Friday Features ~ Rock Art ~ Inuksuk

ruby-beach-rock-art

I didn’t know they had a fancy name or an ancient history. They simply called to me from the water’s edge and I found myself stacking them, one upon the other. I’ve done it for as long as I can remember. I called it rock art.

When we go camping along a river or at the ocean I go hunting for rocks so I can make rock art. I don’t just make one or two stone stacks – I make them by the dozens, creating stone villages. It’s a meditative process for me – a connection to nature.

A few years ago at a party I learned my rock art had ancient roots. I shared a picture of all the stones I’d stacked by the river and my friend commented, “fabulous inuksuit”.

Sue's River Rock Art
Sue’s River Rock Art
“Huh?” I replied with a raised eyebrow.

And so he went on to explain that the stacking of stones has ancient roots with the native Inuit tribe in northern Alaska. The ancient people used the stones as guideposts in the arctic landscape and to mark their hunting grounds and food cache. Inuksuit (plural) have been found dating back as far as 2400 BCE. 

Last year, on a camping trip to Ruby Beach on the rugged Pacific Northwest coast, I found my tribe  – rock artists. I was in awe when I hiked down to the beach and found Inuksuit for as far as the eye could see!

Ruby Beach Rock Stack
Ruby Beach Rock Stack
Every horizontal surface had inuksuit. Every log and piece of driftwood had stones stacked one upon the other. I joined in and stacked rocks with the others. No words were spoken, none were needed. We were all of like mind – the artist’s mind, connecting with and creating from nature.

Ruby Beach Rock Art
Ruby Beach Rock Art
Once you start stacking stones you’ll never look at rocks the same way….just sayin’. Give it a try. Create some art and connect with your ancient ancestors. It’s good for you – mind, body, and soul.

Namaste.

Friday Features ~ The Night Owl

Night Owl in acrylic
Night Owl in acrylic

I am a night owl.
We are birds of a feather, solitary and nocturnal.
This night owl appeared to me in a dream years ago.
He is ever watchful perched on a winter oak, illuminated by a full moon.
As he came to life on the canvas I was reminded of his wisdom.

 A wise old owl lived in an oak
The more he saw the less he spoke
The less he spoke the more he heard.
Why can’t we all be like that wise old bird? 
~ English Nursery Rhyme

Friday Features – Art Journals & Morning Pages

My art journal

 

New Art Journal

Girl in Art Journal

After retiring  from a career in public service I was excited to reconnect with my passion for the arts. I made a pledge  to create art every day in an art journal for an entire year. I recognized the importance of stretching my creative muscles after years away from my craft. I also wanted to try some new techniques.  These pictures are just a few samples from my art journal.

My 2016 Art Journal Cover
My 2016 Art Journal Cover

I’m also learning the art of creative writing. Starting a blog was suggested as a way to develop a writing practice and I enjoy blogging, but more recently I listened as two of my writer friends discussed the benefit of writing “morning pages”.   I glanced over at my friend’s journal as she shared her morning pages, written in a beautiful lavender script.

I was intrigued, so I researched the practice of morning pages and found a great article in The Guardian I’ll share here. There are a few rules to morning pages as introduced by Julia Cameron, in her book, The Artist’s Way. You’re encouraged to write your morning pages in longhand and you must fill three full-length pages. The effects over time are said to be profound.  Studies have  also shown that there is an organic, emotional connection when writing  longhand with pen and paper that simply doesn’t translate when typing on a computer. I recall an article on this very topic a few months ago in the Huffington Post. If you’re interested you can check out the research here.

I’m going to try my hand at morning pages and report back in a future blog – if you have suggestions or experience with morning pages, please share!

Whatever your creative outlet, I encourage you to stay connected with it in some way whether it’s an art journal, secret diary, morning pages, blogging,  or meditation. Do what works best for you and stretch your creative muscles, keep them limber and flexible.

May you find peace and happiness in those mindful moments when the magic of creative flows from within.

~ Namaste