Living Graciously

Elena Ray calls her daily work grace, because it keeps her “centered for the purpose she serves.”

Her work is a grace to others as well ~ certainly to me. Her exploration of sacred symbolism is created with an elegant hand, and her intelligence is ample. She may be somewhat apostate when she makes a statement such as:

The finger pointing at the moon is not the moon, though the elegant hand and the intelligence that animates it may actually be as important as the moon; and in fact, may be the moon.


Om Bird ~ by Elena Ray (used with permission)

I, too, hover between longing for the divine and reveling in my own divinity. We have often been reminded that the map is not the territory ( I like to say, don’t try to eat the recipe book). But since we are apparently divine beings wrapped in a physical package, it seems to me that the mundane and the divine are in a constant state of flux.

In fact, I have come to believe that all things serve a sacred purpose: to wake us up to our own divinity.

My work is a beneficence in my life, a grace that never fails to enlighten, challenge, and even entertain me (if that is not too profane).

In a profound way, art is a gift that I give myself. I go to my studio. I pick up tools and allow my mind to become engaged with a subject. I make the choice to keep working when I could do something else ~ watch TV, play bridge, paint my toenails. I am fascinated with how my life ~ through intuitive glimpses,  realizations,  discoveries ~ manifests itself into works that can be seen and touched by others, as well as my self.

I am a creator, and my creations teach me what it means to conceive, conceptualize, and birth something into being. Not worlds, perhaps, but with great enough intentions, who knows what I, or you, could manifest. At the very least, my intention is to continue being grateful for my life, and the art that enables me to take expeditions beneath the surface of that life.

That, for me, is living graciously.

You prepare the feast

A banquet of images

My full heart sings OM

Some of Elena Ray‘s galleries:


Absolute Arts


Absolutesnap (I love this: is it absolute snaps or absolutes nap?)


About CarolWiebe

Art entices, inspires, and delights me. Art is a vehicle for laughter, tears, wonder, enlightenment--taking me on a constant path of discovery. You can't say that about housework (except, perhaps, for the crying part).
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9 Responses to Living Graciously

  1. In a profound way, art is a gift that I give myself. This struck me so deeply…thank you for inspiring me, as always. By the way, I’m taking an art workshop this weekend! Today is day two, and I’m having more fun than I can express. It’s an Aquamedia Abstract Collage workshop, and my teacher is wonderful. I hope you don’t mind me sharing this with you…but you have had a deep impact on me, and my need to overcome my fear of creating art. I went to sleep last night with a smile on my face and beautiful acrylic/dye stains on my hands. This fills me with joy…lol. Thank you again for your inspiration.

    • carolwiebe says:

      I am incredibly grateful to have played a small part in your overcoming the fear of making art, but as I said before (and you resonated to), art is the gift you give yourself. YOU have done this and I am very proud of you. I, too, fall into bed with a smile and paint on my hands (face, legs, hair, arms). And when I share the art that made me smile, I know others will smile as well, because we are all connected. As for the overly critical, I doubt they smile very often. But because they are connected too, we feel the sting. Ignore the stings and concentrate on the smiles, I say!

      And, by the way, you inspired me to write that little haiku I added at the end of this post.

      A question: is your teacher Lana Grow?

  2. Ignore the stings and concentrate on the smiles…how wonderfully put! I’ll definitely remember that great advice (and I’m so happy I inspired your lovely haiku!). :~)

    My teacher is not Lana Grow…her name is Eileen Olson. Here is a link to some of her work: She’s offering a winter class after Christmas for nine weeks…I can’t wait to sign up!

    Thanks again for your kind words of encouragement and support…it truly means a lot. I hope to continue painting on a much more regular basis now!

  3. Deb Sims says:

    I think one thing that sets artists apart from others is our ability to be in touch with the divinity in all things and to bring some of that divinity to tangible form through the works of our hands and hearts. We are all divine beings wrapped in a human package and it is so easy to lose our divinity in the craziness of day to day life. As children we see no separation between the divine inside us and the corporeal world around us. Unfortunately as we grow up and learn the ways of the “normal” world we tend to lose the connection between the two and in so doing lose our connection to the divine. Allowing ourselves to make art reconnects the two worlds and brings wholeness to life. I rejoice with “Sweetest in the Gale” for losing her fear and allow her divinity into the world through art making! Hallelujah! You go girl!!

  4. Deb Sims says:

    P.S. Carol, your Haiku is beautiful–it made my heart sing Om.

  5. Dayna says:

    I love the idea of living graciously. Beautiful post.

  6. carolwiebe says:

    Sherri, Deb Dayna:

    I have perceived that you are all adept at living graciously (and joyously, I might add) !

  7. barb says:

    you were paramount in assisting me in overcoming my fear of letting whatever was inside of me come through as imagery and i am also extremely grateful and love you even more intensely than i did before as a result of the gift – i get goosebumps reading this post and looking at elana ray’s incredible work – she does indeed provide the gift of grace to the viewer and this post and all the wonderful comments has clarified for me the reason why i must create.

    may everyone live graciously!

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