Thursday, March 1, 2012

My first guest post

I have just had the opportunity to do a guest post and that too on the blog of an accomplished artist and collagist of many years experience - Kathryn Uster. What can I say, I am thrilled!!

Here is the link to my post on Kathryn's blog 
http://ustercollage.blogspot.in/2012/02/finding-our-zen.html
(btw, I believe this counts as my art blog post for the month of February).
And this is the link to Kathryn’s website http://www.ustercollageart.com/

Kathryn's art is brilliant.  Her eye for detail and bold colourful palette draw the viewer in and impart a sense of peace.   I urge you to visit and view her remarkable collage artworks.

And this is my guest post on Kathryn's blog.

Finding Our Zen 

I met Kathryn at the yahoo collage group and since then, she has been my guru in many collage related ways. As a collagist I still have a long way to go and the sum total of my knowledge and experience is limited by the number of years I have spent doing this. So in my guest post on her blog today, I thought I would share what collage means to me. 


I think creating a collage is almost like Zen meditation. It is uplifting and fulfilling at the spiritual level. Let me explain. Zen is the Japanese word for the Mandarin Chán, which in turn is derived from he Sanskrit word dhyāna meaning ‘meditation’. 


Personally, I find meditation tedious. Have you tried it? I find it difficult to sit down quietly for a length of time, with legs crossed, eyes shut, and concentrate on thinking nothing so we can give the brain a chance to rest and reboot as it were. I am told one needs discipline and training to be successful in meditation. Rather unregretful, I admit to being not concerned that I am not good at meditation, because I have a happier alternative. 


I love making paper collage. This is the next best thing to Zen meditation. I am convinced of it. I usually collect all the paraphernalia required and either stand at the dining table or sit on the floor. One could compare this to getting ready for meditation. Once I have decided on the broad idea of what I want to do, all I have eyes for is the colours that I am looking for. I find that without any effort on my part I am able to block out all the ambient noise and focus just on the tiny pieces of colour paper that I need at the moment. Sometimes I might spend hours bent over adjusting tiny bits of paper with tweezers and paint brush, unmindful of physical exhaustion. I am in Collage Heaven.


Meditation is said to calm the mind, so does collage making. Collage making is a very soothing and relaxing activity. I find that it quiets my mind, makes it more tranquil. It helps me forget the stresses of daily life. As a consequence, sometimes I also forget to fix dinner. 


Meditation is the process to know your consciousness – that you are not defined either by your body or your mind. You are just the witness to what is happening around you. Collage making does the same for me. These bits of paper have a mind of their own, and somehow they make themselves into a picture while I just watch out that they are glued well and flat, and stay within the overall theme. Sometimes these bits of paper can even change the theme and one can do nothing about it but go with the flow and bear mute witness. But that is a story for another day. Each torn piece of paper finds the right spot for itself like a jig-saw puzzle. Slowly the hazy idea in my brain gets created on paper. Each piece of paper torn by hand is unique in shape and size; thus, the collage creates itself to which I am merely a witness. So I believe collage is a kind of Zen. What does your Art mean to you? Do write in with your views and let’s compare notes. 


3 comments:

Kate said...

Thank you, Vijaya. You are too sweet. I was happy to have your input, your artwork and thoughts. I count you as a special friend. Kate (+:

Kate said...

I was thrilled to have you guest post at my blog, Vijaya, and you are so sweet! I also enjoyed having your thoughts on creative flow. You will be an inspiration to others. I'm glad to count you as one of my wonderfully creative artist friends, Vijaya. (+: Collage on...
Peace, Kate
P.s. I hope two of these didn't come through as I was having a bit of a problem posting earlier.

Vijaya said...

Thank you Kate for everything. I am so glad I found you.