Posts for Tag : Creativity

The Perfect Circle – A Lesson from Art History to Apply to Riding

Four Winds Medicine Wheel. Print available at www.kirstenharrisart.co.uk

In his book Lives of the Artists, Georgio Vasari (1511 – 1574) recounts a story about the artist Giotto (1267 – 1337). He tells how the Pope was commissioning art and sent messengers throughout Italy to bring back samples or artist’s work. When the messenger visited Giotto’s studio, Giotto took a brush and keeping his arm close to his side painted a perfect circle in red paint with one brush stroke. The messenger thought he was being made a fool of. However when he recounted the ease with which Giotto had painted the perfect circle the Pope commissioned Giotto, recognising mastery. 

Whilst teaching in Japan, I took lessons in Japanese brush painting. One of the tasks my teacher had me repeat many times was to paint the Enso, the Zen Circle. The circle is painted as one brushstroke to express a moment when the mind is free to let the body create. It is a training in one’s ability to be whole in the present moment. The quality of the circle is altered by the quality of one’s presence. 

If you are a rider I would like to challenge you to pick up a brush and paint a circle. Can you paint a circle freely and with ease? I would suggest that the circles that you ride (if you ride circles) will reveal themselves to you in the circle you paint! 

Circles symbolise wholeness, infinity, eternity, time and timelessness, movement, the rhythm of life, unity, harmony, relationships, breath, Earth and our being in the Universe, connection…

By riding circles we have a way to connect to a wholeness within ourselves and our horse (or not!)

Why not give yourself and your horse a break for a bit to train your mind. If you cannot think or paint a perfect circle I don’t think it is possible to ride a perfect one! What do your circles look like? Practise painting circles with both hands. 

Good luck!

I am practicing my Zen circles…

LINKS –

Horsy prints and other artwork www.kirstenharrisart.co.uk 

For media downloads including Walking With Your Horse www.kirstenharris.co.uk

Share Button

Disillusionment and Creativity

‘Seeing and Seeding’ Photograph by Kirsten Harris 


The etymology of the word illusion comes from the word luminare or lumen meaning to light up, too illuminate, to shine brightly. The words illusion and disillusionment are ones that I believe have changed from their original pure meaning. 

I am using the word illusion to mean creative light and disillusionment to mean a dimming of the inner light, that creative spark within all of us that is most powerful.

I was musing with a friend as to why I was feeling out of my creative flow. I realised I was feeling disillusioned by many things, people, events and in the main feeling put off proceeding. 

As soon as I realised the word disillusioned meant a dimming of inner light, I felt the spark of creativity re-emerging, re-igniting like a pilot light guiding forward. My whole mood lightened up. Fuck it, no-one or no-thing is going to dim my creative light! I am alive now!

One of the meanings of the word illusion is fantasy or vision. If a population is in the main disillusioned we remain passive, obedient, sticking to the status quo. But if we see disillusionment as a calling to bring our inner light of creative visions into a future reality that does not exist yet, we have power. We become master illusionists! We become powerful magicians using our creative minds as instruments of change right now. Having a future vision or fantasy that doesn’t yet exist is, after all, how all creativity, invention and change comes about.

It may feel hard not to feel disillusioned looking at a planet on the edge of crisis and a population that seems, in the main, to only give lip service to caring. We rush around at high speed in airplanes etc consuming, working, doing our bucket list! Or we are stuck simply trying to survive in an expensive consumer society. 

I propose it is time for a creative FUCK IT list instead of a bucket list!

Fuck it I am not doing that anymore.

Fuck it I am going say NO!

Fuck it I am going to create a different vision for the future. 

Fuck it I am going to speak out. 

Fuck it I am going to find simple ways to change things in the environment that I exist in right here, right now. 

Fuck it, I am going to love getting creative!

Fuck it no-one is dimming the power of my light!

Our illusions are in fact not so much fantasy but fantastical vision of creative energy where mighty good power lies, where healing occurs and where miracles (may just) happen!

So as individuals and as a population are we illuminated or ill? 

This is a magnificent planet of immense shimmering light and beauty. That same light and beauty is within me and within you, within and without. Switching our creative light on one person at a time to be master creators of a healthy future for our planet is what I believe we need to learn do. We need to create healthy visions for our world and share them with each other! 

It is time to learn how to switch our inner vision back on! 

So VISION ON my friends…

What lights your creativity up and what’s on your fuck it list?

Written with love

K x

www.kirstenharrisart.co.uk – Art 

www.kirstenharris.co.uk – Alexander Technique 

We need bees! Beautiful bumble bee in my garden last summer. LOVE!
Share Button

Share Button

The Opposite of Creativity is not Destruction, it’s Stagnation!

The opposite of creativity is not destruction, it’s stagnation.

 

This thought came to me yesterday as helpful. 

 

Creativity is defined as the use of the imagination or original ideas to create something: inventiveness.

 

Destruction is defined as the act of destroying something.

 

Stagnation is defined as the state of not flowing or moving. The lack of activity, growth or development. 

 

My thought is that we as individuals are disempowered when we see the opposite of creativity as destruction. We feel helpless to do anything about terrible events like the destruction of the rainforests, for example. We are not encouraged to use our brilliant creative minds by this definition. How can I take on the force of destruction on my own?

 

However, if we see the opposite of creativity as stagnation, perhaps there is a calling here to see our innately creative selves more clearly, and to start to move from a state of not flowing or moving into activity growth and development in small ways that collectively might make a huge difference.

 

To me this change of definition is empowering. Are my thoughts and actions stagnant becomes a useful question. 

 

My interest in the brilliant Alexander Technique these days is how it informs and releases creativity in the individual. I truly believe the world needs more creative thinkers and a population that is not sitting passively stagnating!

 

If I look at the concept that the opposite of creativity is stagnation it becomes clear to me that Alexander Technique definitely encourages a deepened creative state as it teaches the individual to remember and reconnect with their natural and harmonious easy flow of being and encourages free movement through life in our deepened understanding of our own original inventive self.

 

****

 

My small act of creativity for our lungs of the planet – an Alexander Technique inspired ‘story’ book called The Daily Ease , A Walk in the Woods with the intention that all profits will go towards planting trees. 13 black and white plates that can be coloured in too. Suitable for adults and children

 

www.kirstenharrisart.co.uk (Art)

www.kirstenharris.co.uk (AT)

Share Button