Bloomington Open Studios Tour

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This weekend! FREE!! Visit over 30 artists studios in the Bloomington, Indiana area.

Studios are open Saturday, Oct. 21st from 10-6 and Sunday, Oct. 22nd from 10-4.

For details, including a list of participating artists and maps, visit the BOST website.

My art practice is nourished by my Reiki practice–and vice versa. If you’re curious about my “other work,” please stop by my studio this weekend and say hello. (There will be home made pie by the multi-talented David Ondrik!)

And if you can’t make it to the open studio, please visit my art site, beckytomato.com.

Reiki, art, and “soft eyes”

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Before starting to practice Reiki, I’d been practicing art for many years. This proved helpful to me when learning Reiki, because I understood the value of a daily commitment: with any regular practice, we strengthen muscles both physical and mental, and stay familiar with our tools. With daily effort, we worry less about “good” and “bad” practice, and keep the focus on consistently showing up.

One of my tools for art practice is something I call my “soft eyes.” This is when I step back and look at something I’m working on with my eyes slightly unfocused, which offers me a chance to see the work in a looser way. (I do this when looking at other artists’ work, too.) Problems–and strengths–in the image often jump out, and deciding what to do next is easier. Other times I realize it’s time to let something alone.

It took me a long time to notice this “soft eyes” effect, and it took me even longer to consciously employ it as a tool. Years later, when my Reiki teacher encouraged me to observe with “Reiki eyes,” it then took time to recognize that, for me, Reiki eyes were the same soft eyes I called on in the art studio.

Whether in Reiki or art practice, soft eyes encourage me to wait for pattern and meaning to emerge, rather than letting my mind carry me to a premature conclusion. The soft gaze of not-knowing can be an important space to hang out in, if slightly uncomfortable.

I sometimes think of art as something that I do “for myself,” and Reiki as something I offer “for others.” But I self practice with Reiki almost every day, and my art does find its way out into the world. (I’ll have some work in The Vault at Ivy Tech’s John Waldron Arts Center, in May.) Both art and Reiki help me stay aware of the big picture, while keeping a soft eye on the details.

 

 

BOST, June 3-5, 2016

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Orange Flower Healing is happy to support BOST 2016, the 5th annual Bloomington Open Studios Tour…. This free event offers the opportunity to visit the studios of 36 local artists–meet the artists, examine their materials and tools, and ask questions about what makes them tick. Then buy some art!

There’s a preview launch on Friday June 3rd, and studios are open Saturday and Sunday, June 4th and 5th. Details here.

BOST’s mission is to strengthen connections among artists, the public, and BOST supporters in Bloomington’s vibrant visual arts community.

Art is healing, ya’ll. I encourage you to get out there and see what the artists in our community are up to. Hope to see you there!