Friday, March 6, 2015

Exploring The Beauty We Are Drawn To Through Collage {Art Exercise #1}

In Monday's post I discussed the idea that our true purpose is to enjoy beauty and to create as a response to that beauty.  Fashioned in the image of the One True Creator, we each have a creative "bent", regardless of how it is lived out.  We each are an artist!  Yes, receive that!  Each day you are creating something - an atmosphere for your family in your home, the clothes ensemble you are wearing, each meal you prepare, the garden you tend.  Some of you have picked up drawing utensils, paint brushes, fabric, clay, even dance!  Whatever you are doing, aren't you dreaming of doing it beautifully?

This art exercise is designed to help you explore the beauty that is in your heart.  It may still be hidden.  You may have already begun to release it.  Prayerfully, we will propel you further in your exploration of beauty!

1.  Go through magazines (or online images), pulling out/cutting out ones you like.  Don't think too hard about this - this is the time to be impulsive!  Just a quick thought of "that is neat" or "I might like that" is enough to act on.

2.  Once you think you have enough, arrange them loosely in front of you (on the floor or on table).  Decide where you may need to trim, how you want to layer them, what looks pleasing to you.  There is no "right or wrong", just what pleases you. When you are satisfied, glue them on to a piece of poster board, or digitally arrange images in a drawing program.
The above is a collage I made to demonstrate, but also to explore my own inclinations to beauty.  You see, lately I have been using more and more pink, and I notice that I always "reblog" pink floral images on my tumblr blog (which I neglect often), yet I never wear pink or have it in my home...and I notice pink found its way here. I love silver trays and vases and I do have them in my home - simple elegance is one thing they convey.  Silver is also a symbol of redemption into this beautiful life by our Lord Jesus. Deer speak of a gentle spirit, peace and calm.  Keys always symbolize going into previously closed off areas, permission, and that is something that comes to pass when I work with people, they let me in to their "closed off" places and we explore them together.  Snowflakes represent our unique individuality, eggs and feathers come from birds, and birds (especially sparrows and swallows) always speak to me of faith and abiding in Him...lately, bokeh lighting in photographs just draws me!  The soft beauty, yet brilliant light, is speaking into my spirit - how I want to let His light shine through me...of course words shape my inner world, so strong words of encouragement, of looking at common things in new ways, and of inspiration would find their way on a collage about beauty...this may be a springboard to a more defined, thought out art piece.

3.  Spend some time reflecting on your collage.  Write your thoughts in a journal.  You don't have to use complete sentences; you can just jot enough words to capture your thoughts.  Use these questions to start the insights flowing (omit any questions that don't apply - add questions that come to you as you work):

Which image(s) seem to dominate?  
Which image(s) seem to retreat?
What is the overall emotion you feel when you look at the collage? 
What do the images on your collage symbolize to you?
What color(s) do you notice?  What does that color mean to you?
What metal(s) are evident?  What does that metal "say" as you look at it?
Is there anything that seems missing from your collage?  What is it?  Where would it go?
Is there anything on your collage that seems a surprise?  What does that say to you?
Are there any beautiful items that need to find concrete expression in your life?  How can you make room for what that item symbolizes into your daily routine?  
Are there things on the collage that need to be expressed more?  Less? Brought into balance?

Are you surprised by the amount of beauty your collage holds?  Why or why not?

4.  An interesting additional step is to make a collage every day for a week, and document any internal shifts that occur.

5.  Or make a beauty collage every week for a month, and document any internal shifts that occur...

I would love to hear about your explorations - come share them on my facebook page here!