Creating Meaning, Soul and Art

July 5, 2009
I have started working on a new mini-altered book with the theme Art & Soul for BATA’s 2009 Symposium Silent Art Auction in September.  Below are pics of the pages being worked on:
 
Art and Soul Altered Book

Art and Soul Altered Book

Art Washes Away the Dust.....

Art Washes Away the Dust.....

The Soul Cannot Think Without a Picture...

The Soul Cannot Think Without a Picture...

Every Artist Dips His Brush into His Own Soul...

Every Artist Dips His Brush into His Own Soul...

While working on these pages, I started to think about the importance of art and the soul’s connection to sustain energy and life, as well as what contributes to soul loss.  For me; connection, creation, and providing service to others are some things that keep my soul growing, thriving, and living.  These actions bring me back to what has real meaning in my life.  Although this is not always easy. There are plenty of obstacles, stresses, and unknowns to face everyday.  Making choices that validate my authentic self and support meaning in my life are important, but sometimes difficult.  Soul loss triggers for me include when spirit, passion, intention, and connection have been threatened, damaged, or burdened with inclusiveness, control, disillusionment, and apathy. 
Art therapist and one of BATA’s Symposium keynotes, Bruce Moon dedicated one of his books, Art And Soul: Reflections On An Artistic Psychology, to restoring the soul, the idea of soul loss, and how to live soulfully with a focus on how art-making can be part of this process.  At the beginning of the book, Moon asks several questions:
“There are choices to be made.  Should we withdraw into ourselves out of anxiety and fear?  Scared by the loss of our familiar ways of being in the world, will we become immobilized, thinking only of ourselves?  Will we choose to live life in the shallow regions? Or will we take hold of the opportunities before us to increase our sensitivity, heighten our awareness, and live responsibly in the face of overwhelming change?  Will we seek restoration of the soul?”

 

Soul restoration for me includes art-making and reaching out through connection to discover the answers to many of these questions.  Creating art helps me find true meaning for what I am seeking, hiding from, need, or want to communicate and honor.  When in doubt, I create art to better understand myself, where I am going, where I have been, and what is going on.  Art helps feed my soul and keep me safe in times of uncertainty, confusion, and change, as well as a way to show my support, gratitude, appreciation, and admiration.
 
How do you use creativity to feed your soul and create meaning in your life?  
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8 Responses to “Creating Meaning, Soul and Art”


  1. Such beautiful, evocative artwork, Gretchen- thank you so much for sharing it!

    The theme of your BATA conference resonates very much with me- I wish you all the best with it!

    My workshops have been focused around a similar theme for many years- bringing together mind body medicine with art expression, and the idea that the most profound healing starts at the level of soul and spirit.

    I thought I would share a link, in case it is of interest to group members- the next workshop will be in Santa Monica, CA, October 16 – 17.

    http://www.magicofhealing.com/artsoul.html


  2. I love the idea of “making meaning” — of mindfully choosing to make and find meaning in our lives. Creating meaning. These pages are just lovely, Gretchen, and your commentary really speaks to me at a time when I am really out there clawing at my art muses to help me through difficult times. Thank you for all that you share.

  3. whenweweremade Says:

    i love altered books, but i always feel unsatisfied with the ones i make 😦

  4. Lisa Jo Barr Says:

    I believe we are totally on the same page with bringing light and love into the world through creative expression. I honor your most beautiful soul. I am grateful to have crossed your path via David Krueger.

    Cheers,
    Lisa Jo Barr
    CEO Go For It! COACHING


  5. so beautiful, and deeply inspiring…

    creativity for me is the breath that keeps soul alive – my soul, our souls, the world’s soul. i walk near the rivers and among the trees with an open heart and a camera… sometimes, i create personal rituals – impermanent works of art and soul – near flowing water. i learn, and share, and teach, and look, and feel… and i come to places like this, and am refreshed.

    thank you for sharing, and for asking.
    ~jeanne

  6. Lani Says:

    Just doing a little catching up here and as always I am enjoying everything about your posts, information, inspiration, and ART!!!
    Yay!!!


  7. […] Beautiful artwork and thoughts on creativity from Gretchen Miller. […]

  8. nomi Says:

    I too am an art therapist practicing in Israel.
    I love the image of the hand with the heart inside.
    The hand is a Middle Eastern symbol called a “Hamsa”, which is used to ward off the evil eye. I love that your hamsa has love at its center.
    Beautiful work!


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