Friday, September 28, 2012

Creation Two Ways: A Visual Meditation

This video, Creation Two Ways, is really at the heart of what this new blog is about.  Although it falls into the mandala category (and can also be found on my other blog), the alteration process used to transform my  photographs into digital mandalas, is what Sacred Alter is all about...taking one art form and transforming it into another by a means beyond my natural capability.

Creation Two Ways, is a creative response to some of the material I am currently engaging with in an online course, Women on the Threshold, offered through Abbey of the Arts.   This week we have been immersed in the life, writings,  music and art of Hildegard of Bingen.    Mandalas are something Hildegard and I  share in common.

If you are not able to view the video on my blog, you can watch it here on YouTube.  It is best viewed in full screen if possible.  Enjoy!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Coyote Was Here

Coyote Was Here (Stacy Wills, 2012)

is Tom Sawyer
with a brush,
making work
look like fun.

is Br'er Rabbit
in the briar patch,
getting what he wants.

is a trickster, dressed
in grandma's clothes,
carrying magic mirrors
wherever he goes.

is strong medicine;
 a wounding -
that heals.

-Stacy Wills (9/23/2012)

Coyote Was Here was inspired by the amazing and talented story midwife and songstress, Trish Bruxvoort Colligan.  It was she who introduced me to Grandmother Coyote during Week 3 of Women on the Threshold, a twelve week,  community online class offered by Abbey of the Arts.  

Thursday, September 20, 2012

An Image for Visio Divina

Our Lady of Sorrows (Stacy Wills, 2012)

Visio Divina (Latin for divine seeing) is the practice of praying with images.  Like Lectio Divina (divine reading), it has four basic movements:

1.  Read the text...or in this case...the art, slowly.   Notice the colors, the shapes,  the lines, the subject.  What catches your eye first?  What feelings are stirred within?  What emotions are evoked?  What do you like about the image?  What do you dislike?

2.  Gaze...take a deeper look.  Engage with your imagination.  What is happening here?  What do you see?    Is there a deeper meaning that emerges?  Can you place yourself in the piece, and if so, where?  What do you see from that perspective?  Are there any memories that arise?

3.  Respond...with prayer.  Have you been reminded of a situation, an experience, a person or issue that you would like to lift in thanksgiving or intercession?  Offer your prayer to God.

4. into  the quiet center of your being, and  listen for what the  Spirit is saying. 

You can use any type of art (photograph, collage, painting, sculpture, etc.) in the practice of Visio Divina.  You are also more than welcome to use  this image to practice with.   If you do, I would love to hear from you. :-)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Seed Has Taken Root in My Heart

Welcome to the Sacred Alter - yes, that's "alter with an e" as in "alteration."   The art on this blog has been created using a combination of traditional mediums and then altering them digitally.  It is about the  art of transformation...the art of going beyond one's natural capabilities...something akin to with God all things are possible.

 In December of 2005, I found myself at a crossroads.   A decades long battle with depression coupled with a series of significant losses in my life had me reeling.   In the midst of that long, dark night of the soul, I yearned for a creative outlet, and finally found one in drawing and painting mandalas.    My first blog, A Magic Mom and her Mandalas is dedicated to that art form.

Mandala-making satisfied my creative appetite for many years, but then I began exploring  new ways of art-making such as collage and photography.  I discovered the digital world, and was able to do things with my art that went beyond the scope of my limited  capabilities.  Soon I was using a combination of traditional mediums plus digital alteration to achieve the desired effect on a fairly regular basis.

"from now on, my story lives in you" (collage, mixed media, digital 2012)

I have no formal art training, so I'm making it up as I go...learning on the fly, absorbing knowledge along the way, finding inspiration in all sorts of places...taking source images, such as photographs, collages and hand painted pieces,  into the digital play with them, layer see what they will become.

This  blog is the beginning of a dream...a seed has taken root in my heart...and I do not yet know exactly what will come of it, but I know it's there.     I invite you to take from these images what you will.  If you find meaning in them...or they speak to you in some way...I would love to hear from you.