Category Archives: Seminars & Groups

Sneak a Peek into my Sketchy Life – back in the saddle . . .er studio

Fall semester for the Emeritus classes just started.  Found myself a bit rusty after not drawing for a few months . . .but nudity has a way of waking the senses .

Ink, Warm-up sketching
Charcoal
Charcoal

As I posted these sketches I realized the model did not have a hair on his body ANYWHERE . . . except on his chin.  Just goes to show how intently one looks at contours, lines and shadows when drawing, “nudity” isn’t the focus.

My favorite

The HeART of Spirituality Workshop – Finding Balance

How can we find balance in the chaos that surrounds us?  This was the question at the recent HeART of Spirituality workshops held at Tapestry Unitarian.

“As ye have faith so shall your powers and blessings be. This is the balance—this is the balance—this is the balance.” – Baha’i World Religion 

The participants picked images that represented spiritual balance and spiritual imbalance and made collaged Contemplation Cards.  Similar to tarot cards or vision boards these cards can be used in many ways.  

Can you tell which cards represent BALANCE and which represent IMBALANCE?  See all the cards on  CATNIPblog.

To see all the Contemplation Cards,  a picture of the participants and directions how to make the cards click HERE.

Ecclesiastes Chapter 3:1-8

  1. 1 To every [thing there is] a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
  2. 2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up [that which is] planted;
  3. 3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
  4. 4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
  5. 5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
  6. 6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
  7. 7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
  8. 8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

Sneek Peek at my sketchy life – 2 bares and a nude . . .

 . . . or 2 nudes and a bare . . .  or 3 nudes . . . or 2 bares and a bear . . .

at any rate, none of them wore clothes.

Bare 1
Bare 1, charcoal 10 min sketch
Bare 2
Bare 2, charcoal 15 min sketch

Ink Flare Pome By Shari Bonin-Pratt

You bared your soul.
The woman bared her bottom.
The monkey bared his soles.
Your sketches really got ’em

Bare 3
Bare 3, charcoal 3 hours & 15 min sketch . . . (he wouldn’t sit still)

The HeART of Spirituality & Wisdom Workshop

My computer crashed the day after our last HeART of Spirituality at Tapestry Unitarian Church. I’ve been cyberless for days.  I tried using my husband’s computer but it drrrrrrrrrove me crrrrrrrrrrrazy.  If I didn’t have the correct attitude it did weird and unexpected things.  I never realized how spoiled I was on an Apple MacBook.  

It also was weird . . . I missed YOU –  bloggers, subscribers, cyber friends – more than I missed the computer.

Now that I’m back on-line I can show you the Contemplation Cards everyone made.  Here’s a sample and if you want to see ALL 9 cards click here:

The HeART of Spirituality & Wisdom:

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The HeART of Spirituality – Virtues – Take 2

In case you need a refresher on what a virtue is here are a few:  Patience, Responsibility, Joy, Love, Compassion, Justice, Generosity.

 Can you guess the virtue* I need to work on?

Take a look at the second group of fabulous prayer/contemplation cards!  Here’s the first group – Take 1

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“Consider the virtues of the human world and realize that the oneness of humanity is the primary foundation of them all. 

Read the Gospel and the other Holy Books. You will find their fundamentals are one and the same. Therefore, unity is the essential truth of religion and, when so understood, embraces all the virtues of the human world.”

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” . . . we must endeavor to promulgate and practice the religion of God which has been founded by all the Prophets. And the religion of God is absolute love and unity.” – Abdu’l-BahaThe Promulgation of Universal Peace. p. 32.

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Another Spontaneously posed picture of those who were able to stay till the END.
Another SPONTANEOUSLY POSED picture of those who were able to stay till the END.

(Try out the exercise we did after making the cards.  Click here for the entire list of virtues and the worksheet on the TUTORIAL PAGE)

*The Virtue of Moderation 

10 packages, possible trans fats

Another Spontaneously posed picture of those who were able to stay till the END.
Another SPONTANEOUSLY POSED picture of those who were able to stay till  the END.

The HeART of Spirituality – Communion – Take 1

Ten amazing people made room in their holiday schedules and came to Tapestry Unitarian Congregation for . . .  TA DA!!!

A HeART of Spirituality workshop!

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 Seven spontaneously posed participants

Reverend Kent Doss talked a bit about the history of communion before making the prayer/contemplation cards,  The group was small enough for each person to share what their cards represented.  The evening  ended with a discussion about virtues.

Card #1 – The love of God, love of self – the spark within or what is holy to you

Card #2 – Virtues that connect you – unity with family, friends, colleagues and the world

Here’s the first group of cards and the spiritual principle of unity, oneness and love guiding my choice of focus for the cards.

Can you tell which cards reflect LOVE and which cards express VIRTUES?

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“All the divine Manifestations (Abraham, Krishna, Zoroaster, Moses, Buddha, Jesus Christ, Muhammad, and, in more recent times, the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh) have proclaimed the oneness of God and the unity of mankind. 

They have taught that men should love and mutually help each other in order that they might progress. Now if this conception of religion be true, its essential principle is the oneness of humanity.”

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“The fundamental truth of the Manifestations* is peace. This underlies all religion, all justice. The divine purpose is that men should live in unity, concord and agreement and should love one another.”  – Abdu’l-BahaThe Promulgation of Universal Peace

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*Throughout the ages, God has sent Divine Messengers known as Manifestations of God among them – Abraham, Krishna, Zoroaster, Moses, Buddha, Jesus Christ, Muhammad, and, in more recent times, the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh)—to cultivate humanity’s spiritual, intellectual and moral capacities.

(Click here for the second group of the cards . . .

. . . and the virtue I need to work on . . .)

The HeART of Spirituality

Too pooped to pop!  It was worth it!  I facilitated a HeART of Spirituality workshop at the Tapestry Unitarian church.  It’s my first post-retirement creative expression workshop.  Not sure if it’s the last . . .  

After so many years of having the luxury of giving workshops in my own office – with the set-up in place and all the materials on hand – I’d forgotten how much prep there is in doing a workshop off-site.  (I’ve also forgotten lots of other things . . . like what I had for breakfast).

Here’s a small sample of what we did and a few of the INCREDIBLE prayer/contemplation cards created by the participants (Unfortunately not all the photos I took “took”.)

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Take a look at a few of the Prayer/Meditation/Contemplation Cards!

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After making the cards Reverend Kent Doss led participants in a Wisdom Circle discussion of what spirituality means, how we define it and experience it in everyday life.

“Artistic talent is a gift from God and whoever discovers it in himself has a certain obligation: to know that he cannot waste this talent, but must develop it.”  Pope John Paul  II

“If a man engages with all his power in the acquisition of a science or the perfection of an art, it is as if he has been worshiping God in the churches and temples.”  Abdu’l-Baha 

Baha’i World Faith

 “Art exists for its role of permitting men to escape their human condition, not by fleeing it,
 but by possessing it. All art is a means of taking hold of human destiny.” Andre Malraux

A special thank you to Judy Clemmer for her help cutting out HUNDREDS of pictures and providing supplies.

 

 

Write on! – Alls fair

       Assignment from my writing class – An incident when you were treated unfairly or you treated someone else unfairly.”  I think I covered both . . .

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Unfair Treatment – Body, Mind & Me

By judy westerfield

     “More! More!” my mind screams at me. Her desire reverberates throughout my body. Once again, I’m caught in the middle ­ between body and mind, between hedonism and health.

     The three of us — body, mind and me — have been together a very long time. Over the years the mind has grown bolder, louder. To keep the peace I usually do what she says, even though it’s often based on want rather than need. Today is no exception.

     For the second time in less than an hour I retrieve the half-gallon carton from the freezer.

     “More! More!” She is unrelenting.

     “Calm down. “I’m scooping as fast as I can.”

     I ladle from the carton to the soup bowl — 1/3 less fat, 120 calories, $2.99 on sale — spoonfuls of vanilla, chock full of chocolate chunks and ripples of golden caramel. Hard, too hard. I like it soft, just this side of starting-to-melt. Ten seconds in the microwave will do it. I’ve perfected the timing.

     “More! More!”

     “You will just have to wait 10 seconds.” I can be firm.

     It’s creamy, cold, sweet and glides deliciously from the lips all the way down to the stomach.

     “Ahhhh. Mmmm,” the mind purrs and declares it to be an invention ranking right up there with the discovery of fire, the wheel and Tampax.

     The bowl is empty. She points out that there’s more in the carton, purposely left out on the counter, which is now just the right soft consistency.

     “120 calories per serving . . . 12 servings per carton . . .1,440 calories,“ she calculates. “We’ll just skip dinner.”

*   *   *

     “Why? Why?” My distended stomach cries out, pushing painfully against the waistband of my pants. Hips expand, thighs grate together, intestines grumble while impolitely relieving themselves of gas as I walk to the trash to throw away the empty carton.

     The body unfairly treated, yet again, by me. And the mind . . . she’s still screaming . . .

     “More! More!”

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Write on! “I deserve . . .”

  My  inner 7 year old slightly rebelled at this assignment from my new writing class.

A Serious Assignment for the Deserving

(prompt: start the story with “I deserve . . .”)

By judy Westerfield

     I deserve to be punished for my sins which are the following — Jennifer stopped writing. She mindlessly scratched Trotter, curled up next to her, behind his ears with one hand while the other hand pushed the eraser end of the pencil in her cheek — the part of her cheek she checked every day to see if she had a dimple yet. Like the dimple her best friend Carmen had.

     She read which are the following” out loud. Grown up words, and sin was a grown-up subject. A good way to start so the teacher would know she took the assignment seriously.

     Deserve . . . she thought hard, rearranged the pillows, propped herself up on the bed startling Trotter who rearranged himself and curled up again.

I deserve to be punished for my sins which are the following–

   #1. I ate my brother Josh’s Jelly Bellys and said he was lying when he told Mom.

  #2. I hit my brother Rick and told Mom he hit me

  #3. I watched my brother Sean kiss his girlfriend.

 Carmen agreed with her, it was a stupid assignment writing ten things you “deserve”. The teacher said it had to be about “deserve”, not about what mattered, like what you want or what you need. Carmen called it estúpido. And it was hard to figure out what qualified as a sin. Jennifer squinted wondering if calling the teacher’s assignment stupid was sinful.

   #4. I deserve to have my own room and not have to share it with my s stoopido sister Becca.

   #5. I deserve to be punished if it’s a sin calling my sister and this assignment stupid.

     She flipped open her i-pad and Googled “deserve” — “to merit or have a claim to reward, punishment . . . because of circumstances: to deserve a pay raise; to deserve exile.

   #6. I deserve a pay raise because I need more money to buy things.

   #7. I deserve to have my sister and brothers exiled so I can be an only child.

      She added exiled to Alaska.

   Trotter nudged her, rolled over on his back, signaling time to scratch him on the stomach and think some more — If her mom and dad really loved her they would give her everything she deserved. It wasn’t fair her sister and brothers deserved a bigger helping of dessert, or deserved to stay up late or deserved their own room, just because they were older. It wasn’t fair and proof her parents loved them more.        

   #8. I deserve to get a good grade for this assignment.

     Scratching Trotter with one hand, she tapped out a text message to Carmen with the other: need 2 mor deservs txt me yurz

how du u spel s stoopido

"There she goes . . . again"
“There she goes . . . again”

Silly with a Smile!

Decided to start the year out smiling.  So I am taking SILLY 3, an on-line class with Carla Sonheim.

Every day for a month Carla sends a stupid, er silly, worksheet out which you color, doctor, rearrange, derange, interpret in a stupid, er silly, way.  I took Carla’s Silly 2 and it was really fun being SILLY.  AND!  It’s cheap, er inexpensive.  If you’re interested here’s the link.

http://carlasonheim.wordpress.com/2010/12/01/silly-iii-registration-is-open/

Above is my first Silly practice worksheet.  I cut hair out from an Oprah magazine and pasted it on the fish, gave them big lips and colored the page with crayon and oil pastel.