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THE Pardes Studio Process

The art and writing tasks of the Studio Process access the unlimited potential of the Creative Source, support healing change and clarify life situations. Simple engagement with drawing, painting and sculpture serve as a technology of the sacred, available to anyone at any point in life, with any level of art experience.

Studio Process consists of forming an intention as a guide to art making, creating from a place of freedom and experimentation, allowing the image to lead by following its energy, and writing and reading a witness to the art alone or in a safe group environment.

The core Studio Process can be combined with a group or community intention to explore common issues such as our perception of others, visioning community solutions or creating community celebrations or rituals. We can explore and be guided in our personal lives as well as in our actions in the world. Pat's present work involves engaging with nature using the principles of the Studio Process.

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Intention: This is a statement of what you would like to receive from the Creative Source at this particular moment. An intention should be made in writing before each art making time. Prior to writing it is helpful to become quiet, focus on the breath, and relax, allowing the intention to rise up and make itself known. Intention should be worded clearly, in present tense, without using the word 'want'. For example: 'I explore my creativity' not 'I want to explore my creativity'. Intention can take several forms:

1. Inquiry: 'I receive information about·' I explore possibilities about·'
2. Engagement: 'I commit to learning·', I am guided in my relationship to..', 'I place myself in service to the Creative Source'
3. Celebration: 'I give thanks for..' 'I remember· 'I honor·' 'I mourn·' Ultimately, all intention is about coming into alignment with our deepest purpose. To do this we must be in agreement in body, mind and spirit in order to manifest our unique truth.

Art Making: Use any simple materials that you enjoy, follow the marks you make and your sense of pleasure until you feel a sense of completion. Simple art materials and tasks are described in Art as a way of knowing.

Witness: The witness is your chance to actualize your intention by turning your attention and full consciousness to what you have received in your art making. The steps are as follows:

1. Sit in front of your art quietly and just notice what it looks and feels like.
2. Describe in writing what you see as fully as you can without coming to conclusions.
3. Write down any feelings or thoughts, including judgments that come up for you.
4. Dialogue with the image or a part of the image; write it down as it comes, including any seemingly extraneous thoughts or tangents.
5. Check in with your intention; ask your image what it has to do with your intention.

Key Concepts:
Creative Source:
The life energy that is the birthright of every person. It is a vast unending, incomprehensible source of potential. It is called the Void, chi, ki, inner wisdom, the One, ein sof or God depending on the tradition. Art and writing are a means to tap into Source. Other means include prayer, meditation, music and movement.

Safe Group Environment: This is created when each person present is fully engaged in his or her own art process without interfering in the process of others. The no comment rule has proved very effective in ensuring safety.

No Comment Rule: It is important to refrain from commentary when we engage in Studio Practice with others, particularly when the group reads witness writing aloud. We allow ourselves to be touched by the words of another. Sometimes the Creative Source speaks to us through the words and images of others. We make no comment so each person speaking can hear the truth of his or her own words. We hold the space for one another with compassion and respect. We are the embodiment of witness consciousness when we do so. We do not deny any judgments or conflicting feelings, we simply do not speak them aloud. Such responses can be invited into our art and witness practice to reveal their meaning to us.

Witness Consciousness: This is the state one seeks to enter in any form of meditation, when judgments fall away, our awareness clears, our minds quiet and we are in a state of oneness with the Source. Witness consciousness is the reality that exists beyond the rising and falling of our thoughts and emotions, holding them without judgment.


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