A Pilgrim of the Hours – Day 4 of To let the bared soul recall

Intentional Creativity in action! 🙂

Here I left on the Day 3:

My dear cousin who had spent his vacation in Corsica threw „Our Lady of the Snow“ in.

I had to google it. Oh. He had sent me a photo and I found her beautiful but it didn’t speak that much to back then. Now I am intrigued. The cloak is so beautiful!

And when somebody suggested putting some of yesterday’s mist onto the canvas, I got some white paint on the palette and ‚followed the brush‘. I told my brush to search her in my painting. And the brush found our Lady of the Snow:

A Woman made of mist. Seen but not fully grasped. Sheltering what or who she is holding to her breast. Milky lines radiate out – she nourishes with fresh cold winter air.

A song from a-ha comes to my mind, ‚Stay on these Roads‘, with the line: „Cold has a voice. It talks to me.“

But this cold is comforting.

Love helps me stir the boat of My life through the mists.

I always loved mist. Especially the one who turns the sun into a big white ball, that you can look at without hurting the eyes. Oh. This painting will need a white sun tomorrow.

After paiting in the warming sunlight of mid afternoon, I return at vespers time, dusk turned into darkness: „From henceforth all generations shall call me blessed“.

Day 3 of To let the bared soul recall…

Intentional Creativity in action! 😉

Here I left yesterday. Feeling ambivalent. I am ready for christmas and light and peace and oh Glory and I get this mess?

Hm. I had tried to lighten everything up and bring some positive vibe into the painting when I chose that yellowish colour. But yellow can be just as messy as black and a stained heart.

In the morning I pray the prayer of dawn by looking at this, letting it in.

In the late afternoon I sit down again. Milky mist at my right side soon to turn into a black darkness. So much darkness.

A friend suggests: „Phthalo blue“.

Yay! One of my favourite colours. The blue note of darkness. I didn’t know whether I saw boats or birds but the passing of the day has solved this problem: I am sure I want boats. I am going to do them in phthalo blue. The barques of midnight darkness I murmur and these words ruminate in my mind. What do they carry? Where do they swim? Where come from, where go to? Maybe they are flying. I love the idea of flying boats. Phthalo blue is the blue of darkness. The good darkness, the one that stills the thirst.

My dear Cousin asks for a star on a thin line:

Another Intentional Creativity teacher suggests a daisy for innocence:

Oh, I got problems with the daisy. I want a really big one. Like a mast on the boat. Try sketching it in in charcoal. Oh no. Not good. Here? No. There? No. I put away the charcoal. It is going to be a little daisy, falling down onto a boat. so the symbol for innocence will be very small on my painting. Why, I wonder? Innocence never was a word that resonated. It was a word that I rejected, would not fit in my world. Do I paint the daisy small because I reject it again.

Maybe I do not really know what innocence means, only assume that I know. Ah. I take that with me. What means innocence to me? I will sleep over this and know something new about myself tomorrow.

The End of Day 3:

The black owner of worlddominionship grants me to leave:

Day 2 of To let the bared soul recall

Intentional Creativity in action… 😉

I am an early riser.

I may go to the easel for just 10 minutes because I have to leave for my job early. But these are precious 10 minutes. Today I found the white canvas from yesternights compline hour and read through your comments. And looking at the white and let ideas abound is my Laudes, prayer at dawn.

Oh. You wrote: Stars. Light and darkness. A light heart. A red heart with a wooden angel. Oh. Thank you, my friends!

In Intentional Creativity we start with an inquiry, which is the signpost of the path. To find out something – about my Self – too un-hide and bring to light the knowledge of the eternal soul I need an inquiry and I need to return to the inquiry now and then. To remember where I come from to remember where I am going. To consciously decide when to stroll away… 😉 Coming home from work I hurry to the easel and work as my sacred pause at a little late Sext, noon time:

The Inquiry is the light on a path that seems to be going into the darkness of not-yet-knowing – so I paint it on my canvas as my light:

And here comes the darkness. It is flowing, dripping, and it is blessed by my water from the spray bottle. At this moment in my life I am not afraid of the dark, I long for its stillness instead. Are these boats that carry me somewhere? Boats of darkness and stillness:

My very own heart, too often too small to bear all my feelings is the guide on the journey. I quickly paint at teatime, Non, afternoon time.

Enter the red heart, full of good earthy feelings like passion:

Oh? Where did the light heart go? And a wooden angel in the heart. An earthly angel? Or a figurine without life?

Marks for my sisters and friends that always witness me and encourage me when I need it. Can’t be bad times when I have such friends.

And stars. No sky without stars.

Now the night begins, compline fulfilled and darkness and stillness and this is the canvas after Day 2 of a journey in Intentional Creativity:

Good night and be blessed.

To let my bared soul recall…

Some weeks ago I woke up even though I wasn’t asleep. It was noon. I had just come home to the usual hurry of cooking lunch, looking after homework, cleaning house, walking dog, checking social media and then, only then, painting. Life was loud and I enjoyed it but I needed a pause. A sacred pause. I made me a coffee and went upstairs in my soon to be studio and sat down and looked around. Still so much to do. Still no easel, canvas and neither paint nor brushes. A room looking quite empty with only some leftover clutter.

I went down and got me what I needed. But the room kept its vibe of empty. And while putting down dots I had the idea of this challenge of painting on an advent inquiry to my soul. I have never ever finished a challenge. Am I going to? Not alone. It has to be joyful and playful but a demand on self discipline and life story interpretation would be good for me, too. Okay. Some pondering and here is my first challenge that I am going to finish.

My personal advent challenge: To paint daily 🎨to prepare my Self for the return of the Light. ☄Intentional Creativity in action.
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While I love silence and inner talk with my Muse, my Muse and me also love friends and connection and play. 💛💛💛Would you play with me?💛💛💛
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Here are the rules of the game:
1. ❄Tell me what to put on my canvas. A mark, a colour, a special form or shape. Three long lines? Very well! What? A lion? Ah, I’ll do just an outline of a lioness, or just a paw! (Or a tooth?)
2. ❄I’ll spent my sacred pauses of the day painting and will do as many suggestions of you as possible. But only in a way I want it.
3. ❄I’ll tell you what meaning I find on my canvas, translating your suggestion into some answer: „To let the bared soul recall what it knows beneath its fear of the dark“ (Gayle Boss) And 🤔😏😊🤗 I’ll show you how I painted what you suggested.
4. ❄I can add whatever I want on my canvas.

I hope you do not leave me alone this advent! 🤗🌲⭐🎄💛

Here to come all the progress pics and snippets of my life stories:

Day 1 ⭐

Day 1 – Time of Compline – Dec 1st 2019

All Souls, loved

Andrea’s Angel

Thank you, God, that I did not gow up in fear based christianity. I was born in a small village in the Sauerland (“sour land”) in Germany and my mom was devoted to the Mother of God, Mary. She taught me to pray the important prayers and she took me with her to sunday mass (we mostly went the evening before), to sunday verspers meeting, to rosary prayer meetings in octobre and Mary, Queen of May, prayer meetings in May, we honored the holidays (holy days) and the feast days of saints, Germany has many a no-working- holiday because of Catholicism.

But my Mama was not uptight and hard on me. In fact she only showed me Catholicism, living it, she didn’t preach or teach. The theology happened in school or later via books (as a child I wasn’t able to listen to a sermon – too boring.) When I didn’t want to join her – and of course I didn’t want to many a time – she was okay with it as long as I went to Sunday mass. And, again thank you, my God, I never encountered anything of the darker sides of this ‘church’ – no harsh threats by mentioning hell and sin and eternity, no sexual abuse, no mean words about the nature of girls and women. Hell was an eternity away – except for this time of the year. Halloween was not known yet. We would go to church on All Saints’ Eve because my mom was okay with me sleeping in. There all the saints would be celebrated. A long litany of their names mentioned, all of them asked to pray for us, to help us, to be with us. I knew a lot about them because in our almost book free house (money was tight) I had a big big book with all the saints legends. I liked many of them, many I found boring, some I disliked. It was like a large family. Saint Simon the Stylite my favourite uncle (imagine! He stood on a pillar! For years! Crazy Uncle Simon, ahem, holy Simon pray for me (maybe I can be a pillar girl ?!)) All Saints’ Day was the cozy family meeting.

Work in progress: „Saint Martha and her Tarasque“

But the next day was All Souls’ Day. Now that had a totally different taste. When I was a kid I loved Christmas and Easter Sunday the most – because of the gifts, lol, like most children do (obviously Saint Simon didn’t help me to become saintly concerning that) but then I loved All Souls’ Day most. The week before, my mother and I would go to the graveyard and take all the last flowers off of the grave of my granddad and grandma. We put a beautiful arrangement of conifere and holly branches there and put an oil candle in the little lamp on the soil. On All Saints Day we would light up the candle and say a prayer and then on All Souls’ Day the community met in the church and after prayers would walk to the graveyard, two minutes, and gather around the graves of our former priests. We gathered there because there wasn’t a chapel and because the yard of those graves was a circle and so we build a circle around the priest who held this prayer meeting (I liked our priest very much) and the altar boys who carried the sacred water. We would pray for all who had died, last year, many years ago, ever, for all those who had died but were not with God. I imagined them all coming into our circle. There was no explaining then but I understood that being without God when dead was very very undesirable. Yet I never shivered and never feared, because – duh! We prayed for them all – I was totally and completely convinced that God would listen and all Souls would be saved.

I didn’t get it completely why that was not in the same instant and we re-gathered again year after year but well, that didn’t shake my belief. After praying the priest would take the holy water, and he would sprinkle it on every single grave saying a prayer that I never understood, he mumbled it, but for me the veil was thin, God, the dead, the living, we all were present on the graveyard and I knew: It would be good. It will be good, all will be good, it will all be good. I felt a deep silence, every soul in thankful peace – almost like Christmas night. The daylight would fade while we stood on the graveyard and the darkness of the night came and all the little lights on the graves would shine and move and twinkle. Even on the graves that nobody cared for anymore those tending the neighbouring graves had lightened a candle. Nobody forgotten,nobody left behind. This is Christian love as I understand it: Nobody forgotten, nobody left behind.

I am so thankful that my mother spared me all the details of judgement and hell. Not sure how I would have reacted. I grew up knowing that God loves us all and all will be good in the end. No one will be forgotten, no one be left behind. And I am still convinced of this concerning our lifes after death, no matter what the church teaches in her catechism. Oh, I said HER catechism. This is a whole other post.

When I was in my 20s Halloween came to Germany because of aggressive marketing. It was embraced because we all had seen it in American movies and Tom and Jerrry, Bugs Bunny shows. I remember the first time the door rang and two girls dressed as witches looked at me a little afraid and also excited. I gave them two chocolate bars and end of the week I found a thank you letter in my mailbox. That’s Halloween for me – joyful connection.

Now – the thin veils of Halloween, part of so many beautiful paths of the modern pagan traditions – yes, maybe, I don’t know. It is not what I have experienced. I have experienced that the veil is thin when I want it thin, it thins with my prayers, my leaning towards my ancestors, dear ones long gone, not so long gone. It thins with the darker season, at night time, with silence. But there is no harm in making a festival for that. Let the awareness of our connectedness begin, yes!

I was in my late 20s when some day my Mom on the way back from Holy Mass opened up her heart and told me that there was a group of women in the village who would give away little booklets and cd’s with sermons or stories about the “poor souls”, the souls in limbo or hell. She nearly started crying and mentioned how somebody was able to see them, and how they cried and begged. And what if they got no help and what if we were to become such a poor soul too. At that time I had read a lot in the catechism and I knew what was told about hell and poor souls and sometimes I had fear too. But in that moment when my Mom was so in distress, I just put my hand on her arm and stopped walking to look her into the eye and I said: Mom! Do you really believe that Jesus Christ, and that Mother Mary, and the Saints and the Guardian Angels and all the good Beings on earth and in heaven leave those souls there, alone and in pain? Do you really believe that they will be left behind and forgotten? By God? And she looked at me and took a deep breath and then said: “I do not know. I wish I had your faith.” “I hand you over my faith, we can share my faith. You gave me yours, now I give you back from what God let grow out of it. Let’s just trust in his love.” “Yes.” She said, she, raised in a fear based Christianity, “yes!”

Farbe der Frau – ein Workshop voll Chaos und Lachen

Gestern und heute Vormittag fand im KIQ in Siegen im Rahmen des Sommerprogrammes von Café Mayla mein Malworkshop mit Frau mit und ohne Migrationshintergrund statt.

Nach dem Heimkommen brauchte ich jeweils ein halbes Stündchen zum regenerieren, aber eigentlich konnte ich gar nicht abwarten hier zu erzählen.

Es waren 8 Frauen angemeldet, dann erschienen zuerst nur 2. Zwei weitere kamen eine Dreiviertelstunde später („Der Bus!“) und dann kam noch eine der Verantwortlichen im Café Mayla, Monica Massenhove, zusammen mit einer weiteren Frau hoch. Nach einer weiteren Viertelstunde kam noch eine der Verantwortlichen hoch und wollte nur mal einen Blick reinwerfen, wollte dann aber doch noch mitmachen. Da hatte ich 7 Frauen und nur die ersten beiden waren mir malend gefolgt, die anderen wollten Privat-Anweisungen um schnell aufzuholen. Ich war gestresst, hatte aber keine Zeit mich zu fürchten, ob wir das alles noch hinkriegen, es gab einfach zu viel zu reden und zu zeigen.

Schritt 1 und 2: Spiel mit Linie und Farbe

Wie in jedem Workshop machte es besonders Spaß zu sehen, wer sich an die ‚Anweisungen‘ hält, wer rebelliert, wer welche Fragen stellt oder welche Geschichtchen mag.

Leider leider sprachen meine „Frauen mit Migrationshintergrund“ teilweise fast überhaupt kein Deutsch. Oder aber, sie trauten sich nicht es zu zeigen. Zumindest bei zweien war es deutlich, dass sie nur ganz wenig verstanden und ich musste dadurch leider auf vieles verzichten, was ja den Reiz der Intentional Creativity ausmacht: z.B. dass jede sich eine eigene „Absicht“ oder „Frage“ im Vorfeld aussucht – was dies mit dem Malen zu tun haben könnte, war den Frauen nicht begreiflich zu machen bzw. vielleicht erschien ihnen das schon zu offen und bloßstellend. Wer weiß.

Ein großer heller Raum – ideal! Sogar Kinderstühlchen.

Letztendlich habe ich daher für diejenigen, die verstanden die Bedeutung der Schritte unserer Malerei, die Reise durch ein Frauenleben von Kindheit bis weise Greisin, kurz angedeutet, aber habe nicht darauf bestanden, dass jede ihre eigene Symbole und Zeichen entwickeln.

Das war auch nicht nötig. Mein Eindruck war, dass fast alle Frauen nie oder zumindest eine sehr sehr lange Zeit nicht so unbehelligt und ‚ohne weiteren Nutzen‘ (muahahaha!) kreativ waren. Zu meiner Freude versanken alle tief in ihre Tätigkeit besonders beim Color blocking.

Für mich der schönste Moment war, als wir alle gemeinsam die einfachen Striche zeichneten, die das Gesicht ausmachen.

Zuerst Gemurmel, man muss keine Fremdsprachen können um zu wissen, dass es „das kann ich nie“ heißt. Aber ich kannte keine Gnade. Niemand wurde geschont. Alle hatten Blatt und Papier und übten 5 mal mit mir durch. Und dann haben wir sofort auf die Leinwand mit Acryl skizziert. Hier wird nicht vorgezeichnet und rumgebessert!

Und wie durch ein Wunder waren alle erstaunt, dass die Linien ein Frauengesicht offenbaren. Und sie waren zufrieden mit ihrem Gesicht.

Leider konnten mehrere Frauen am nächsten Tag nicht mehr kommen. 4 blieben weg, eine kam dazu. Und wieder Chaos, weil einige weiterarbeiten wollten („jetzt ist das Baby gerade ruhig“) und unsere Neue aber erst das Unterbild schaffen musste. Eine Workshop-Leiterin kann sich teilen, für Ihre Schülerinnen schafft sie alles! Tsihihihi.

So ganz verstehe ich nicht, wie ich mein eigenes Bild so weit malen konnte. Nun ja. Ich musste oft etwas zeigen. Aber dann zwischendurch habe ich gemalt wie eine Sturmbraut – wusch.

Mein Lehrerinnenbild nach dem Color Blocking.

Wie kommt es, dass Frauen solch unterschiedlicher Art, Kultur, Sprache soviel miteinander lachen können? Weil Kreativität das Herz öffnet und die Muse ruft – die innere, liebevolle Stimme, die uns hilft großherzig und vertrauensvoll zu sein und zu malen.

von S.
von H.
von B.
von M.
Lehrerinnenbild

Herzlichen Dank meinen lieben Schülerinnen. Es ist herrlich eure Lehrerin zu sein!

Ich hoffe, dass die anderen noch mit mir zusammen die angefangenen Bilder fertigstellen. Leute, meine zwei Vormittage waren großartig! Ich freue mich schon auf ein nächstes Mal!

WIP „Wart’s ab, mein Freundchen!“