Archive for March, 2010

Calling all dream artists!

A juried exhibition of dream-inspired art will be on display at the Crowne Plaza Resort in Asheville, NC during the middle three days of the annual IASD conference, with a reception for the artists and conference attendees. For details on how to submit entries, click here; or e-mail the IASD Arts Committee, for further information.


Original art work about or inspired by dreams (visual, film, etc).
Connection to conference theme “Bringing Dreams and Community Together” is appropriate but not required

Open to all media including painting, drawing, collage, sculpture, installation art, as well as film.

Deadline for entries

Submissions must be postmarked and submission fee paid by April 23, 2010

Nancy Richter Brzeski Dream Art Awards

Thanks to the generous support of Nancy Richter Brzeski, several monetary prizes will be awarded for the best Dream Art.  Winners will be chosen from among the artists whose work is accepted for the show, unless they specifically ask to have their names withdrawn.  For consideration for these awards, in addition to the required documentation for the show, artists’ statements must include the dream or the significant part of the dream that inspired the art. The award winners will be chosen by a special panel; criteria for selection will be originality, integrity, universality, and relevance to dreaming.  Winners will be announced at a gallery reception Thursday evening, during the IASD conference.

How to Enter

Visit the IASD website for information on entering and the application form.

I hope to see you at the conference and exhibition!
Sweet dreams,
Sheila Asato


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New Beginnings

Irish Blessing

Our family is a circle of love and strength.
With every birth and every union, the circle grows. Every joy shared adds more love.
Every crisis faced together makes the circle stronger.

This past week I became a great-aunt for the first time!  The look on my nephew’s face seemed to sum up everything that parenthood brings with it – exhaustion, awe, fear, deep love and an absolute sense of wonder.  Congratuations Kenji and Sanae on the birth of Luka Takumi in Argentina!

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Drip, drip, drip.

As the days become longer and more yellow comes into the morning light I can feel my soul stirring to wakefulness again.  It has been a long cold winter but warmer days are here and the ice is almost gone.  What beauty it can hold within!  Not much longer now before all the ice and snow are gone and we have mud and grass again!

Celtic Blessing

May the blessing of light be on you
light without and light within.
May the blessed sunlight shine on you
and warm your heart
till it glows like a great peat fire.

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By Janine Irisarri

In my Wednesday drawing class, we have just begun working with scratchboard.  This illustration is a typical example of my students work.

Scratchboard is an excellent medium for learning how to see shapes.  The high contrast between black and white, together with the compelling positive and negative shapes one can easily create with scratchboard is incredibly stimulating to both the eyes and brain.

Because one is removing black ink to reveal the white clay surface underneath in scratchboard,  it very easy to become confused, mixing up the figure in the foreground with the background.  Within this confusion lies one of the major keys to seeing like an artist.

The confusion one experiences while looking at these two illustrations on the left is referred to as a “figure-ground” reversal in visual perception.  Notice what happens when you stare at these two illustrations.  What do you see first?  After a few moments, does your attention shift to see something else?  Can you see both a face and a vase at the same time?  For most people, seeing both at the same time is impossible, hence the sensation of bouncing that occurs.

That sensation of movement back and forth is actually happening within your brain.  Notice how what happens internally affects your perception of the outer world.  This is a true in drawing as it is when we visit other cultures and “see” from from a perspective which we are convinced is objective and correct.  That couldn’t be further from the truth.  How we “see” the world around us us is always affected by the images that dwell within us.  This is true not only for artists, but also for anyone whether we are aware of it or not.

Visual processing is almost completely unconscious, except for those rare moments when we stop and try to really see.  Drawing is a wonderful way to become more aware of the wonder and beauty of the world around and within ourselves.

One the the secrets of drawing well is learning how to see both the positive and negative shapes, in other words the relationship between the figure and the ground.  If they are both interesting shapes, the entire drawing will be interesting.

Imagine what the world would be like if we were all able to become a little bit more aware of what we are seeing in the world, in each other and within ourselves.

Check back soon for more examples of scratchboard from class.

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Please join me for a full day Healing Collage (sm) workshop

Date: Saturday March 27, 2010  

Time: 10 AM – 5 PM

Location: Monkey Bridge Arts, 6801 West Lake Street, St. Louis Park, MN 55426

Cost: $80, includes supplies

Registration: 952-412-4786 or e-mail me at SheilaAsato@comcast.net

In this workshop, you will:

  • Make your own Healing Collage (sm)
  • Learn about the unconscious compositional structure of a Healing Collage (sm)
  • Practice using a special nine point grid to discover meaning in your collage
  • Watch a demonstration of how the Healing Collage (sm) can be a way of working with dreams even in the absence of dream recall.
  • Hear how the Healing Collage (sm) came about as a unique distillation of Japanese collage therapy and two-dimensional design practices.

To learn more about the Healing Collage (sm) process and to read my award winning paper on the relationship between Healing Collage (sm) and dreams, please visit my website.

I look forward to sharing this fun and interesting process with you.

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For my 50th birthday, I bought myself a copy of Jung’s Red Book.  Over the coming months, I will be exploring Jung’s journey into the unconscious as I review my own dreams in preparation for an exhibition I will hold at St. Mary’s University of Minnesota in October, 2010.

Having just finished menopause, I am taking this opportunity to pause at midlife and reflect back on a series of dreams, just as Jung did when he wrote the Red Book.  In response to my dreams I have been begun creating a new body of work which I hope will help me clarify the direction my life needs to take in the coming years.

Recently, the New York Times had an interesting article about the Red Book.  Click here to check it out.  Here is  another link with images from the Red Book exhibition that is currently on at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York.  I also found a wonderful video showing the evolution of Jung’s mandala’s here.  Go to the bottom of the list of presenters and you’ll find a link to the Oct. 7th talk on his mandalas.

How have you honored major transitions in your life?  What forms has your creative energy taken as you have moved from one stage of life into another?

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May the deep blessings of earth be with us.
May the fathomless soundings of seas surge in our soul.
May boundless stretches of the universe echo in our depths
to open us to wonder
to strengthen us for love
to humble us with gratitude
that we may find ourselves in one another
that we may lose ourselves in gladness
that we give ourselves to peace.

J. Philip Newell from his upcoming book Praying with the Earth

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