22nd September 2023 – Midleton, Co. Cork – Culture Night
I am so delighted to be taking part in Cork Culture Night this year. This is a wonderful tradition of free cultural happenings that happen all over the county on one Friday evening every year in September. This year Culture Night is Friday 22nd September.
I will be joining Susan Herlihy for Cré agus Ceol (Clay and music) at Susan Herlihy Ceramics and Gift Gallery in Midleton (where she stocks many of my books). She invites the local community to come and help handbuild a massive pot from local clay. As a potter’s daughter (and granddaughter and niece) this is right up my street.
Says Susan: “The focus is around the journey of clay. Where it has come from , where it has been, how we engage with it and where it is going. To engage with clay on its journey, I find is quite profound and poetic, akin to the rhythm of musical sounds and silences.
I am inviting the community to create a large pot from local clay. Clay that I’ve gathered , that has fallen from the Ballinwilling beach cliff. Clay that has become adrift and now finds itself being made into a pot by many hands, to be displayed in the Midleton Library.”
Trad music from 6.40pm – 7.15pm
Darius, geographer, a talk on where clay comes from. 7.15pm – 7.35pm
Jennifer, archaeologist, a short talk on ancient pottery 7.35pm- 7.55pm.
Trad music 8pm – 8.45pm
I will be reading from my book She of the Sea in the clay room over the course of the evening whilst people are adding their clay pieces to the pot. The pot making will be open for the duration of the evening.
It will be a very informal evening. The kettle will be on or wee drop of wine. The evening closes at 9pm.
Cork Culture Night https://www.corkcity.ie/en/culture-night/Peaceful Patterns – Sacred Seeds
This semester will be focused on meditative pattern drawing in black and white to calm the mind and inspire the soul. Each week we will focus on one sacred seed: a basic shape found in nature – dot, circle, arch, line, branch, star, spiral… We take this simple form…and create complex beauty with it.
All you need for the course is a pencil, pen and paper. (On sign up you will receive a list of art material recommendations for you.)
Semester 1 consists of:
- An introductory video emailed to you by 4th September
- 6 x 75min live sessions via Zoom (plus recordings)
- Sessions are on Tuesdays 7pm (UK time) – Sept 12 & 26, Oct 10 & 24, Nov 14 & 28
- Dedicated Facebook group – Creative Sanctuary – ( a Discord group if there are 10+ folks requesting)
- Spotify playlist of music to draw to
- Supplementary book list
(NB For those who have done previous courses with me, this course does not have written course materials, it is taught solely via the live calls.)
Price: €80 (€60 early bird till September 1st)
A small number of reduced fee places for those in need – email: email@example.com with your request.
(There is no guarantee that any of the semesters will be offered again, so grab the opportunity to join now if it calls to you.)
Peaceful Patterns – Sacred Seeds
Peaceful Patterns are a creative form of meditation in pen, which repattern our neural connections as we create beautiful designs on paper. The sessions combine mindfulness with simple, repetitive drawing activities to calm and centre us. Drawing this way promotes a trancelike meditative state, boosted self-esteem, joy and empowerment. Whether you’re an experienced artist, meditator, or have no previous experience in either, this practice is for you, especially if you struggle with getting bored during traditional meditation, or often find yourself at a loss knowing what you want to create.
Each class Lucy shares the seed of one of these patterns, which, when initially seen, can seem overwhelming in their complexity. We will explore where and how these patterns appear in art and nature, as well as their spiritual and energetic properties. Then, after a gentle grounding exercise, she takes you step by step through the week’s technique, then we draw together. She provides differentiated content for different levels of artistic experience: from absolute beginners to professional creatives, you will learn (and discover) ways to expand your patterns further.
In Peaceful Patterns we allow the image to emerge through the creative process, shape by shape, rather than needing to plan the image in advance, or wait for inspiration to strike. This gives you the opportunity to draw – any time, anywhere – even when you feel you don’t have any ideas.
Whilst the focus is on the creative process, an attractive final product encourages us to repeat the process and boosts self-esteem, giving us the feeling of “I did that”. Whatever your starting level, this course builds artistic skill, sharing technique, to improve your drawing, shading and pattern-making abilities, giving real transferable skills.
“Similarly to meditation, art can help us tap into a deeper and more quiet part of ourselves.
We enter into a state of flow and present-moment awareness.”
Says Lucy: “I have come to call the experience created by Peaceful Patterns, NeuroCalm.
“As a neurodivergent woman, I struggle with managing vast waves of anxiety. Drawing is one of the best ways I have discovered to calm my anxiety, it focuses my mind, whilst allowing me to breathe more deeply, regulating my nervous system in an activity that can be done in most places and times. Hours can go by as I draw, at times where I am otherwise struggling to get through minutes. As a result, I am creating at times when I would otherwise be too anxious to focus on anything.
“Over the years I have enjoyed various drawing techniques including Zentangles, Neurographica, mandalas, intuitive doodling, and what I have learned from many women artists’ books. This course borrows from these practices and develops on them.
“I bookend my day with these Peaceful Patterns, doing them on calls, in waiting rooms, on planes and when too anxious or stuck to function. Done whilst listening to nourishing music or a podcast on my headphones, I get a real break from my thoughts, feelings of overwhelm. They are a fabulous antidote to scrolling through social media or games on the phone. I have immersed myself in black and white drawings the last couple of years, seeking out soothing forms based on natural structures.
“Over time I have discovered that these Peaceful Patterns have a second calming effect: looking back over them gives me both a sense of achievement, but also relaxing me, allowing me to breathe more deeply, as my eyes follow their twists and turns, in what autistic folk call ‘visual stimming’.”
“According to a study published in The Arts in Psychology, coloring, doodling, or free drawing results in significant activation of the medial prefrontal cortex and triggers the release of dopamine that helps you de-stress and boosts your mood, and feel more creative and better able to solve problems.
Some clinical implications include: the recognition that art-making evokes reward pathways, that even short spans of artistic activity can improve self perceptions of creative abilities, and, art-making could be a way to regulate mood, addictive behaviors and evoke a sense of pleasure. “
Jeff Haden, Inc.com
Benefits of Peaceful Patterns
This form of creativity is deeply healing to the overwhelmed and are balm for you if you are burned out, stressed, anxious, depressed or frantic.
- They improve focus and mood, calm the bodymind, improve hand eye coordination and give the thinking mind a rest.
- Peaceful Patterns help us experience the beneficial psychological state of flow.
- They offer the opportunity to draw when you don’t have any ideas.
“This process feels so deep and yet happens so quickly. Love it! Thank you, Lucy.” C.L.