Evening Flight, 18x24, acrylic on linen panel, Jan Blencowe, copyright 2011
On the eve of Thanksgiving 2011, I am pondering the blessing of being an artist and thankful that I have a supportive family, a daughter who shares my passion, collectors who purchase my work and a few fellow artists and close friends who share the joy, commitment and vision of living the artists life.
I am currently reading the book The Artists Rule, a twelve week journey, Nurturing your Creative Soul with Monastic Wisdom by Christine Valters Paintner. It is a rich book, filled with many profound insights and sparkling gems of truth. I will need to read it and work through the exercises many times before I fully absorb all it has to offer.
In the book is this Blessing Prayer to Begin a Creative Work, written by Macrina Wiederkehr. I have found this prayer to be a powerful ritual, which thoroughly prepares my spirit and mind to begin the creative process. It helps me be more mindful of serving the mysteries, of God, Emmanuel (God with Us) beauty, healing, restoration and peace that are the constant under currants of my work. It's a bit too long to share in total here but I will give you an overview and a few lines that speak to me...
The prayer opens asking the archangel Gabriel, the messenger from God, for assistance to believe that... I have the potential to lift good news out of my soul that I may be a messenger of beauty for my household and beyond
It calls upon creative saints of old such as Hildegard, Francis, Scholastica and more modern ones like Thomas Merton, and others who see deeply like Mary Oliver, and Annie Dillard.
The prayer invokes the symbolic properties of each color like blues and greens for calm restfulness, balance, healing, hope, serenity and contemplation and purple for wisdom, meditation, transformation and spirituality.
It calls everything in nature by name from that which is great and awe inspiring like storms, oceans, moon, sun and stars, to small things like pebbles and quiet lights, to bless the paintings I make. The prayer is powerful and the book a road map for an amazing artist journey.
I have been humbled and become very thankful that I am able to participate in the making of art and chosen to be a steward of a very precious gift, one that enables me to be a messenger of beauty for my household and beyond.
Live with Art, it's Good for You!