This will be the last Sketchbook Sunday for now – while I’d love to continue, I need to put my energy into getting ready for the holidays and my upcoming skincare launch. It was an interesting experiment, and I realized I have to focus on one thing at a time or else I make myself crazy. Hopefully I’ll be able to continue after the new year. :)
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It’s a beautiful plant, but according to the Organic Trade Association:
“Cotton is considered the world’s ‘dirtiest’ crop due to its heavy use of insecticides, the most hazardous pesticide to human and animal health.”
“It can take almost a 1/3 pound of synthetic fertilizers to grow one pound of raw cotton in the US, and it takes just under one pound of raw cotton to make one t-shirt”
“Nitrogen synthetic fertilizers are considered the most detrimental to the environment, causing leaching and runoff that freshwater habitats and wells.”
“The cottonseed hull, where many pesticide residues have been detected, is a secondary crop sold as a food commodity. It is estimated that as much as 65% of cotton production ends up in our food chain, whether directly through food oil or indirectly through the milk and meat of animals”
If your cotton isn’t organic its most likely Genetically Modified. If you can, please support the farmers who have chosen to grow 100% organic cotton. In the very least, check those food labels and make sure that your cookies, crackers, etc. are not made with cottonseed oil, a bi-product of cotton processing.
Tonight I changed Sketchbook Sundays up a bit. I got a chance to check out Art Depth – a free, interactive art event held at the Crimson Lounge in downtown Chicago. This years party was called GODDESS, and was complete with live painting, a showing of Summer Romero’s gorgeous handmade + eco-friendly fashion line Gaianauta , ayurvedic and reiki healers, an impromptu photo studio, music & burlesque.
There were figure models posing and supplies to draw with. I had fun drawing the incredible bird masks + costumes the models were wearing. Since it’s been a while since I’ve done any figure drawing, I’m a little rusty – so I thought that this week I’d share some of the amazing art by featured artists Jessica Juarez and David Abed.
October is Chicago Artists Month, so there are lots of great events going on. If you live in or are visiting the city, be sure to get out there, support some artists & get inspired to create!
photos: © Elizabeth Paige Davison 2013
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It may not be Sketchbook Sunday, but I just found out it’s National Kale Day. I thought I’d share this drawing I did a while back for my dirty dozen / clean fifteen series. Kale is on of the dirty dozen list, so make sure it’s organic!
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As promised, the new 100% organic cotton shirts with my mudra design are ready.
I’m so excited to finally have these new, limited edition shirts in stock in my etsy shop. They’re dyed with low impact dyes (no heavy metals or toxic substances – and not derived from petro-chemicals), and enzyme finished, a process that makes the cotton extremely soft, similar to a vintage tee. [Edit: These tees are sold out – to get on the list to be the first to hear about limited edition items, sign up here: http://thelotusroot.com/free-updates/ ]
Each mudra represents a different state of consciousness, and they can also be done to create different states in the mind and body. They’re also used to prepare for, and to focus during, yoga or meditation. In classical Indian dance, they’re used to communicate entire stories without words. Each finger and hand position has a different symbolic meaning.
I’ve been interested in the grace and beauty of hand mudras in artwork and dance for a long time.
I became even more intrigued by them when I first started learning about their effect on the mind and body.
Around 2001 I stumbled upon a great book, Meditation as Medicine by Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa. It’s been a favorite of mine since then. I had tried many different forms of meditation over the years, and doing the exercises in the book (which include poses, mudras, mantra & breath work) quickly became my favorite way to meditate. I love the book because it goes into detail about different physical & psychological effects that each movement, sound or breathing pattern can have. Even if you’re not one that believes in or has any interest in the spiritual aspects of meditation, you can’t deny the positive effects that it can have on the body & mind.
In my favorite meditation in the book, you do a series of hand movements, touching the thumb to each finger repeatedly. The author explains that the repetition of hand movements can actually enlarge the capacity of the brain, increase the connection between neurons and create new neural pathways. The meditation practice also includes a mantra, which is a word or series of words that you repeat. Chanting a Mantra is a great way to quiet the inner dialogue, and is proven to have physical benefits (improving the function of the immune and endocrine systems, balancing the hemispheres of the brain, etc)
If you want to learn more, you should definitely check out the book!
The Mudra on my new shirts is known as the Vitarka Mudra when its held in front of your chest. The same position (often used during yoga) when held on the knee with the palm facing up, is called Gyan or Chin Mudra. Gyan Mudra is said to calm the mind, open the chest, and improve diaphragmatic breathing.
I had a lot of fun working on this t-shirt design, and creating it has helped inspire me to get back into a regular meditation practice. Something else that helped me get back in the swing of things was this great post on Meditation by Jena of Miss Modish & The Maven Circle.
I’d love to know, do you have a daily meditation practice? Do you use mudras when you meditate?
Let me know in the comments section below!
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