The art of the Fantastic

As artists, or even artists-in-making, it is our imagination that fuels the urge.

As artists, or even artists-in-making, it is our imagination that fuels the urge.

You know, that burning urge to get in the studio, and the same one that wakes you at night and gets your brain churning on ideas.

The night waking phenomenon is not unique to this writer. It is the deep delta brain waves that often trigger the most vital creative thoughts and visions. I keep a journal close at hand, near the bed, so that I can quickly jot my ideas down in the darkness. Otherwise, they fade by morning, like a dream, where you get the subtle sense of something significant having happened, but it slides out of your consciousness upon wakening. Even a scratchy note can trigger a recall and recapture the thread of a thought or inspiration.

Using relaxation techniques and meditation, you can tap delta brain waves that can inspire deeper, more reflective artwork. The art appreciator can feel the depth and wants to join you there. Trust this inner source, as it is the vital vision net. Like a fisherman casting his net and pulling in his catch, this net can yield the juicy unconscious realms of human reality. Invoking the more soulful realms is like downloading your muse; a reliable source of creative ideas. In addition, accessing these realms can be healing.

We don’t always recognize the healing aspects of art, but it truly has that capacity.  Our soul is usually giving us hints and insights into natural healing that we can only ignore so long. We can either make that journey through pain, or through expression.

The pain journey often involves loss — marriage/relationship, jobs, image, financial disaster, death of a loved one. Not exactly fun stuff. On the other hand, the expressive journey involves getting clear about our lives and acting in right relationship to that truth, such as aligning our work with our passion, being the person we want for our partner, allowing our creative energy to flow such as expressing ourselves with music, dance, writing and art, and using play and mindfulness, in sports and exercise, to activate health.

Which journey would you rather choose? When we express our true selves, we heal. The time is now, take a leap and choose a new path this year. Remember, the definition of crazy is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome. Give old routines the boot. Tap into your body’s guide and move toward healthy expression of your true inner self.

And here are some ideas.

Invigorate your creative side and express this inner self in this month’s Ladysmith Arts Council and the Waterfront Gallery’s theme — the Art of the Fantastic and Roots in Myth. Intake will be Feb. 28 and 29 at the Waterfront Gallery. Artists are encouraged to incorporate their own interpretations in the realms of imagination and metaphor.

The show will be available for viewing from March 3-April 1.  The guest speaker for opening night on March 3 is Ruth Porter from the Tozan Cultural Society in Nanaimo. The society uses a unique, traditional wood-fired kiln procedure. The public is welcome to join in the fun and revelry.

In addition, the new Arts Council workshops are now out on the website and in the Parks and Recreation guide. Check it out — there is a wide selection to tease out your muse, from willow furniture making to hypertufa!