Let’s get into the real meat and potatoes, shall we? Creative flow…how it happens.
Generally, I have a hard time focusing unless I’m doing art or writing. These are the two things that give me the most joy. A key ingredient to my focus and flow is music. This has always been a partner to my art. Back in college, when I was painting for hours at a time, it was absolutely necessary for me to have a selection of music on hand. Once I found THE song that was working for me that day, I would play it on repeat until I got sick of it. It wasn’t so much that I was listening to the song in detail, but that something about that piece of music fit the day’s mood or intention.
Lately, I’ve found several Christian songs that scratch the itch. Pretty much anything by Lauren Daigle, Mercy Me, or a few selections from Casting Crowns. Classical music can also take me to a flowy place…pieces like Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings and Aaron Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man…both of which I first heard in concert halls.
I’ve never been sure the music was important beyond being inspirational background noise, but as I’m meditating on God, it makes sense that the message in the music is a Christ-centered one.
This series of posts started because I decided to undertake meditative and prayer-centered paintings for Advent. There are a lot of reasons I’m doing this, and I’ll get into those specifics in the next post, but music is a key part of being able to get into that creative place quickly and there’s rarely a day that a painting doesn’t “stick” if I listen to something that inspires me.
7 thoughts on “Art as Prayerful Meditation #3”
Wow I didn’t know you had this other blog.
I also find flow when I’m doing “my arts” which in my case is scrapbooking, and also reading. It’s a good experience, although sometimes I feel stressed because I can’t stop thinking I should be doing something else…
So, have a good time and enjoy your activities with undistracted attention on what matters to you 🙂 Lots of kisses!
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Thank you, Isi! I appreciate you taking the time out to read and comment! Creative time is so important to all of us. I’m glad you can find some flow. I’ve worked really hard at not feeling guilty or distracted by taking this time. I’m a cranky bear without it. lol
You are welcome 🙂 (just posting this comment to let you know I’ve checked if you replied haha)
You know, I’ve noticed that reading the bible is now “a thing” in the US, like I see other bloggers who do it. There’re even bibles with quotes for coloring! Here that doesn’t exist (yet) and I find it difficult to assume. Let’s see if I can explain myself: recently I feel religion (of any kind) as a radical way of thinking for many people, like “my religion is the only truth and those who have another faith should be punished/banished/whatever”, but I know for sure you don’t think like that and that gives me hope.
Anyway, I have contradictory feelings about religions (from a non-religious person point of view), and all I wish is for you to have relaxation doing the activities you love, whatever they are – reading the bible or dancing all night long!
I definitely understand your feelings. I also agree that many folks have become far more radicalized. Since I’ve started this blog, I’ve found a lot more people who believe in love and acceptance as our number one job as Christians, which is heartening for me, too. I always feel the need to add a disclaimer when I talk about my faith to explain that I’m not one of “those” hateful people. Arrgh!
I think it’s fascinating that you can leave a song “on loop” until you get sick of it. Although, once I get in my creative “zone” I’m not sure how aware of my music I actually am — it sort of just exists in the background. I do think our brains are absorbing the background noise, though, and agree with you that if your intent is to be meditative, having the music fit the meditative mood is important and makes sense. I really like Lauren Daigle. I’ve found a few others on Spotify that I really appreciate (once my “list” plays out and it moves on to suggesting things to me, is my main source of finding new music these days – this is one of those features that I discovered by accident, technological granny that I am 😉 ). I’ve sort of crafted a short list for what I call my “positive mental health” list – Tauren Wells has a song “Known,” and Francesca Battistelli sings “The Breakup Song” (a little more upbeat/fun, so not as meditative), and of course, Lauren Daigle’s “You Say.” It’s amazing the difference positive lyrics can have on my mood.
Thanks for sharing your process with us!
I will definitely be checking out some of these recommendations! I always need new music, so this is perfect.
I don’t know that I really get sick of a song once I”ve put it on repeat, but at some point it doesn’t “fit” where I am anymore. I don’t hear everything while I’m being creative, but I do tend to zero in on one or two points in the song that I find especially moving. So for instance, I’ve had Lauren Daigle’s “Noel” on a LOT. There’s one section in the chorus that I hear EVERY time because I find it so touching:
Come and see what God has done
The story of amazing love!
I adore that. I think that’s also where music plays into meditation. I can meditate on that message, or that most applicable part of the song. It becomes a kind of prayer. I need to write more about this facet. lol
Yes! I’m noticing more and more snippets of song lyrics that just stay with me – this season it seems to be “the thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices” – I have been so tired — not physically, but emotionally tired — it’s a different kind of tired, but it is the “thrill of hope” that keeps this weary soul rejoicing and putting one step in front of the other. We have so much to offer one another when we “keep it real.” Thanks for always keeping it real, Andi! 🙂