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Articulation 6/11/04 - A Body of Art
June 11, 2004
Hi ~

Hello and happy week to you!

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A Body of Art: A Mini-Article

If you are in an Artella e-course or have been communicating with me personally over the past few months, you know that I've had lots of dental and oral surgery issues, one right after another. I was talking with someone about this experience and I jokingly said that the experience has been kind of like when one lightbulb goes out in your home and then all of them seem to need changing at the same time. But joking aside, the analogy of dead lightbulbs is a good one for talking about paying attention to our bodies. It's simple: when we burn out, we have to make repairs, or else stay in the dark.

The problem is, it's realllllly disruptive to stop creating and change lightbulbs...and it can be completely maddening to put creative ideas and projects on hold to engage in more extensive maintenance or bodily repair. To stay sane, most writers and artists have to learn a bit about separating parts of the whole. We learn to distance ourselves from the characters we're writing about, step back from a painting to get perspective, separate ourselves from harsh criticism, protect ourselves from rejection, and hibernate during creative lulls.

We acquire these skills, to the degree to which they help us. But because we thrive in our minds and imaginations, I think that it's often all too easy to separate our creativity from our bodies, and ignore our bodies altogether except when the "lightbulb needs changing".

For the past year, I have been participating in an art journal round robin, organized by my good friend and an amazing artist, Melissa Chapin. The topic of the round robin was emBODYment, and for a year, we have passed the art journals around, adding different artistic interpretations of the body experience to each journal.

Today, I just received the final journal I'll work in for this project, and I felt very sad as I realized I wouldn't have this outlet in place any longer. It has been a wonderful privilege to see all of the different ways that the artists in my group have interpreted emBODYment, and it's been a satisfying personal challenge for me to express my own reflections on this topic in art. Each month, I've challenged myself to go deeper into the topic, making the meaning behind my journaling spreads more important than the art techniques I was using. Last month was the most significant for me of all, as I depicted on my pages the ways in which I escaped from my body as a child growing up with multiple genetic health issues.

What the round robin has taught me is that there are always more levels to explore in art, and more levels to explore in understanding the body experience, too. This project stretched me to use art to express my experience of body. Perhaps the next step is to use my body as a way to express art?

It's an interesting inquiry: how can I make writing and art become more physical experiences? Can I integrate my body more when I write and create art, so I see more clearly see its role in my creativity? And if I succeeded in doing so, would I have a new respect for my body and all it does?

After all, I think that sometimes I treat my fine paint brushes -- or even my beloved wireless computer keyboard -- better than I've treated my body! If we could respect our bodies themselves as the ultimate in "fine art supplies", rather than just these nuisancy vessels that get attention when aches and pains crop up, maybe better art AND better health will result.

To alter a popular phrase, perhaps we are not merely human bodies having a creative experience, but creative beings having a body experience. I see the final journal in this project not as an end, but a beginning to the continuing dialogue between my body and imagination. I have the feeling that both parties have much more to say.

"Good for the body is the work of the body, good for the soul the work of the soul, and good for either the work of the other."
~Henry David Thoreau

  • If your physical body could speak to you, what would it have to say about you?
  • If your physical body took the form of a piece of artwork, what would it look like? What symbolism would be inherent in the piece?
  • Is there a part of your physical body that needs attention? If so, pretend that you depend on this particular body part to write, create art, or do anything else you enjoy. Does anything shift in terms of what you need to do for this body part?


I'm pretty good at breaking down goals into little pieces, so my intention is to apply that to the idea of taking better care of my physical body. Perhaps you will want to join me in making slow changes, bit by bit, like using a view-finder to focus on one single piece at a time. This week's artsplash, Body of Work is a reminder for patience and practice.

You can find it at


1. Still time for Wealthcare! Our newest ecourse, "The Wealthcare Program: Radical Reform for the Right Livelihood of Creative Spirits" started on Monday, and it's going strong. Last night, participants enjoyed hanging out in a Chat Room with The Universe, and it was crazy fun! Several folks have asked if it is too late to join. Our doors are still open, so if you read the description on the workshops page and you feel a little giddy hop in your stomach, come join our amazing community, including Lani and Karen, quoted here...

Lani: "I suspect the advertising and marketing police would come in and shut Marney down in a minute if they knew what she was really up to, making us all feel gratitude instead of lack and misery...her courses create all kinds of magic and flowing energy and amazing stuff, so I suspect that we are about to go on the ride of our lives!"

Karen: "I am so grateful to you for recording that special meditation just for me. I literally had tears running down my cheeks during the meditation. It is so EXTRA powerful to have you mention the things I listed in my e-mail. Boy, the things you do for your students! It was a great meditation and something I had not thought of doing before -- mixing gratitudes and desires just that way."

Read more and sign up here!

2. YOU * U discount extended through June 30! If you think you have an eBook, e-course, or workshop inside you, the YOU * U e-course takes you through the entire process of developing, creating, facilitating, and marketing your own eProducts. Through a comprehensive textbook, step-by-step lessons,individual coaching sessions, teleworkshops, audio lectures, opportunities to test your offerings with focus groups, daily motivational messages, and eBook publication services, you'll finish the course with turnkey, ready-to-launch products you can sell immediately.

Donna McGuigan, who used the course to create an eBook to support self-nurturing in nurses, said:

"YOU * U has opened my mind to possibilities I haven't considered before. Marney's gentle & brilliant shepherding through the process provides a I am excited to witness myself exploring areas I never have before and bringing forward ideas seemingly out of nowhere!"

Sandi Clark, who used the course to create an eBook about finding balance in life, said:

"In YOU * U, Marney has excellent content that seems to intuit my thoughts and answer my questions before I even raise them. The exercises evoke more answers, and I find the journey toward my final product is supported every step of the way. YOU * U is gently brushing aside all obstacles that could stand in my way."

Joseph Porter, who is using YOU * U to create a series of eProducts related to spiritual practices and pursuits, said:

"Following your gentle (yet firm when needed) encouragement, I'm finally seeing a profit online... and still loving what I do. I can't thank you enough, Marney, except to encourage others to experience your magic."

You can save $100.00 off the course tuition through the end of the month. Are you interested? Let me know and we'll talk, by phone or email, or I will connect you with current participants who can speak about YOU * U from personal experience. I'd love to work with you!

3. e-Artella #e-6 is coming! We're a little behind, thanks to some personal "lightbulb changing" (see above article!) But it's coming very soon!!!

4. Weekly Poetry Contest Winners! Our winners of this week's poetry contest are:
  • First Place - Ann McGovern for "Animal Lover: A True Story"
  • Second Place - Naomi Sandweiss for "Motherhood, in Living Color"
  • Third Place - Sallianne Norelli for "I Am Not"
  • Fourth Place - Carole Trickett for "Bedtime"
You can read this week's winning poems right here...and I invite you to browse our Artella Poetry Gardens of Fame to read the poems of all Artella winners. Note that the deadline for this week's contest is TONIGHT at midnight, EDT!

5.Only seven copies of Artella 5 are left! There are only SEVEN copies of Artella 5, Winter Magic & Muse available...and then it will join issues 1, 2, and 3 as being sold out forever. If you want one of the last issues, be sure to pick one up!.


Our featured artist this week is Violette! If you are an Artella reader, you'll more than likely recognize Violette's vivid, whimsical work immediately -- she has an amazing, unique style that just exemplifies the creative spirit. I have given her "How to Life the Artful Life" poster and Inspirational Greeting Card set as gifts and they have been much loved!

We now have forty-six sensational sellers who are sharing their products and services in The Shoppes of Artella! Support these artists by visiting our charming village marketplace . Also, check out the Specials page for a list of all our sales, NOW conveniently organized into "continuing" and "new this week" sales.

My favorite discount? Save $63 off any of Lani Gerity's phenomenal puppets, including three brand-new puppets that just got posted this week! One of Lani's puppets, the Wise Woman, looks down over me as I sit on my computer and she casts wonder all over the room. Also, her Puppetmaking 'Zine is now available in an e-zine format for just $5.00!


Want to add instant depth and charm to your piece? If you're creating a painting, collage, or mixed media piece on matboard, add dimension with beads by sewing directly into the board using a sturdy needle and thread. Sewing beads, rather than gluing them down, adds a sense of elegance and exquisite detail to your piece...and it's easier than you think! Matboard is the perfect surface for stitching because it's strong enough to not buckle from pulling thread, but thin enough to make stitching go easily. Consider sewing beads to the board to highlight certain areas of the piece, or create an unusual three-dimensional border.


With Father's Day approaching next week, visit the topic of "fatherhood" in your writing. Take this topic wherever it goes for you. You could write literally about your father, to either share with him or not...or look at the "genealogy" of other things (ideas, objects, concepts, glances, dreams, worlds), or completely reinvent the meaning of the word, altogether. Allow yourself to go back and forth between the literal and abstract, finding connections in odd places.


1. has fantastic offbeat supplies for collage. Click the "Gallery" link for fantastic samples and project ideas!

2. is Marilyn Scott-Walters' world of paper toys and other delights. She provides free patterns for making all kinds of wonderful things. A real online gem.

Sending you a foot massage to cradle every step...

~connecting the dots,

Artella Founder/Editor

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