The virtual studio of author and artist Stephanie Rose Bird brings together artistic process and reflection with the literary arts in a manner that is designed to be instructive and inspirational.
Sunday, December 25, 2011
An Artful Christmas
In the week since I have been away from the computer, I have had time to observe the beauty of the changing of the seasons and celebrate Yule. Next I set out to create an artful Christmas. By artful, I mean packing the holiday with as many artistic pleasures as possible. There is so much artifice today in Christmas that I figured art could counteract. Christmas songs from the 30s until today are quickly becoming the exclusive domain of television and radio commercials. I tried listening to some "Christmas" music on Pandora and had to stop short because it reminded me of a tacky Old Navy commercial. So, what to do to keep the spirits bright? First of all, I've watched less television and instead started listening to incense. I've been listening to a pine blend to see where it takes me and what it has to say to my soul. It seems to want to take me to a mythical and mystical outdoor wonderland, filled with all sorts of whimsical creatures, trees and mystery-filled forests. Listening to incense, is an ancient Japanese art form that I have been meditating on for several years. I set up classical still life set ups of fresh fruits in silver bowls or glass bowls and then put out dried fruit, pods, cinnamon sticks, herbs and berries in a wooden bowl. According to Feng Shui, I add further earth elements by having a paper white lily growing in soil on the table, reminding all of the coming of spring. I keep one or two sweetly scented essential oil candles burning along with the pine incense, which is burning in white ash in a handmade ceramic listening bowl. I've dusted off the photos of the family and ancestors, and turned on all the lights on the douglas fir. The wooden kinara for Kwanzaa is another little still life with the wooden vessel for libations, waiting for tomorrow. Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque music with its great complexities sets a musical tone and yes, there is a good wine and a variety of chocolate waiting to serve as a treat. With all senses fed, Christmas this year is sensual and creatively satisfying and yes--it will be an Artful Christmas.