The art and craft of pysanky

Archive for September, 2010

The Beauty of Slow

While working on my website yesterday I saw an announcement asking if I’d like to “get posts sent directly to you via instant messenger” and that started me thinking.  Just how fast do I need to get posts?  I mean, do I really need to know instantly when a new post is out there for me to read?

No one would deny that we live in a fast-paced world.  Everything today is fast… email and instant messaging make the postman unnecessary… microwaves cook our food in minutes…online shopping can have your purchase on your doorstep overnight…digital photos go instantly from camera to computer to printer…and the list goes on.  We just don’t know how to slow down anymore.  Nor do we want to.

It feels like life speeds up with each passing year and there’s no way to stop it.  And yet I find I crave the slowness found in the art of pysanky.  Everything about it is slow, from melting the beeswax in the kistka to waiting as the egg sits in the dye to working layer by layer, color by color toward the finished egg.  My soul grows bigger as I watch a design emerge, wrapping another egg in elaborate colors.

This is where slow is beautiful.  And that’s a good thing.


The Artist in Community

Truth be told, I love stealing away to my workspace alone, leaving the rest of the world behind as I immerse myself in the work and play of wax and dyes and eggs.  There is something healing and soul restoring about the quiet, repetitive actions these eggs require.  I can’t seem to get enough time alone like this so when I do, I enjoy it thoroughly.

Interacting with other artists is just as valuable to my soul, yet I don’t make nearly enough time for it in my life.  Why is it so hard for me?  I understand the value of community, I enjoy learning about the art and soul journeys of others, and I get inspired when I hear other artists speak with passion about their art.

I realize I love my comfortable “alone” zone so to push against these introverted leanings, I meet monthly with other artists.  In the Sacramento area, the Covenant Artists meet on the third Thursday of each month and artists of all media and skill levels are welcome.  This group exists to share, discover, and learn about ourselves, our art and our God.

If you would like to stretch your artistic side, I highly recommend connecting with other artists.  Isn’t it time for you to step out of your comfort zone too?