I met Lynn Weekes Karegeannes last August when we were training as SoulCollage® facilitators with Catherine Anderson. We've stayed in touch since then and developed a friendship that I've come to value greatly. Although we live nearly five hours apart, I've had the opportunity to visit her a couple of times for lunch and tea in her lovely Asheville, NC home where she has also created a beautiful studio space. Lynn is a seeker, encourager, and generous sharer of knowledge, resources, and inspiration. My creative and spiritual life has been enriched by knowing her and I'm pleased to introduce my friend Lynn and her art to you today.
Can you describe when you first began to understand the relationship between creativity and your spiritual life?
I think I first began to realize that there could be a relationship between creativity and my spiritual life years ago when I took several art workshops from artist, Heidi Darr Hope. The first workshop I took with her was a mandala workshop. She began the workshop by having us, the participants, explore a dream using techniques she had learned at the Haden Institute. We then went on to create mixed media mandalas. In this mandala making we could, if we wanted, explore themes that had come up in the dream discussion from the start of the workshop. The whole process felt very deep to me and the mandala that I made that day is still one of my favorite creations. I point to these art workshops with Heidi as being spiritually significant to me, not because we discussed any specific religious or spiritual concepts when we were together, but rather because I felt like I was in a flow of creation. There was a force or spirit larger than myself at play in the room and it lingered with me even after the workshop was done.
Who would you say is the artist or teacher that has influenced you the most?
Along with Heidi Darr Hope, the teacher and artist who has influenced me the most is art therapist, Susanne Fincher. Around 2009 I learned about Susanne and her work with the mandala as a healing form of art making. I was intrigued by her approach to this ancient art form, having been first introduced to it by Heidi, so I enrolled in her program of study. I completed her three-part certificate program called Mandala: Holistic Reflection of the Self in 2012. Her program of study introduced me to the deep symbolic meaning that can be held by colors, numbers, shapes and line. It introduced me to the thought and writings of Carl Jung. The exploration of this new-to-me realm of thought, study, and art-making impacted my life in a rich and spiritual way. We as humans are each distinct and unique and are all connected in a great web of meaning. I started along the path of exploring these thoughts when I studied with Susanne.
What’s the biggest challenge for you in your creative spiritual life?
The biggest challenge for me in my creative spiritual life is consistency of practice. This is why my goal for 2017 is to explore various creative spiritual practices and see what “sticks.” I want to draw mandalas, create mixed media mandalas, make assemblage shrines, and more. I have been encouraged to realize the importance of regular practice by two beautiful quotes that have come into my life. The first is a quote by the well-known 13th century Persian poet, Rumi.
Work. Keep digging your well.
Don’t think about getting off from work.
Water is there somewhere.
Submit to a daily practice.
Your loyalty to that
is a ring on the door.
Keep knocking, and the joy inside
will eventually open a window
and look out to see who’s there.
The second quote that came my way is by the 20th century Chinese Buddhist monk, Sheng yen.
Be soft in your practice. Think of the method as a fine silvery stream, not a raging waterfall. Follow the stream, have faith in its course. It will go on its own way, meandering here, trickling there. It will find the grooves, the cracks, the crevices. Just follow it. Never let it out of your sight. It will take you.
I have these quotes tacked to the board above my computer, so I see them daily. They are reminders to me that regular practice, including starting over again and yet again when I falter in this practice, will reap rich rewards.
Lynn Weekes Karegeannes lives and works in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina. She enjoys her time as a homemaker, artist, crafter, and creative arts workshop facilitator.
In 1999, Lynn moved back to Western North Carolina, to the town of Asheville, after having spent many years elsewhere. A native of South Carolina, Lynn has lived in various states of the U.S. and in France. She is happy to now call Asheville home.
Lynn completed studies in Art History with a Bachelor’s degree from Rice University in Houston, Texas and a Master’s degree from The University of Texas at Austin. She threw a library degree into this academic mix in 1997.
Lynn has explored art and craft for herself in numerous different media. She has worked with beads, wire, polymer clay, shrink plastic, paper, paint, found objects, and lots of glue! Lynn enjoys nothing more than spending her time with family, friends, creating, and drinking tea!
Visit Lynn on her blog at http://mindfully-made.blogspot.com/
As I walk my own path of spiritual growth through creativity, I’ve met many kindred spirits along the way. In the Conversation is a series of interviews with these soulful voices who I believe exemplify what it means to be a creative contemplative.