Monday, September 14, 2009

Art as a practice

I just saw the movie Julie and Julia.  I enjoyed it.  In case you haven't seen it, the premise is that a young writer named Julie Powell is working her way through all the recipes in Julia Child's French cookbook in a year and blogging about it (no, I haven't missed the irony that watching a movie about a blog got me blogging--something I haven't done in a month it seems).

My questions as I left the theater were simply these:
Can weaving be a practice that is done daily like Julie's project?  and what is the value in that?
Is a project like this a good way to learn focus?  Focus seems like a necessary ability for a tapestry weaver or nothing is produced.
How is it that I haven't woven anything since Emergence came off the loom in June?  How does life slip away like that?  We only have this one short and precious life.  To let the days slip by unnoticed is not the way I want to live it.
Tommye Scanlin is weaving a calendar tapestry--one block for every day in 2009.  This idea is perhaps starting to get at my nascent thoughts about focus and having a project that moves you along one day at at a time.  And her calendar tapestry is really interesting!

And there are more thoughts about art as a spiritual practice.  What else can it really be anyway?  Most of us aren't going to make a living off of it, and so I think we have to do it because it is what we love and making art is what helps us see our own soul.

Editor's note (okay, I don't have an editor, it's just me):  I wrote this post on the date you see but am just "finishing" it today... hmmm, lack of focus?  Too much going on?  I have finished a piece since this post.  Yeah!  Ready for another one.


  1. Rebecca, I actually just saw the movie last night with a friend. (Wasn't Meryl Streep wonderful?) I had a lot of the same thoughts that you had about focus, and about passion.
    I have always seen Art as a Spiritual thing. Like you say, why else do it?

  2. I am looking forward to seeing the movie and this blog entry puts it higher on my list. One of the things I love about weaving is the meditative part of the process. My mind is clearer because of it. I have thought of art as a spiritual practice when the artist approaches it that way. Or vice versa - that art can give a window into the spiritual condition of the artist. I did hear a priest speak at a conference once that he felt art only true when it was spiritual - where one lay themselves open to express what lies deep.


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