• Shreyasi Das

Foraging Inspiration 🌱 - June Newsletter

Dear Friends,

April and May were months of consuming, preparing, learning, listening... I turned 30 in May which was heavy and exciting. I have been doing a lot of journaling and art projects for myself, rather than focusing on making products for my shop. Apologies to you, my friends, if that is what you have subscribed to this newsletter for! But if you are here to follow my artistic journey, then I have lots to share with you :)




ART THERAPY

The images above were the results of a group art therapy session with Hey Shauna, a lovely art therapist in Victoria, B.C. This one was from the Zoom workshop entitled Sensory Body Mapping. A silver-lining of the pandemic is that it has opened up virtual opportunities for people across the world to take part in. Here is a description of the workshop in Shauna's own words (from her website):


This workshop is NOT about drawing, painting (or otherwise creating) a picture of what your body looks like, or how it’s shaped. What you will make isn’t going to look like you. This workshop IS about pausing & giving some thought to our bodies as experiential. Being curious about the ways we can translate and express the experience of being in our bodies onto paper. Into the ways that we make marks, and engage with shapes …with layering, and connecting. Being curious about the different ways we can use our art materials… whatever we have… to explore sensation, colour, tension, movement, discomfort, stillness, breath, shifting, emotion… anything, big or small, that we FEEL. We spend so much time thinking about how we SHOULD feel… and comparatively little on how we actually DO feel. So that’s what this will be. A conversation of sorts with your body.


Another image from my response to one of Shauna's prompts during the session.

Do check her out at heyshauna.com or explore art therapists in your area if you are interested!



JOURNALING

Starting or ending my days with some hand-written journaling has been magical. I sneak in some amateur poetry in there. Sometimes I give myself prompts. My favorite one so far has been What's on your bedside table? I made it up myself, but I'm sure others have written about it before. Here's an excerpt from my own journal pages (sharing this with you nervously):

I have a sphere of of light wrapped in a peach scarf. In dreamy light I read about foraging. The teachings of plants and songs offered by a Bengali poet to his King. I have a black string of metal-encased pearl, red coral, and garnet that fell off my waist. It holds prayers from my Mother to keep me safe, but it became threadbare from a chapter well-lived. I wear it around my neck now, and will keep it safe till I can see my Mother again. She will tie it back around my hips in an unintended embrace.

Have you ever thought about what treasures you keep next to your bed? What do they mean to you? What stories do they hold?



ARTIST DATES

Have you heard of this? I learned about it from a friend who is reading The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. I haven't read it myself but I find the concept interesting. The author describes Artist Dates as "assigned play". A "once-weekly, festive, solo expedition to explore something that interests you". In essence, it is creative ME-TIME. It might be as simple as walking through a forest or an independent book store. Of course, in pandemic times, our options are limited.




But how about taking your art supplies out into a park and doodling? Don't bring too many supplies or you'll spend most of the time trying to decide what to use. Limiting your materials to one surface and one mark-making tool is a great way to encourage yourself to just MAKE.



MY OWN ARTIST DATES


A virtual Pojagi lesson offered by my local stitching guild, North Shore Needle Arts. I love the translucency of cotton organza. And the feel of ripping fabric with your fingers!



A Community Stitch Challenge with TextileArtist.org and teacher, Sue Stone. My response was of Chickadees in Love, based on the drawing I made for our wedding invitations. I made this just in time for our 1-year anniversary. Love in the time of Corona!



A trip to a local bookstore, Companion Books. My ulterior motive was to meet the resident bookstore cat, but unfortunately, sweet Buddha had passed. Instead I met the delightful shop owner and employees. I'm reading Braiding Sweetgrass now and I HIGHLY recommend it! So beautiful.




So now you can see that I've been working on restoring my cache of inspiration. By July, I hope to use this as fuel and bring to you a finished weaving and some miscellaneous goodies made from my favorite materials -- scraps! If you would like to talk to me about artistic explorations or join me virtually for some online art sessions, please feel free to e-mail me! Until then, take care!


Love,

Shreyasi Das

Ezdee Art Studio