And the William Stafford poem is the icing on the cake!

india flint said...

yes to all of that.

and if my calendar and funds permitted i'd happily come and be a student in your class

for more magic like that above

Caterina Giglio said...

Yes, Yes, yes! and Mary Sarton is right... grin... have a lovely class... your students are so lucky..

Judy Shreve said...

I'm always so happy to see a post from you -- they are so calming and inspiring at the same time. Would love to live close enough to take your class. And thanks for the peeks in your studio too.

Sharmon says it perfectly - your pieces are 'visual haiku.'

Unknown said...

Have that book on my reading list. And I love the Stafford poem.

ZenDotStudio said...

always such a wonderful Zen aesthetic here, so peaceful and serene.

yes, love this book.

Unknown said...

These are sleek collages. The mood, atmosphere, tone are compact. Glad to see that your works are in all kinds of social media as well. Smart move, if you ask me. It's always a good idea to have your best material out there where the people can see them. That's how you establish yourself as an influencer in your own niche.

Tommy Crowe @ Next Up Network

susan bowers said...

A post to make us all think Donna. Profound - I love how you said that if we do not empty our minds and be still, inspiration will not come. We all know that but forget - so thank you for the reminder. Quiet and gentle reminder. And don't you just love that quote by Rilke - I would like to swallow gulpfuls of that 'intensified sky'. What an image. x

Shawna Lemay said...

Thanks for all this + the book recommendation. Looking forward to checking it out.

deborah from collagewhirl said...

Beautiful, and timely--the book is just what I've been seeking, and just in time to help me prepare a workshop I agreed to teach. thanks again for sharing!

ArtPropelled said...

I always enjoy seeing the inspiring things you surround yourself with in the studio and your new paintings made my day.It's time I ordered the book. It's been on my wishlist for months.

Mo Crow said...

you have such a serene & centred way with your art Donna

mansuetude said...

This top image carries me up to view down as if upon a large man touched landscape. Old abandoned outdoor movie screen ; crickets' song shaking up the grass leaf. A world reclaimed by possible peace.

The choosen quotes surround me now. Whispering serenity. Thank you.

rivergardenstudio said...

Donna, this post is very moving to me, especially the last quote. I feel such a blessing to be able to feel this in my art making the last several years. I love your photographs as well!

Barry said...

Hi D - I love the zen of creativity - the zen of creating - simple and clear ideas and inspirations that entice us and lead us to create. Go well, B

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