Blog Writings by Jenny Hahn
Art is my profession. Yes, I’ve had the joy of earning some income from varied creative pursuits throughout my life, from caricature drawing to editorial illustration to graphic and web design to fine-art painting. All of these are valuable and have created value in the lives of others. But to me, the most meaningful way I’ve used art in my life arose out of my own need for inner healing and growth. Making images is the outlet that keeps me sane. For the last 20 + years, art-making has been my pathway of choice for recovering wholeness in very personal ways: from healing from an eating disorder, supporting me through life transitions, working with debilitating self-doubt, and simply facing the challenges of day-to-day life.
I just completed a very special painting that warms my heart just to look at it. Lately I’ve been enthralled with painting goddess-type figures who demonstrate embracing their truth, grounding in peace and radiating their power from the inside out. Shanti is a Sanskrit word meaning peace or bliss. Luna, in several languages, refers to the moon.
It was a winter evening as I sat cross-legged on the floor in the middle of a room full of fellow yogis, just a few short months ago. We had shared many hours of silent meditation as part of a New Years retreat, and our instructor began to close out the day by leading us in a metta practice (“metta” is a Pali word meaning “loving-kindness”, and refers to a meditation on compassion.) He used guided imagery, painting a cosmic picture in our minds ...
People often ask me what inspires my paintings. I usually answer that the images come from within, guided by my own meditation practice and the impressions that arise from inward contemplation. In fact, the very act of painting is itself a meditation for me that requires deep listening, surrendering and trusting the process.
But that's not the end of the story. I am inspired outwardly by the world of nature and the colors that I perceive through her ...
Love is not just a feeling.
It’s also a state of being. An intention. And one that can be cultivated regardless of what’s going on on the outside.
Attention. Openness. Acceptance. Curiosity.
Are these not forms of love?
I just recently completed this painting “Moonrise” as a commission. The moon is believed to represent feminine energy, cycles of life, renewal, and illumination. In this painting, a glowing celestial body rises with symmetry amidst trees and twilight hues of purple and fuchsia. The colors of dusk bring a softness and whimsy, with twinkling stars shining in the distance. My hope is that when you view this painting you feel an inner calm that evokes stillness.
'Becoming' is a process of growth… of coming into being. It is more than a superficial word of flattery (that suit is very 'becoming' on you…) It is a recognition of something new being born. Often the process of becoming is slow and is not without pain or loss... we must let go of what we were in order to become who we are becoming. Take an inside look at a painting that reflects life's transformations.
As a process painting workshop facilitator, I teach others how to use painting as a tool for mindfulness and self-discovery. But beyond the workshop setting, how can we show up to our most authentic selves in our day to day lives? Here are some suggestions of mindful and creative ways to take care of yourself (a there's a downloadable PDF file is included)...