What your art practice can teach you about breaking out of your comfort zone

What your art practice can teach you about moving out of your comfort zone

As artists, most of us have our favorite color palette – the paint tubes and color pencils we reach for over and over again. Mine are blues, pinks, purples, and hints of orange.

Sometimes, though, it’s good to pick up the colors that you tend to ignore. For this particular painting, I spied a little-used tube of emerald green, which I decided to pair with orange and some hints of turquoise blue.

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Need a mindful break?

Some mindful moments from The Mindful Break challenge

Looking at beauty in the world, is the first step of purifying the mind. – Amit Ray

The mindful break this year has been a lovely little pocket of calmness amid the uncertainty and unusualness of this almost dystopian year.

Taking these few days to really savour the small moments, the practices that are our touchstones, the colors and feelings that thread through our life, has in some ways anchored us to the continuity of life.

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The Mindful Break 2020

The Mindful Break 2020

Ladies and gentlemen, The Mindful Break is back! What started out five years ago with my desire to cultivate a mindfulness practice, has become a regular feature that I – and many of The Mindful Break regulars – look forward to each October. And this year, we have a twist on the theme, so make sure to read through to the end.

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Musings on time and spaciousness

Musings on time and spaciousness

Time is an interesting construct. We divide it up into minutes, hours, days, and years. When an event of cataclysmic proportions takes place in our lives, we divide it into Before and After. Before the wedding; After the art show; Before the divorce; After the kids moved to college. Much like Dionysius, who devised a system of counting time to do away with the memory of a ruthless emperor.

“The first year in Dionysius’ Easter table, “Anno Domini 532,” followed the year “Anno Diocletiani 247.” Dionysius made the change specifically to do away with the memory of this emperor who had been a ruthless persecutor of Christians.” – via LiveScience

Time as a cyclical construct

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Lockdown diaries: Dreaming of a new world

Lockdown diaries dreaming of a new world

“Each of us is an artist of our days; the greater our integrity and awareness, the more original and creative our time will become.” ― John O’Donohue

It’s been over a month since India went into lockdown; longer for some of us who went into self-isolation even earlier. We’ve all adjusted and adapted to remaining confined indoors, and to making do without the help we are used to. And I don’t know about you, but I have discovered a much more simple life that I am really enjoying.

After an initial adjustment period, the husband and I have managed to find a rhythm to our days. My work day is book-ended with a walk on our terrace, since we aren’t allowed to go downstairs for a walk or run in our community. Watching the ever changing canvas in the sky, observing the flight and the lives of the birds, and soaking in the bits of greenery I can see from afar has become a beautiful, mindful part of this new simple life of mine.

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On becoming: musings on the intersection between chaos and liminal time

On my art table - intuitive art journal process - on becoming

Sometimes, things come together almost effortlessly – like this art journal spread. I started this spread in my art journal with swatches of paint, randomly painted on, to cover the entire page.

I then sketched in the figure, blocked it out with some dark blue paint, and softened the colors on the rest of the page with some white and titanium buff paint. I added in some paint to the figure’s hair, added a spiral symbol, a touch of shading, a little bit of etching, and before I knew it, the art journal spread just felt done!

I think this is one of the quickest art journal pages that I’ve ever created. And it all came from being in a state of complete openness and flow.

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Ultimate guide to overcome loneliness, boredom and anxiety

Ultimate guide to overcome boredom, loneliness and anxiety

Life can be so unpredictable. We go about our days believing in the solidity of our routines. We imagine our lives as trees, rooted into place. We imagine our daily lives and chores as the branches that extend from the tree – we have our familiar routes, our favorite coffee shops, the barista we greet every time we visit. There’s a sense of comfort in what we know to be true about our lives.

And in the blink of an eye, everything has changed. The world is in lock-down. Borders are sealed. Entire states and countries are in self-isolation and all of us are maintaining social distance.

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My year of depth: A framework for my 2020 depth year

My depth year framework for 2020

Last year, I decided to undertake a depth year – an entire year where I didn’t start any new hobbies or acquire new possessions that I did not need. You can read this post for more information on what a depth year is; I’ll wait!

And though I did not achieve everything I set out to focus on, and slipped up in some areas, the overall experience was pretty darn good. Which is why I’ve decided to do another year of depth – and I’m incorporating some of my learnings from last year when it comes to designing my depth year framework for 2020.Continue reading

The Word: 2020

word of the year for 2020

I’ve been choosing a word of the year since five years – this is my sixth – and it has been an intensely transformative journey. Which is somewhat magical, really, considering that the very first word I chose for myself five years ago was Transform.

Words, after all, are spells. They have an inherent magic and power that can work in ways you may never have anticipated to bring you the exact medicine you need at any point of time. And Transform is a spell that’s been woven into the very fabric my life, impacting it far beyond just one year.

Which is why I don’t take the word of the year practice too lightly. I need to be clear on at least some aspects of what I’m drawing towards me with the word that I choose. perhaps for this reason, it was much harder for me to tease out the word for this year.Continue reading

Looking back at 2019: Reflections on Flourish

Reflections on flourish

Flourish. That was my word for the year. It felt like the perfect combination of growth and ease after the very gentle energy of Bloom in 2018.

And a perfect combination it has been. So much has happened in 2019, that I’m still wrapping my head around it all.

Flourish helped me to deepen and expand my art practice.  I spent much more time at the painty table – even during the summer, which used to be my leanest art period, and my artistic voice and vision grew louder and deeper.Continue reading