Slow art

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This week we have the ‘Artists at home’ event where artists open up their homes to the public, show their works to the world and make sales and new friends.  I visited local artists, Kate and Jonathan, who make exquisitely detailed prints which are transferred on to paper, cloth, china ware and books.  They use box wood which can take fine work and use a very old and heavy press to imprint their designs on paper.  The work is slow, methodical and painstaking.  The materials are sourced locally or regionally.  This is a photograph of Jonathan showing his press.  Such slow art is therapeutic for both the artist and the buyer, not to mention the spectator.  As I stood in the studio, fast RAF jets flew overhead with a roar, celebrating the birthday of the Her Majesty the Queen- contrasting with the tranquility of the slow and quiet work of the artists below.  I bought one of their lovely china cups to remind myself of the value of slow art while drinking tea from it.

With my own creative work, I spend a long time contemplating what I am going to do- this I do while I am cooking or cleaning, a sort of meditation cum thought process.  The slowness of our minds helps to unblock the creativity of our hearts and what we tend to produce is much finer and introspective.  So how can we produce slow art?

1. Use your whole body– you may write with your fingers or paint with them, but to make true art, you must feel it with your whole body.  Any great work of art is that which produced with both body and soul.

2. Give it enough time– I used to only give just enough time, now I double and sometimes triple the time I need to spend on creative work.  If I ‘save’ time in doing so, then it is a lovely gift which I use for more creativity!

3. Do one thing at a timeMulti-tasking is a myth, not even women are good at it.  Mindfulness which is part of Buddhist ways of working is about paying attention to what one is doing.  So while I can just about clean and think at the same time because cleaning is not a ‘high’ skill work, I can’t listen to a fine piece of music while trying to open up my own creativity- both sets of activities compete.

So go on, try these things today if you haven’t before!  And on this note, as I have now written 50 of these blogs, I am going to go slow myself and put less pressure on myself to produce a blog each day.  So although I will not be publishing daily, I will continue on this creative journey by writing daily.  Please stay in touch!

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