Artwork by C. Pembroke

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MUSINGS Lessons in Creativity


Settle In
Stir it Up
Summer Heat
Lightning Flies
Turning In
As you Are
Leaves Fall

12 Steps thru Creativity
Breaking Down Barriers


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© C Pembroke 2018

"Breaking Down Barriers" 4 Session Workshop

We are co-creators, shaping ourselves, each other, and our environment. Yet we live in a world dominated by linear, strategic thought. Art and the creative process are open to all as vehicles for spiritual growth.

In this 4-session virtual workshop we will:

  • Identify barriers to creativity (examples: art is silly; art takes lots of time and skill)
  • Discuss language (examples: shape, rhythym, movement)
  • Enjoy benefits (examples: stress relief, passion)
  • Sample varied visual art methods and materials in hands-on activities
  • Discuss the creative process and the creativity movement

Session 1 - Getting into the artistic flow

Materials/Methods: Clay molding, wood burning, crayon melting

The smell during burning, the patterns in wood which can be traced or embellished, melting colors into each other and sliding smooth across a warm surface, handling materials easily manipulated.

A step further—Visit a craft store. Spend time thinking about the various materials, your feelings toward them, and assumptions about what is involved. What have you tried in the past? What have you always wanted to try?

Session 2 - Anytime, Anywhere

Materials/Methods: Found metals, organic materials, something from the kitchen

Art need not be elegant and planned, using fine materials and patiently acquired skill. It can be crazy, quick, impromptu. It can be fierce, and swept away a moment after display. An origami napkin left behind at the pizzeria.

A step further- While sitting in traffic, act like a photographer searching out new perspectives. Mentally zoom, crop, pan and tilt in order to find interesting or beautiful details in unexpected places.

Session 3 - Processing negative feelings

Materials/Methods: Fabrics, collage, destruction in the artistic process

Rip, tear, shred. Use the whole arm and scratch words from a page. Use forboding colors. Then, allow the pieces to sit. Give them space. When you return, weave light into the darkness.

A step further- When is destruction healthy, and when is it an end and not a means? What attachments and metaphor do you place on the things you keep? Are any of them negative and worthy of dismissal from your environment?

Session 4 – Personifying the artist within

Materials/Methods: Story, pastels and concrete poetry

Conversations with the artist within, iconic images, timelines illustrating creative journeys. Geometry, figure, and thought blend.

A step further- What qualities would you assign to your “artist within?” Curious? Pushy? Look back in your life and identify times when “time stood still.” Invent story lines in which you met and converse with your “artist within?”

Discussion Material

12 Steps, a journey in confronting obstacles and courting creativity

1. Purpose - There is meaning in life, and each of us has a unique role to play.
2. Perspective - View from new perspectives to better see limiting thoughts.
3. Experience - Let the heart race, the body move.
4. Use nature - Invite chance and include nature as a guide.
5. Use emotion - Tap into a funnel of energy.
6. Use logic - Identify inconsistencies and use them as levers to dislodge limiting thoughts.
7. Destruct - Crumple, rip, tear-- It's okay to be negative.
8. Step by Step - Let the pieces assemble themselves.
9. Re-order - From the ruins and nonsense, find new order.
10. Gears & interrelatedness - How does this fit into everything else?
11. Mission - Where is your sense of urgency?
12. Activism - Share your knowledge, power, gifts.

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May we find our vision, learn our way, define our path, and meet our purpose.