Art as Ritual – a Search for Meaning

This is attributed to Pablo Picasso – The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.  

Picasso was well aware of the importance of self-expression, as these words indicate. This one reminds me that the creation of a ritual, such as SisterCircle does, requires a release from the ordinary. I find that to be true, whether it’s a personal project or a turn of the Wheel of the Year.

I wonder, as I explore the many layers of circles that surround me, as I come into and out of my experiences, whether art is an expression of a journey, a ritual. And those among us who put something on paper, or create something to be seen, are we simply performing our own rituals. So, it seems when I create something, I am performing one. It takes me from the dust of everyday life.

Just as the purpose of a ritual for me varies with the time of the year, the purpose of my art varies. Sometimes I look for an interesting subject. Or maybe a story in the image. Or just play with colors. Actually, my visual expressions require many of the same qualities as a ritual done by SisterCircle, for example.

Here are the steps.

  • Gather materials and choose a site
  • Assign the contributors’ roles
  • Choose the medium – size, color, texture
  • Perform the creative activity
  • And, finally, Offer the results for viewing

SisterCircle has a tradition… and that tradition centers around the Wheel of the Year. We’ve been creating and participating in rituals for over 23 years. Together, we hatch a plan, do all of the preparation, and execute the design. Many times I have marveled at how it all comes together, even at times when some of us are ill, or too busy to come, or out of town. It just works.

Now, one of the differences in creative actions is the goal. Perhaps the goal is the experience of someone outside the creator. In a religious ritual, on the other hand, the goal is the involvement of a group, large or small.

In my art, does it matter? Is that how other artists look at their work? I don’t know. Imagination is personal. As are some rituals.

I found this, by one Sharon Devlin:

The purpose of ritual is to change the mind of the human being. It’s sacred drama in which you are the audience as well as the participant and the purpose of it is to activate parts of the mind that are not activated by everyday activity. . . As for why ritual, I think that human beings have a need for art and art is ritual. I think that when we became sapient, we became capable of artistic expression.

Rituals are mindfulness, generosity, self-reflection, meditation, above all, an expression of our connection to each other, to ourselves and to the world. Blessed Be.


Take a Deep Breath, and, Reset (the Saga, Part IV)

So I took another plunge into the depths of #Microsoft’s push of Windows 10 onto us whether we are willing or not. These days, though, Apple isn’t making me very happy vis a vis their unwillingness to go the mile on the terrorist phone issue. Then again, I’m no expert.

I was so happy with Kuron, Jim’s Dell desktop, after I reset and downloaded all of my important programs and replugged all the backup drives, that I went for the same thing with Perdia, my new Dell laptop. Not exactly the same result.

I went to my settings, hit Update & Security, hit Recovery and reset. You can do this now. I remember studying and agonizing over wiping my former computers, and how technical it was for me. Now, it’s just a couple of clicks. Wait.

After Microsoft downloaded a fresh copy of Windows 10, which I was relieved for, being a skeptic and inexperienced but one other computer with this, the real work began.

I keep careful record of receipts and keys for my major programs, and was able to install them. Except for an issue with a ghost drive “j” which is persistent even after reinstall of the OS. When I have time, I’ll call Corel and see what’s the problem. Meantime, Kuron is running that small app that came along with PaintShop Pro X8.

So, the lesson is, to know that you need to sign in to your social media and other websites. LastPass is a good help here, as I try to maintain my spreadsheet as well.

As we go forward, it won’t be easier. But at least it’s not harder.


There Are No Bad Dogs – Only…

Bad Neighbors – 

Whatever happened to my neighbors, who started out really friendly and happy to see us and our pets? Well, at least one of them.

The other day, my dog, a happy-go-lucky if headstrong mix-breed, discovered a nice treat just beyond her fence. A half-rotted, dead young rabbit, an irresistible morsel just lying there waiting for someone to discover it. So she did. Despite all of our efforts, money and satisfaction with our new containment system, i.e., fence, she managed to approach it and nobody noticed her silently rolling it around to get a purchase on its limp little body.

When I realized she had breached our security, I went over to where she was, and couldn’t believe that she was “in front” of the fence, not behind it. The neighbors, like me, were enjoying a late afternoon visit; I was finishing up an iced chardonnay, and I heard the man, the master, the offensive, abrasive, sarcastic, humorless man, telling me it was okay to come on in. Well, thanks a lot, you evil hillbilly.

Next crisis, I never opened the fence next door, so I heard the man’s voice telling me how to do it, and I did. My dog, my beloved, gentle, obedient house-pet, came running past us with the little bunny in her mouth, and waited for me by the entrance. I clipped her leash, and let her take her prize home.

She’s a dog. If we would somehow gotten the dead meat out of her jaws, she probably would have obsessed, and I know better than to try to frustrate, even a lesser being.

What got me in the whole incident, was that I am a non-confrontative, cooperative, trying to be the best owner in the world, but that takes cooperation. When another person snidely intones “got to find out where she got in,” over and over again, while I’m doing my best to rectify an issue, I feel less than supported.

We should be grateful that my dog, my beloved little crazy girl, doesn’t Dig, Destroy, Bark (too much), Bite, Constantly Annoy. She doesn’t. And, ironically, as all dog people know, the more she is paid attention, the more she will Not try to gain attention. That is just how it is. A little word, a smile, a kind expression, these make a big difference. Oh, yes, I’m talking about me.

I have much more baggage than my pet; I have no idea where the man next door checked his out.

A couple of walks in poricy park one day too hot next day pretty good but short leash didn't work as Missy was too excited and pulled most of the way.

my kid.

A Merry Go Round of Work

The next time I have a yen to do a show, let me remember how tedious and annoying the project can be. You have to print out your pictures, and hope the color is good. You have to deal with resolution, cropping, color, timing issues. You then have to have your frames ready for hanging usually with wires that don’t come with the frame.

That is, after they are cleaned up with Windex(r) and polished to a shine, with no scratches.

You have to make sure you can find the originals on your computer, and then make sure they are saved in some lossless fashion, maybe a *.tif, to make sure that they are printable if by any chance they sell. It is so much work!

This is why I enjoy working online. May the cloud be my gallery, and may everyone enjoy something they can access any time, any where.

PatellaVane Report

Rain today. Bad, cold, driving, icy, gray, dark day. We are so not going to the gym.