Mark Making 1

Last night in our markmaking class we explored making marks that re-define, that limit, that show discernment and nuance…

First, we each sat in contemplation of a value, or a tradition, that we had once loyally embraced…We sensed into its meaning, its heft in our lives, and we made marks from that sensing place to express it.  After a pause, we shifted perspective, and considered that former loyalty from our current view and life: had our loyalty become more nuanced over time? Were there aspects of that value that were no longer as strong, or possibly even stronger, for us?  From that shifted place, we made marks onto our first page…learning about that shift in our consciousness as we expressed it…

One group member recalls her loyalty to the way she was raised: contained, for her own “safety” in a male-controlled family.  Her marks of this family structure unwittingly emerged in a vaguely “house” shape.  The red spark was her lively nature…and the pink, encircling the red, was somehow containing and restricting her sparkiness, too.  She couldn’t be sparky and appropriately feminine too, in that world, even though that world supposedly existed to make her “safe”…[see image 1]

In making the second image from her current, shifted, perspective, the class member took water and toweling and rubbed out a lot of the constricting “house”, turning it into a smeared background. She tore the paper into a star-like form, rubbed it with pink pastel, and glued it over the former restricting image of feminine energy.  The red spark and the pink feminine energy seemed to merge—to integrate and shine—and the red sparky energy showed up in an arc-like “roof” overhead, rather than the patriarchal black house.  The marks that emerged for her showed a huge shift in perspective, and an integration of her sparkiness and her femininity that are a truly safe place. [image 2]  In our class, we are discovering how mark-making can be a process of accessing an abiding inner knowing, and cultivating friendship with it.

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