Wednesday, February 20, 2008

All things simple

I helped my mother-in-law learn how to create a pansy on paper that looked like it popped right out of the page. This was years ago before her crossing over. She had a stamp set and was creating greeting cards to send to friends. But no matter what she did to color in the pansy stamp, it continued to look flat and unappealing. So she asked me what I would do with it, considering that I am an artist.

The first thing I told her was that she needed to see the pansy with a new set of eyes. Too often we overlook the simple beauty that is right there in front of us. Then we needed to sharped the pencil crayons she was using to a fine point. We cannot use a "broad brush" when we are trying to create detail. Then we began the lesson on blending colors. The colors of a pansy are not just black center,then colored petal, then green leaf. They smoothly blend into one another, like lovers and very good friends blend into each others' lives. And in that blend there is a mixture of color that is created. Not just one or the other, but both. We then need to allow the light to shine from a particular direction, and indicate this with highlights on the petals and leaves. We always need to know the source of our light. Then we need to shadow the colors where the light is not so strong and the dark is able to exist. We always need to be conscious of our dark aspects, otherwise it will all still turn out flat. And, last but not least, we need to recognize that no matter how shaded something is, there is still light shining through, thus the leaves have to have some of the colors of the upper petals on them, indicating the light shining through the umbrella of petals and cascading a new tone onto the leaves below.

"Where did you learn this?" she asked me. Well, I have a mother and two sisters who are also artists, so some of the technical stuff comes from that. But the essence of it, the ability to see what I am looking at....that comes from my own spirit and my own desire to know and to observe and understand. My soul is fed with compassion and understanding, and the soul of all things, whether elaborate or simple, is also fed with compassion and understanding. This is the shaman's way.

Blessed Be


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