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Calendrical Art: Exploring the Seasons through Meditation Sketches and Colour Mapping

automatic drawing calendrical art colour mappng sketchbook Dec 29, 2023

In November I began an online course with Kate Southworth through the St. Ives School of Painting. Calendrical Art is a year-long course focusing on the natural rhythms and energetic progressions of the Celtic calendar as we pass through the seasons. It brings awareness to the changes in light as our sunlit hours grow shorter from Summer Solstice to Winter Solstice and then grow longer from Winter Solstice to Summer Solstice. The balance between the two at each equinox is observed as are the half-days between the solstices and the equinoxes. This is a perfect time for me to tune in more attentively to my responses to both nature and to the world of mankind and all we have done both working with nature and working against nature.

In the video above I share some of the sketches and visual journaling I've been doing since late November.  Many of the meditation sketches are done with eyes closed.  Though they may appear bizarre and sometimes awkward, they've been revealing to me, opening a few doors into my past that have been hidden from sight for a very long time.  It's not that these doors open into rooms of deep, dark secrets ... not at all.  More often, they hold glimpses into times when I was filled with wonder, expectations and joy. I once had a strong belief that there was a magnificent purpose that was to unfold before me with each new day of adventure and inquiry, guided by my curiosity.

To survive the heartbreaks and the challenges of life, some of the doors to these feelings, thoughts and beliefs were closed and locked.  The doors became camouflaged and I had forgotten that the rooms existed.  Fortunately, not all of my faith and not all of my beliefs were hidden from me.  To make sure that I would find my way back to those rooms and see the doors through the camouflage, I was left with my abundance of curiosity.

As 2023 draws to a close, I understand more fully the experience of the afternoon wandering through Parc André Citroën.  It was there that I began seeing the hidden doors.  In the months that have passed, those doors have slowly opened, inviting me to remember an earlier time when my spirit and my heart were more connected. 

Though life is challenging and difficult right now, I feel strongly that 2024 will be a year of enlightenment for me and that through my art I will explore that which has been hidden. It will be a year during which I discover a way to be a better example, to share with others, perhaps teach others ways to live in harmony with the earth as well as with the spiritual realms.

I welcome these difficult times because they make me aware that I'm no longer turning my back to the lessons that can be learned.  The difficult times will pass, as they most often do.  On the other side of the darkness is the light.  The sunlight in our days is slowly growing longer.  The light in my heart is slowly growing brighter.

This time of contemplating, of allowing experiences to ferment and compost is welcome.  The spring will bring new life and it will find fertile soil for new artistic creativity and communication through a visual language.

After so many foggy mornings and dreary days, I awoke to a beautiful sunrise. 

Thank you for reading my blog.

Chris Carter




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