The first “Altered Book” art project I remember seeing was at the Outsider Art Fair around 20 years ago, when it was in the magnificent Puck Building on Houston Street. Back then, the artist was present and you could actually talk to them about their art and being an outsider artist. I remember asking the artist about her books, which had a lot of glue in them and all over them. I don’t remember much else about them.  I guess I first saw an altered book not at a museum but as an art work that got made organically, that had a life of its own the way altered book projects can have.

The Altered Book is not just a piece of art. It’s a living, breathing creature. You start out with a basic body, the book as it was published, that looks just like all the other ones of the same title and author, and the artist puts it through a “Kali” like birthing process that involves a lot of destruction in the service of creating this new living being. Kali is a Hindu Goddess, from the Sanskrit word “Kali”, translated as “time”. She is described as a destroyer of “unreality”, a liberator. I’m no expert on Hindu gods, but I do associate Kali with the process of altering books and how one has to destroy and use up in order to create anything. A pencil that never gets sharpened is not involved in any kind of creation. The book even has a skin, whether it’s the book jacket that covers a hard cover book, or just the outside of the covers and the actual covers, with the pages within as the innards. The process of altering books brings up all kinds of weird processes like alchemy, dissection, and autopsy, but that may just be the beginning stage, cutting open the body. With an altered book, you kidnd of do the opposite of an autopsy; you cut open and expose internal organs for the purpose of repurposing them and making something new, more like the way an organ gets donated and incorporated into the new person’s body. Now that kidney no longer belongs to the donor and the donor is erased, though an integral part of the process, just as the creator of the original book must be killed off for a new peice of art to emerge.

I love paper, making works on paper, drawing, and then even becoming very physically involved in the process with the materials. even just using pens and pencils on paper, I like to see the grooves a pen or pencil can make, how it changes the paper.

Unlike the experience of looking at a published book or even writing/making one, making an altered book happens in a chaotic disordered way. You don’t have to start with the cover and go in time order page by page. You can start anywhere and the pages in the middle of the book might get cut up and put in the front of the book or anywhere else. Each time you come back to work on the book, you are in a different state of mind, and, unlike with writing a book, you don’t have to get back into whatever you’re doing. It doesn’t have to make sense. It changes each time you interact with it. At the same time, it evokes soemthing different from making a painting with many layers. Books are loaded with meaning and the concept of time passing. You may go anywhere in the book to work, but you still end up with a product that looks like a book, unless you are altering the book to the point of making sculpture out of it, but to me, that gets out of the realm of the Altered Book. The Altered Book I think of and make and witness the makign of, is still a book at the end, finished or not. There are traces of what it was, like the original book is the parent and the art piece is the child. There may be resemblances and reminders of the parent, but the altered book has become a totally new being, one that has never existed before.

The idea of the altered book as being a reallly physical process is what I am interested in.  And the process. The process can feel like a fight; very violent and visceral; you get in there at the beginning and attack the book, to subjugate it and get it to really become yours to do what you want with. There has to be that initial struggle, very physical, involving cutting, ripping, tearing, sanding, poking, doing very active things to the very body of the book. Most of the time the spine is very affected by the making of an altered book. You have a choice of letting the book spill open, or cutting open the spine and adding more cardboard to extend it so it can be closed. To do that, you have to cut the book into at least two pieces and add to it. A lot of altered book making in terms of the body of the book and undoing it feels like surgery.

I am reminded of reading about Leonardo Da Vinci and his dream of doing a book of all of human anatomy. He made friends with doctors/medical professors and “borrowed” corpses from them . He would go at night and dissect this human body and scribble in his notebook as fast as he could, drawing what he saw and sometimes more what he felt because there was no formaldehyde to preserve the body, so it was a race against time and probably really smelly too. It was really messy, and not like messing around with paints. I was fascinated with his process, and his hyperfocus and obsession. He didn’t finish his book of anatomy, but you can see his drawings and writings about the internal organs.

I can’t imagine what it would be like sneaking into a place to cut open a dead body and draw the organs late at ngiht or at any time of day, but making an altered book has that kind of feel to it. Once you get into it, this “thing” you are interacting with can take over and there can be a really exciting obsessive quality to it.

 

 

 

 

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Mission Accomplished!

Last month, I was hired to do a very challenging commission, and I am posting the final results here. I will post as some of my process of making the images on the next post. 

It involved a lot of fascinating research about the Lakota Native Americans and their Sun Dance and rituals as well as vision quests. The commission involved drawing images to be put together on a t shirt. This t shirt is a very meaningful gesture of greatfulness from the giver to the people at the Sun Dance…

The process of making the nine images for the t shirt was intense and a spiritual journey vision quest for me as the artist.

Words on t shirt and meaning:

Mitakuye Oyasin: All are related. (We are all connected…)

Cangleska Luta Wiwang Wacipi:

Need to ask the person who comissiinsd the images, as I did not know that he was putting words in it or what words. Seems to mean the sun Dance Circle and unity. Luta may refer to cloud or a person named Red Cloud…

Each image on the t shirt contains many meanings and experiences connected to participating in the Sun Dances. 

The final result t shirt:

   
   

Blogging 101: Kindness is Magic Movie Serum, Transformations, Transformers and Transformees

Blogging 101: Assignment 1, Stream of consciousness writing about anything for 20 minutes.

I did mine yesterday during a long car ride and timed it; it turned out I was writing for 51 minutes in my journal, so now I’m transcribing it to post it. Warning! It will be over twice as long… Some frustrations: not remembering character’s full names, so I will look them up before posting, and not being able to discuss a bunch of the movies I mentioned, especially: Tootsie, St. Vincent, Birdman, Barefoot, Bringing up Baby, Philadelphia Story Being John Malcovich, Stranger Than Fiction (2006), and going into detail about the transformations in them, but it would be a way too long post!

My topic: Kindness is Magic Movie Serum, Transformations, Transformers and Transformees:
Most movies that move people involve transformation of course. Even though that’s obvious, I’m very interested in the mechanics of it, as I’ve been watching a bunch of different kinds of movies, both in theaters and on DVD or Netflix or other at home movie venues.

Here’s a list not in any order of recent ones I’ve seen: Cinderella 2015 made with people not animated, Home 2015 animated 3D in theaters, then movies at home: Groundhog Day (3rd or 4th viewing), The Anderson Tapes (from the 70’s?), Gone Girl 2014, Birdman 2014, Tootsie (1982), St. Vincent 2014, Barefoot (2014).

In most of these movies, which are a mixture of genres: romance, children’s fairy tale romance, children’s adventure movie sci-fi save the world, crime thriller, romantic comedies and for Birdman – independent style not sure the genre- drama? But it’s a “second chance/mid-life rebirth” type movie or falls into the category of movies like one of my fave classics, All About Eve, actually very similar. Bette Davis is the Birdman character; she is not changing genres like he is from blockbuster superhero to serious stage actor as an “old” actor”, but competing with her so-called admirer crafty younger actor who resembles the Edward Norton guy – very similar issues involved actually. Then St. Vincent- not sure the genre, drama with bad to good style plot- the guy Vincent starts out “bad” and is revealed to have always had good qualities, but also transforms in the present into a “gooder” person, a bit like the guy Jay in Barefoot, who has just come out of jail and is viewed as a total mess up failure, especially by his family. In St. Vincent, the boy Oliver is the Transformer, and in Barefoot it’s the girl/woman Daisy whom he finds on the psych ward who is an “idiot savant” type. I love Bill Murray and I’ve seen him in a bunch of movies with this kind of transformation, you have Scrooged, Ground Hog Day and St. Vincent all similar transformations. He’s even in Tootsie but not playing the main person, Dustin Hoffman’s Guy/Woman, Michael/Dorothy Michaels.

So my intense interest in transformation in these movies is the way there is the main character, usually has to be “likeable” despite being self-centered, uncaring, an “asshole” etc. like Vincent, Phil in Groundhog, Michael in Tootsie, and just how the person gets transformed by another key character and/or device that transforms him/her, what I call the “Transformer”. The word “trans” means cross over so the whole word means to cross over from one form to another. Many of these movies play with physical transformation versus spiritual, or outside appearance versus what’s inside/soul. Tootsie and Cinderella are the most obvious ones. In Tootsie, what is so fascinating is that Michael invents Dorothy and then he himself as the better part of him, in the form of the invented woman actor Dorothy Michaels is the Transformer. Unusual where the Transformee is transformed by a Self inside him of his own making; in addition, as Dorothy he transforms many of the characters in the film…

Crossing over involves a kind of metaphorical bridge- the plot device that the character goes through. In many movies the Transformer character is usually “heroic” in some way and can stand for some idea, like Cinderella in this version stands for goodness and courage. She is transformed spiritually or “inside” at the beginning of the movie through loss- a common transforming device –death-, the loss of her mother. Her mother passes the transformation message to Cinderella: “Be kind and have courage.” The girl Ella loses her mom and eventually also her dad and is changed into Cinderella, given a new name by the evil stepsisters and turned into a maid/servant by the evil stepmother.

Whether in tattered clothes or magically fancy princess clothes on the outside which have an expiration time, midnight, – Cinderella remains the same on the inside. Ironically, in this version the fairy godmother turns from homeless old woman to fancy fairy lady and uses her magic to create the changed dress, coach and footmen horses, – lots of dazzling outer transformations which do nothing to the inside sweet courageousness of C. She meets the prince, who is the Tranformee in this film (it’s the opposite of the usual movie focused on the Transformee, here most focus and scenes involve C. the transformer and luckily, hardly any involve the prince.)

The meeting in the forest, their first meeting, is where C’s Transformer power passes the message to the prince, and when he receives it like a truth serum he becomes transformed, not from bad to good but from ordinary and oblivious/unaware, uninteresting to awakened and aware. C’s power on him is to get him to see the world around him completely differently and to become awakened, much the same as what the young woman Daisy in Barefoot does to Jay through the movie device of a mixed up “road trip” (many road trip movies use the idea of going on a long journey in the physical realm crossing into a journey in the metaphorical realm). The rest of the film involves the usual drama with the fairy godmother, The Fancy Big Ball, the glass shoe and magic stuff, but for me the moment of magic –prince out hunting encounters girl on horseback saving the deer and shooting her truth arrow into him such that he spares the deer’s life at her request and calls off the hunt. That was where the movie’s main interest sort of ended for me.

Often Transformer characters are very sensitive and have an awareness or even communion with animals that ordinary people do not. Cinderella reminds me of Derek in Ricky Gervais’ TV show Derek, as both pass the message of “kindness is magic” and both love animals and have a special relationship with them. So I confess I loved the moment C locks eyes with the handsome deer (more majestic and dazzling than the silly looking prince, maybe the big male deer symbolizes whom the prince turns into) as well as her relationship with the mice who are her only friends. While this movie didn’t thrill me, it made me think, and I liked the focus being mainly on C. portrayed as a real person, slightly elevated in kindness, also an outcast/outsider/loner, seen by her step family as stupid, foolish, unworthy and not even a girl, and less focus on the prince. The way C. gets transformed is that her faith in life/hope is challenged when she loses her father and gets kind of abducted controlled by the stepmother and sisters, and she has a moment of not believing and stopping hoping for anything to get better for her, then is restruck with faith- a common transformation of a transformer good person character.

Like in Groundhog Day the character Rita, she doesn’t change much as a person but even she has preconceptions that Phil is shallow, selfish and egocentric. Throughout the movie, she gets thrown from one side to the other, seeing him that way and being surprised by something unknown about him, and in “falling” for him she does transform her view of him, but she is mainly the Inspiration/Muse of his big transformation.

The device that transforms Phil is the Supernatural, the plot of the movie. Every day he wakes up is Feb. 2, Groundhog Day until he is fully transformed by the end of the movie into the man he could be and turns into it through living the same day over, maybe 100 times or more, so that by the end of the movie, his goodness and caring for other people which is caused by his “awakening” actually lead to his focus shifting from getting the muse- Rita, whom he is in love with, to falling for the town he is stuck in and all the people in it. It’s great that he keeps waking up but it takes a lot of literal wakings up to really “wake up”!!!

There is a lot of interesting metaphorical stuff in his repetition of the day, he is literally reborn as he dies many times and wakes up back in the inn at 6am Feb. 2. I’m areal sucker for this film, I rewatched it a few months ago after years, so that time I hardly remembered the details and that viewing of the movie did have a kind of magic transformation on me, the viewer. I really love these types of awakenings movies; even the C movie (I’m super sick of that fairly tale I am so annoyed by it,) but still, it cast a spell on me.

Groundhog Day, like Cinderella, actually gave me a dose of wakening/inspiration serum to become a better person. Yesterday I saw it a third time a few weeks after the other time. Again I had an “aha” moment where I made a conscious decision work on being present and mindful more in my life, to try to be the kind of person Phil has become at the end. After seeing Cinderella I felt the same, so the movie itself can be not so great/mediocre and still shoot the arrow of, wake up in your life, look around you and be aware and wake. Of course it’s better if the movie is really good. So now I’m testing out this recent viewing of Groundhog Day to see how long this “spell” may work on me. It’s on my list of favorite “romantic comedies”; up they’re with Happy Accidents – also involving supernatural, Bringing up Baby, and The Philadelphia story, Being John Malkovich and Stranger Than Fiction. Groundhog Day crosses from romantic comedy to supernatural comedy like Stranger than Fiction. There are more old movies that I love, but that’s what I remember without looking on the Internet while writing this.

Groundhog Day’s spell on me – its’ the next day of my life, but I’m still in a heightened sate of consciousness induced by it. I love the idea that lera to really be present and awake and mindful of the here and now, you really do repeat the same day over and over. The movie is saying that life itself is like that. Ordinary daily life can by transformed by one’s own consciousness. Every day we wake up with a new chance to live in that simple magic of the moment, and when that happens it sometimes does seem like animals can talk…

Creative Deed 365 and Random Acts of Kindness Week!

I just discovered that this week, Feb. 9-15, 2015 is “National Random Adts of Kindness week” which jives perfectly with a Facebook artist group I recently jointed focused on Daily Creative Deeds. As usual for me, I didn’t pay close attention tattendtion to the group and what it was about and just checked oit occasionally. I posted a few pictuers befor I realized you post photos of art you’re giving away.

So today I got inspired and startedmaking little mixed media collages. Each one has a heart on it and some piece of wisdom from a yogi tea bag. They were super fun to make, but even more fun to put around the neighborhood. I put them on windshields on cars, in a bank, a telephone booth and tonight in Whole Foods.

What amazed me most about it was how cathartic it was to go give out art for free without my name on it. I just wrote on the back, “I’m Free. take me home.”

Blog post not finished. got to go to bed

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Yoga Journal’s Chakra “Tune Up” for the New Year

Here is the link to Yoga Journal’s article about the first chakra, the root chakra:
http://www.yogajournal.com/slideshow/root-chakra-muladhara-tune-up-practice/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=story1_more&utm_campaign=myym_01062015

I posted a few months ago in this blog about the fifth of the 7 chakras, located in the throat area, as it is connected to art therapy
(https://natashashapiroarttherapy.wordpress.com/2014/10/07/the-fifth-chakra-and-its-connectionto-art-therapy/)

However, the best way to be introduced to and gain an appreciation and understanding of the Chakra system is of course to start with the first chakra at the base of the spine, the root chakra, and move up from there in numerical order.

There are many ways to incorporate chakra work into your life, and one easy to connect with us through yoga and or meditation. There are yoga postures or asanas that are good for balancing different chakras. Also, if you read the book I mentioned in my post by Anodea Judith, there is both a CD and a workbook as well as the cards for detailed work on balancing the chakras.

You can find many images of the root chakra on Pinterest and the Internet. For visual people having images, colors and cards can be useful. There are some great simple affirmations for each chakra as well.

For example, you can say to yourself in the morning when you awaken, “I am inviting and receiving abundance in my life.”
“Everything I need is already within me.”
“I am safe. I am centered. I am grounded.”
And I will end with the profound. Here’s a great quote from the mystic poet Rumi, “Maybe you are searching among the branches, for what only appears in the roots.”

The Fifth Chakra and its Connectionto Art Therapy

The Chakras are areas in the body, types of energy which can be in or out of balance. The word chakra means wheel and the chakras (fields of energy) can be visualized as wheels of energy within the different locations on the body. This is a photo of the fifth chakra card.image

I have some great circle chakra cards (even shape of card can remind you of a wheel or mandala), which I got a long time ago with a great book and CD: it also includes guided meditations.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1591790883/ref=mp_s_a_1_4?qid=1412692658&sr=8-4&pi=AC_SX110_SY165_QL70

At times, when patients notice there is stuck energy located in specific area or areas of the body, I utilize the chakra cards as further information on what is not in balance.

This is the Chakra for this week:
It’s the fifth of the seven chakras, located in the throat. It’s called Vissudha in Sanscrit. That word means purification. These chakra cards have categoriesin this order printed on the back of each card: name, location, purpose, issues, element, endocrine gland, color, sense, seed sound, vowel sound, identity, orientation, demon, rights, developmental stage and cosmic principle.

Endocrine glands are part of the endocrine system located throughout the body and secrete hormones into the blood stream. You can certainly find a lot more about them in the Internet. The thyroid gland located in the throat. It’s actually shaped like a butterfly. Webmd says it secretes several kinds of hormones and
“Thyroid hormones act throughout the body, influencing metabolism, growth and development, and body temperature.”

This fifth chakra is concerned with the right to self-expression and all that’s connected with it and one’s “creative identity”. So it encompasses the most important aspects of art therapy and to some extent, Amy kind of therapy: being heard, right to speak, speaking your truth, listening. So the sense is hearing.

The developmental stage, 7-12 years old is an interesting connection and a pointer for exploration with yourself and patients. Do you remember these years on your life? Were you validated and acknowledged especially for what you said or expressed through your creativity or was that ignored? At this time were you in a validating environment or an invalidating environment? We’re there secrets and lies you were aware of or found out about that were part of the family system at this time period?

Have you in your life experienced any physical imbalances or health challenges in your throat area and when was this?

At present do you feel heard and safe to express your truth in therapy and your life outside therapy? Are you afraid of speaking up in any arenas of your life? What does this fear remind you of or feel like in your body?

As you can see, the chakra system is useful in many ways for healing process.

Where did it originate?
This website
http://home.comcast.net/~chakra_system/chakra.html
states:
“Chakras are first mentioned in the Vedas, ancient Hindu texts of knowledge. Early text that provide the location of the chakras include: the Shri Jabala Darshana Upanishad, the Cudamini Upanishad, the Yoga-Shikka Upanishad and the Shandilya Upanishad. Hiroshi Motoyama in “Theories of the Chakras: Bridge to Higher Consciousness” discusses these text and that of 10th Century mystic Guru Goraknath who wrote in the Gorakshashatakam about awakening these energy centers through meditation.

According to Anodea Judith in her book “Wheels of Life”, these early Hindu writings come from an even older oral tradition of the Aryan culture. This Aryan culture was believed to have invaded India during the second century B.C.E. bringing with it its culture and beliefs.”

So the Chakra System has been around for centuries but continues to be a useful tool in the healing arts!

Memento Mori… Or, The Importance Of Thinking On Death

Another great post from a blog I follow. As I often post on here about this topic, especially our society’s ungealthy attitude towards death and dying….

We're All Mad Inhere

Does this offend your sensibilities?

Lately I read an article in my local paper about how a butcher’s display window had started to garner protest, as the villagers found the hanging carcasses and skinned animals in it distasteful. I didn’t know if I had to be amused or worried.

Another incident was on Facebook, where a girl offered a coffin for sale, in “mint condition with only slight wear from repeated use”. Apparently she had gotten it from her parents, who were performance artists. The reactions on it were incredible; people called this girl without empathy and morals, they literally cursed her to hell, said she had no respect for anyone’s feelings… Only because she was using a public forum to sell a theatrical decor piece (it was a real coffin, but still) related to death.

Or this?

We are humans. We live. We die. We rot and decay. That is simply the way of things. It…

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Quick Post: Too Good for this World

Maybe this is offensive, but I don’t like it when people say “She was too good for this world.” After a young or not old person dies.
This is an odd stereotype. It sets up a dichotomy between “Angel People” who are seen as more pure and idealized for traits like kindness and sensitivity and even “living life to the fullest.” The song “Only the Good Die Young” is ironically about loss if virginity, not loss of life but he does imply that society views that by dying young, even a virgin, a person remains pure in some way. I’m not sure at what age you have to give up on this idea…
In some cases the persons life is frozen. S/he doesn’t get more time on earth to make more mistakes, be mediocre, not special, flawed, etc. if you die young there are recognitions of the amazing things you would have done. Luckily all these people are very dead and can avoid feeling pressured to live up to an unrealistic ideal of a human.
Because it is so awful when a young person dies at the beginning of their journey on life’s road, people comfort themselves with the idea that the person was not only too good for this world but “not of this world”. It can become almost an explanation as to why the person died, which does not really ale any sense.
This idealization also separates the rest of us average humans from the really superhuman almost Buddha like humans.
Also what does it mean to be alive and just trucking along and then when dead described in this manner. What if this person had continued living. Would s/ he suddenly join the rest of us humans?
In addition when a person struggled with mental illness and rated issues, they are struggling mightily just to exist in this world. That doesn’t mean thru are too good for this world but that their painful inner world and difficulties with the outside world can collapse on the person.
I know of many long lived people who are pretty “good ” and have made good use of their time on earth to make the world a better place. Unfortunately if your life gets cut off too early you don’t get more chances to use your goodness.
So perhaps a loss of a good and caring person is indeed a loss for the world, but most of all that persons loss of being cheated out of many of life’s joys.., This is not the same as being “different”, not of this world, ethereal, etc.

Brief Post: Mindfulness and Everyday Discoveries

Mindfulness, a definition:

Mindfulness is a pretty simple concept. Being mindful in your everyday life is kind of the opposite of having a full mind in the sense of a mind full of thoughts. On the other hand, when one is in a very mindful state of mind, one’s mind is full, just not spilling over, and full in a different sense than full of thoughts. Moment to moment awareness is a way of filling your mind, in the sense that your “Mind” is completely focused on the moment.

To be focused on the moment as I understand, is to have a balance of awareness between inside and outside of your mind body state. So you are equally aware of what is going on in your own physical/mental/emotional/spiritual body and the environment around your own body. Practicing mindfulness is a way of practicing ACCEPTANCE.

Fully accepting whatever there is is a way of being close to Truth. Reality is pared down to what is Real. Everything you are experiencing in your own MindBody is accepted, whether it is pleasant or unpleasant. You may feel splintered, you may feel chaotic, you may feel conflicting feelings, however you are able to accept everything at once. Being mindful while alone feels different from being mindful around other beings. It is good practice to practice this mindfulness when alone, as there is less likely to be confusion and overstimulation. If you create your own environment and are in it by yourself, you can practice noticing how you feel inside yourself and what you observe outside yourself.

Another way of practicing mindfulness around people so as to work on practicing it in relationships with others is to practice in environments when you are by yourself but going somewhere or sitting somewhere in company of others who are “strangers”. Noticing your reactions to your environment in the moment can be quite interesting, as you may have many thoughts and opinions crowding your mind or perhaps not much. Everyone has a loud mind sometimes, but listening to your own mind without judgment can be a way to practice listening to others without judgment.

Practicing mindfulness around people you already “know” can reveal that you do not really know them in certain ways. I have found this practice yields very interesting results. When I practice this I try to approach a person I know with the curiosity of not knowing anything. In fact, I do not know what s/he will do or say in the next moment. In practicing this kind of mindfulness, it is easier to be aware of one’s assumptions and preconceptions and how they cloud the mind. In addition, approaching someone you have a lot of emotional investment in with an open mind can yield much more creative and interesting situations. Someone starts to tell you something and instead of having any idea of what they are saying or meaning, I can approach it with the neutrality of a journalist or scientist. I find this to be the best way to learn about anything. When able to achieve this state of mind, I look upon others as being experts about themselves, so I ask questions that will help me discover more about what they are communicating with me. Suddenly all the problems I experience around communications with others seem to melt away with this simplicity. Knowing nothing is a lot less stressful than thinking I know a lot.

Imaginative play with children is another way to get into a more mindful state. It is similar to how actors who do “Improvisation” approach their craft. You enter the stage as another enters and then whoever makes a “proposal” starts. The other person accepts the proposal. Not accepting is a form of “blocking” which closes down play. With a child it is the same. If a kid says lets pretend this table is a boat, then you can say oh cool, what kind of boat are we in? or where are we going in this boat? Even adding something without subtracting can keep the play open and active, ie. Guess what, this boat is so cool it can be a boat on the water or turn into a submarine or fly in the air if we want it to! With art making this principle is similar. Recently I was making roses out of Sculpey. I started with a color like pink, red or yellow and then attached a green stem. After making a few small roses like this, it occurred to me to ask myself, why not make a blue rose with a pink stem or a multicolored rose with a purple stem. I was with children at the time, so my mind was already more open anyway. If you treat reality this way, anything can be “sculpey” or your “canvas” and you can “make” a collaborative thing with others by adding to what they contribute. ..

  1. the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
  2. a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

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