Sunday, December 10, 2017

Five and a half minutes



I think spiderwebs are really pretty and it's a good thing, because they are everywhere out here.  Our spiders are industrious and not put off by meddling humans who remove the webs.  The spiders just make more. 

I like that determination and focus. 

Which brings me to my meditation practice.   I had meditated many times over the years but never had a 'practice'.   By practice, I mean a regular place, method, time, etc.   When we re-did the studio this year, I finally had the place, so I set it up with a candle, incense burner and comfortable place to sit. 

And then I just didn't have time to sit and meditate.   Apparently, I liked the idea of meditation more than actually sitting and meditating.

Let's face it, on the surface, meditation looks like sitting still.   I hate that.   Seriously, I have way too much to do to sit still doing nothing for 30 minutes. 

And I was explaining that to someone who pointed out that the monks at the local Tibetan monastery only meditate for 10 minutes at a time because it's not reasonable to sustain that kind of focus for hours. 

OK then. 

And in the same conversation, we talked about how the purpose of meditation is to get centered.   When the mind starts spinning, you bring it back to center.   It wanders, you bring it back.  Doesn't matter how often.  The point is to learn to come back to center.  It takes a bit of determination and focus.

That's something I can do. 

I chose an amount of time that I know I can manage.   Five and a half minutes.    During that time, I can pray, repeat a mantra, or just focus on my breath.   Doesn't matter.   The point is that I keep coming back to center.   

I sit down, I light my sage or candle, I set the timer and I breathe.   For five and a half minutes. 

And that has made all the difference.  These five and a half minutes of quality time with myself have opened up all kinds of possibilities which are making it possible for me to live my best life now. 

What sorts of things do you practice regularly that are making it possible for you to live your best life now?



Thursday, December 7, 2017

Watercolor Meditation #4: Obstacles

This year I've thought a lot about obstacles.  Things that get in my way.  Sometimes  it's other circumstances and people;  sometimes it's me and my emotions.  I like this activity because it clearly demonstrates that obstacles don't have to stop the flow.  The flow just gets redirected for a bit. And that can be a beautiful thing. 

Watercolor Meditation:  Obstacles

Take a deep breath and relax. 

Breathe in.  Breathe out.

Relax your shoulders. Relax your arms and hands.

Breathe. You are going to have so much fun!

The purpose of this meditation is to show you how the water just flows around obstacles.   Watercolor is wet, so anything that is dry is an obstacle.  The paint will flow with the wet every time. 


Gather your materials:  

You will be able to use these few materials for all of the activities in the series.  
  • Watercolor pigments: Tubes, pans, or sets. Whatever is easy for you to get and use. Make sure you like the colors. If you have tubes, then you'll need an old plate or lid to use as a palette.  [You can also use coffee or tea if that's all you have close by.]
  • Paper:  Any size mixed media paper or watercolor paper.   Thicker watercolor paper won't buckle if you decide to use a lot of water in one of these activities.  You'll need at least one sheet for each activity, but you'll probably have so much fun with some of these that you'll just keep playing.  6 x 6  inches or so is a nice size.  Big enough to play, but not be too intimidating.  If you have larger paper and want to cut it down, go right ahead.  [You can also use a napkin if that's all you have close by.]
  • Brush:  Any watercolor brush will do.   Size 8 or 10 round is good for starters. [You can also use a straw, spoon, etc. if that's all you have close by.]
  • Water jar:   To clean your brush in.  A recycled food jar is great.  Pint sized is great. 


MEDITATION:  OBSTACLES

  1. Choose a color or two and make puddles in your palette.
  2. Swish your brush around in the plain water.  Get it good and wet.
    • Brush that plain water to make three circles on the paper.   The dry areas in the middle of those circles are your obstacles. 
  3.  Keep your circles dry and paint in the areas between the circles. 
  4. Tilt the paper and watch how the color flows around the obstacles. 
  5. Add colors or water as you wish and watch them flow.
That's all.  Very simple.  We'll use this process again later in the Meditation series.
 

I'm here.

Thanks so very much for spending some time with this today.  I hope you've used this meditation to relax and put some calm in your day.  If you have a question, observation or photo you want to share, I'd love to hear from you!
See all of my classes here.

Here are the previous Watercolor Meditations I've put here on the blog:



Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Open Studio This Saturday


This Saturday, I'm hosting an Open Studio party for my art followers and collectors.  I hope you and your friends can come!  [Mature children welcome.] 

Robin Edmundson:  Open Studio

Saturday, December 9, 2017
9am - 5pm

6877 E Bland Rd.  Solsberry, Indiana
[Google maps has us in the right place.]
ph.  812 876 9583


It's a magical time of year out here and a great way to unwind for a couple of hours with a drive out to one of the most beautiful areas in Indiana, only a half hour drive from Bloomington.

The weather is supposed to be chilly, so we'll have something warm to snack on and drink.  My entire inventory of framed originals and giclee prints is up and ready for you. All of my favorite people are coming and I can't wait for you to meet each other!  

Please contact me if you have questions or if you would like to set up a different time to come.  

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Mindfulness



On the road to my best life I've been thinking a lot about Mindfulness these days.

In fact, on the road during a walk this week, while I was thinking about mindfulness, I saw some American bittersweet climbing up and around in a cedar tree.  I love that bright orange/red surprise in November.  I stopped and just let myself be happy about that. 

For a lot of years, I lived in the future.   Always planning and preparing and multitasking and being super efficient.   It was awesome as far as getting stuff done goes, but not so awesome as far as being balanced and happy goes.   

Eventually I decided I'd rather be happy than efficient.   For example, a few years ago I started walking every day. 

At first, I thought I was multitasking - walk the dog/get exercise/talk to my daughter [who often came with me]/take photos for the blog.   It was the only way I could rationalize wasting that much time on something that I liked. 

At some point I found myself just walking with no camera, no company.   I told myself the dog really needed these walks even though I realized they cleared my head and gave me space to process strong emotions. 

And then I started painting, which totally changed how I see the world.   I started really observing a lot more.  And that changed the quality of my walks. 

With or without company, the dog, the camera, every walk became about really seeing what was out there, in that light, at that season.   What does the sky really look like?   What does the light really do in November through those trees at 4pm? 

Every walk is a lovely surprise with one goal.  Observe.  And being mindful is all about observing what is going on in that moment.   Living in the now.

What are you doing to be mindful today? 






If you'd like to have more conversations about what you're doing to live your best life, I'd like to invite you to join our Best Self facebook group where we can talk freely about becoming our best selves - and all that that entails.


Thursday, November 30, 2017

Watercolor Meditation #3: Resistance

Hello,  Lovelies!

Tomorrow is DECEMBER, which I can't really even begin to believe.  This year has been so crazy full of things that I still feel upside down.   Isn't July 4th next week?  I'm not ready for deep winter!

I'm feeling some resistance to the whole idea of the roller coaster ride that is the holidays around here.  Soooo - I have a fun watercolor meditation all about resistance.

Resistance is futile, but resistance can also be beautiful!




Watercolor Meditation:  Resistance

Take a deep breath and relax. 

Breathe in.  Breathe out.

Relax your shoulders. Relax your arms and hands.

Breathe.  You are going to have so much fun!

The purpose of this meditation is examine the patterns created by things that resist or disrupt the flow.  We're going to use salt as a resist.


Gather your materials:  

You will be able to use these few materials for all of the activities in the series.  
  • Watercolor pigments: Tubes, pans, or sets. Whatever is easy for you to get and use. Make sure you like the colors. If you have tubes, then you'll need an old plate or lid to use as a palette.  [You can also use coffee or tea if that's all you have close by.]
  • Paper:  Any size mixed media paper or watercolor paper.   Thicker watercolor paper won't buckle if you decide to use a lot of water in one of these activities.  You'll need at least one sheet for each activity, but you'll probably have so much fun with some of these that you'll just keep playing.  6 x 6  inches or so is a nice size.  Big enough to play, but not be too intimidating.  If you have larger paper and want to cut it down, go right ahead.  [You can also use a napkin if that's all you have close by.]
  • Brush:  Any watercolor brush will do.   Size 8 or 10 round is good for starters. [You can also use a straw, spoon, etc. if that's all you have close by.]
  • Water jar:   To clean your brush in.  A recycled food jar is great.  Pint sized is great. 
And for this activity, you'll need:
  • Salt:  Any kind, any size.   Table salt, epsom salt, sea salt, rock salt. 


MEDITATION:   RESISTANCE

  1. Swish your brush around in the plain water.  Get it nice and wet.
  2. Choose your favorite color and make a puddle of that color in your palette.  Light or dark, doesn't matter.  
  3. Lay some of that color on your paper.
  4. Now make another puddle of a color you love.  
  5. Lay some of that color next to the first color on your paper.   Doesn't matter how. 
    • Watch them mingle and FLOW.
  6. OBSERVE how shiny the paper is when it's really wet and how the shine begins to dull as the water soaks into the paper.
  7. Pull out your salt and sprinkle a bit on the dull wet areas and on the shiny areas.   Set it aside flat and in a few minutes come back to see the patterns forming.  
  8. Let it dry completely, then brush off the salt to see the results.  
  9. Use your imagination - Do the patterns remind you of frost, or flowers, or leaves, or feathers...?
  10. Now play. You can't do it wrong.  Lay down the colors and drop the salt in the damp areas.
 

What's happening on the paper?   Two things:  As the salt dissolves, it creates a resist which pushes the pigment away. In addition, salt draws the water to it, creating little puddles which make patterns as they dry [more on that below].

One more thing...



Other things can disrupt the flow of watercolor also.   This is a picture of a backflow, or bloom.   This type of resist happens when there is a very wet puddle surrounded by damp, but much less wet areas.   As the surrounding areas dry, the water is pulled [wicked] back into them from the puddle. The water from the puddle re-wets the paint and pushes it aside as it soaks into those areas.  Blooms make beautiful patterns.

Look back on your previous watercolor meditations and see if there are any blooms.

I'm here.

Thanks so very much for spending some time with this today.  I hope you've used this meditation to relax and put some calm in your day.  If you have a question, observation or photo you want to share, I'd love to hear from you!



See all of my classes here.



Here are the previous Watercolor Meditations I've got here on the blog so far:




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