Thursday, 9 May 2019

Thursday at Mystica - art and sadness

This morning I woke up with sadness. One of my favorite writers, Jonathan Safran Foer, in one of his novels, calls this state of mind 'heavy boots'. 

My morning solution for heaviness of heart is to jump in the pool.

The weather is cooling down, fans are off, the pool is cold. Nevertheless, I like to jump in in the morning to help wake me up. (I am not a morning person). Nothing like cold water to make you feel alive and ready for the day.

We had a morning pottery class, with a really nice group of people. I floated around, feeling heavy, which sounds like a contradiction, but that's how it feels. 

In the afternoon I went to meet an old friend, who is especially good for lifting the spirit. I love this friend because she always makes me laugh, even if the conversation is laden with comparing frustrating obstacles. We laugh at ourselves, at our successes and failures, at our sadness and joy. 

When I paint, I listen to music. Depending on my state of mind, I choose the music. Sometimes its Ben Howard.....a beautiful sadness. Yes, sadness can be beautiful. Radiohead is one of my favorite bands for painting. It's powerful and deep. 

I want to work on my unfinished painting... but cannot get started. Self-doubt keeps creeping in. I like this painting so far and am so afraid I will mess it up. I tried to express river stones, like the ones we had while living by the river in Africa. It was a dark river, surrounded by wild vegetation and many tall trees. If you stand in the river and place your hand just under the surface, it disappears into the darkness. In the shallows, you can see the river stones, brown, green, beige, the color of autumn leaves. I painted a wash of color and then started on the stones. I need to continue with the stones and then try to capture the reflection of the water. Here is a picture of the stones so far.

Maybe I will feel better tomorrow. More capable. For now, I feel like this painting of an abandoned room:

Just floating in space.

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Today at Mystica Art Studio

Today, I decided to keep you all in the loop. Many things happen at Mystica and I thought I would share some things with you.I will try to be more consistent from now on and share some of our journey. I hope you can relate to at least some experiences, funny and sad, up and down, struggles and successes, but always trying to focus on the beautiful things in life. There are many. Sometimes the world seems to be completely upside down. The priorities are are muddled up. How do we keep creative and inspired?

Last night we had a great class with quite a few new students. The ambiance was warm and positive and very calm. The evening classes always seem to be soft and relaxed.

This morning we are working on a proposal for a mosaic wall. We need to depict a story that begun in the 1940's and continues today. It's a long and mostly tragic story condensed into 2 x 1.5m (approximately). This is a huge challenge. I won't tell you the story yet. We were requested to end the story with some light, expressing a feeling of hope for the future, so we are debating how to express this in the most effective way. When working as a team, a couple who both have ideas about how to express a story,  it's quite a process to agree on a final decision. We always start with a direction and let it develop from there as we work. Somehow we always end up with a similar vision. Then there are technical challenges, which are almost easier to solve as there is always a 'best' way of doing something.

Over the weekend we had the privilege of attended a life cycle event. It was very meaningful and beautifully expressed. A child's passage to adulthood. The facilitator is a special person who has assisted us with our family journey over the years. We presented him with a small token of appreciation, a symbolic gift from our studio.

Ceramic pomegranates: symbolizing fruitfulness.

So, let us continue planning this large mosaic wall surface, and I will keep you updated. 

Love from Mystica.