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    ARTS: Welcome to the Painting & Drawing Studio

    Welcome, Treeleaf Sangha, to the Painting & Drawing Studio of the Treeleaf Arts & Music Circle. I am glad you are here.

    What are we doing here? An artist's studio is often an occasional retreat from other goings-on, can be their workplace, and may be the focus of their life. We are going to try for somewhere in the middle--isn't that best? Imagine yourself at one of the big, old Zendos. It's late in the day, work practice is done, and you are at peace with the universe around you. Hear the door slide open, walk across the wooden floor to see monks creating zenga paintings as an expression of their realization. Breathe in the aroma of the forest and the smoke of a small charcoal burner. Can you put yourself there?

    Our purposes here are these:
    • To support our practice with painting and drawing, whether it is a pencil and a notepad, a brush and a canvas, or even digital art. All two-dimensional art is appropriate here, provided it does not lead us to question our vows or to violate our Precepts. If in doubt... please send me a private message and we can discuss it.
    • To provide a virtual gallery for our Sangha to demonstrate their creative practice, whatever their level of skill, in a supportive and validating environment.
    • To explore and discuss the contemporary and historical role of two-dimensional art in Zen and in Buddhism.
    • To learn about painting and drawing.
    • To encourage our Sangha to engage in art practice, at any level.

    In my early days of art, I often heard the statement anyone can draw (or paint)! I still hear it, but now I know it is true. All you need is a surface and something to make a mark. I also know that it takes trust and courage to put your work where others can see it. This is an art-encouragement zone, not the New York Times Arts section. I, also, have drawn people with a round head and two legs made with reversed Ls. After a lifetime of art, I still can't draw a line very well without using a straightedge. Erasers have a purpose, and I own a lot of them. I paint in oils because they stay wet a long time and I can push them around until they go where I want them.

    And on that note, a gentle request: For many, the relationship with their creative self is fragile and challenging. Some of us are quite tough, while for others, their creative spirit can be damaged or destroyed with a few words. No matter how well-intended, please refrain from outwardly critiquing the creative work that members post, and from giving unrequested advice or instruction. Praise all efforts. We all struggle with this, including me, so I will gently remind you if your posts are offering what has not been asked for in this regard.

    Please watch for new threads here in the coming days, and do jump in and participate. If you have suggestions for the forum, send me a message. If you are a seasoned professional, or are making your very first drawing using the stub a pencil you found in the back of the junk drawer under your hidden stash of Oreos, we want to see your art practice, and we want to hear your voice.

    Gassho,
    然芸 Nengei
    Sat today. LAH.
    Last edited by Jundo; 01-24-2021 at 02:26 AM.

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