Novel Becomings

Novel Becomings features the creative process of artists of all kinds, such as painters, poets, calligraphers, musicians, weavers, architects, and landscape artists. Each essay shares a story about the inspiration, the emergence, and the becoming of an artist's novel creation.

Writing with the Poet of the Universe: Brief Reflections on Writing in the Process Spirit

By Bruce Epperly | April 1, 2024

God is the poet of the world, and inspiration flows from diverse sources and experiences. Sometimes, it arises from the simplest moments—a fleeting glance, a whispered conversation, or the rustle of leaves in the wind. Other times, it emerges from the depths of introspection, intense study, or profound challenges. Bruce Epperly, one of most prolific writers in the process tradition, shares his creative process. The poet of the universe needs companions to create and further God’s aim at beauty, truth, and goodness. Divine creativity is working in and through you to energize and inspire your gifts to respond to the world’s needs and do something beautiful for God.

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Forms of Feeling and Forms of Meaning

By Elvi Bjorkquist | January 2, 2024

With abstract art, the connection between art and feeling is intricately woven through the deliberate manipulation of visual elements such as color, form, and texture. In artist Elvi Bjorkquist’s paintings, we experience forms of feeling and forms of meaning that are freed from the constraints of literal representation. Her expressive use of color palettes, dynamic compositions, and gestural brushwork serves as a visceral conduit for the artist’s emotions, enabling a direct and intuitive communication of mood, energy, and sentiment. We invite you engage with Elvi’s artwork on a subjective level, interpreting and experiencing your own emotions in response to the abstract forms and expressions.

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The Artistic Beauty of Cooking: A Process-Relational Worldview

By Jennifer Zechlin | November 6, 2023

Cooking is an intricate and dynamic event that embodies the interconnectedness of all things. Each culinary process, from ingredient selection to preparation and consumption, is a series of interrelated events in which the “process” of cooking is a fundamental concept. Ingredients evolve and interact, engaging in a dance of transformations, as they shift from raw to cooked, solid to liquid, and separate to blended states. Jennifer Zechlin is an excellent cook and she shares her process approach to cooking in this month’s Novel Becomings.

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Expanded Universal Awareness

By Andre van Zijl | September 1, 2023

Artist Andre Van Zijl says that he approaches “a blank surface, canvas, watercolor paper, or document with Beginner’s Mind. I don’t want to get in the way of what is waiting to be birthed through me. I am not an artist making art, or an author writing a book, I am a deep-sea diver coming up for air.” In this piece, the Cobb Institute’s Visual Artist Laureate discusses his creative process, his philosophy of art, and some recent works.

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The HwaBang: Where a Dweller Seeks Cosmic Harmony

By Kathleen Reeves | July 3, 2023

Architecture is a form of art. Sung Sohn created a dome using Superadobe which is a form of earth-bag architecture. The building process was a conversation between Sung and the dome that involved the becoming of a HwaBang. A dome is a relational structure. The ceiling and the walls work together to hold everything in place. Sung shared his architectural drawings so we could peek into his imagination and dream with him—a dream that became an actual occasion.

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Clouds and Movement

By Kathleen Reeves | March 23, 2023

Some artists can make you feel the wind on your face and the sound of the leaves as they dance. Lesley Haflich is one such artist. She paints mostly natural settings that seem to come to life. They breathe and flow. Lesley worked as a commercial artist for most of her career. One day, with encouragement from her husband, she began to paint the beauty she saw in her part of the world. We invite you to appreciate the moving beauty in Lesley’s paintings.

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Tremors and Trees

By Kathleen Reeves | January 16, 2023

Artist Georgette Unis seems to conjure trees and horizons onto her canvas. Only someone who is in relationship with the natural processes of land can partner with them and assist in their becomings. Nothing is painted in isolation from the world, because the artist understands the effects of sky, air and weather and she captures that and brings us into the relationship as well.

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The Geometry Of Creativity

By Kathleen Reeves | December 15, 2022

Kurt Wenner is an American artist living in Italy, most known for inventing 3D Interactive Pavement Art. This art form uses a hyperbolic anamorphic illusion that transforms a pastel drawing on the pavement into a 3-dimensional illusion. Wenner’s images often appear in textbooks to illustrate mathematical principles, perception, perspective, or other arts and science-related topics.

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Sacred Art: Icons in Nature

By Kathleen Reeves | November 15, 2022

It is clear that the Western mind is divorced from Nature, the primary condition that has led to the current ecological catastrophe. Artist Angela Manno feels that the only way back, indeed our own survival, depends on nothing less than a re-enchantment with the Earth as a living reality. It is for this reason she chose to depict non-human species in a traditionally religious form – the icon. Her aim in creating these works is to elevate non-human species to their rightful and equal place in the community of being.

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The Need to Create

By Kathleen Reeves | October 17, 2022

We have a great need to visually express ourselves—be it on a cave wall, the side of a building, inside a subway car, on a piece of paper or canvas. Veronica Michalowski explores multiple mediums, allowing the creative idea to lead the way. She elevates the ordinary, such as eggs, guitars, even sewer covers and explores their possibilities.

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Crowned in Lukumi

By Kathleen Reeves | August 31, 2022

“I am crowned in Lukumi” is where artist Lolei Pavão begins. In this month’s Novel Becomings post, we explore art from the religions that grew from Africa. As African religions encountered other places they began a process of becoming something novel. In some of these practices, religion is a way of life, and can never be separated from life. Here we see art that is part of religious practices, and we get a rare peek into some of the religions of the African diaspora and the sacred art that guides us through this story.

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Suddenly an Artist

By Ken Grunewald | July 31, 2022

Ken Grunewald is an artist, but he only discovered his talent a few years ago. Before retirement Ken worked in military intelligence. It took a pandemic for him to discover his interest in and talent for drawing. We are all constantly becoming, and Ken became an artist.

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In Color and Song

By Kathleen Reeves | June 28, 2022

Featured artist Patrick Lockard is a joyful soul who delights in discovering the world around him. He has a fun-loving spirit and enjoys music, art, sports, and community activities. He also has autism and is intellectually challenged. With the support of his mother, Marlene Terrazas, he has flourished. This month’s Novel Becomings shares Patrick’s gifts as an artist who loves to draw, color, and sing.

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Living in Wonder and Whimsy

By Kathleen Reeves | June 1, 2022

Often art brings joy. Its novelty grabs our attention in a world of sameness. In this case art was created to burst through endless grey and snow-filled days, and it became a life. Whitney Relf lives art. She surrounds herself with fun and whimsical items to bring her joy. She constantly changes little things and big things so there is always something different. It might not be every one’s cup of tea but it is a house full of wonders and color.

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On Not Having A Body

By Kathleen Reeves | April 27, 2022

Meet Dave Huth. He loves beetles, salamanders, frogs and all creatures very small. He is a teacher, storyteller, picture maker, and whistler of jaunty tunes. In this piece, Dave offers a glimpse into his obsession with finding new and effective ways to draw people into deep thinking and even deeper feeling about ecology and human life.

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There is Still Beauty: Ukrainian Art

By Kathleen Reeves | March 31, 2022

As Ukraine is struggling to maintain its sovereignty, many are lifting up Ukrainian art. In this post we are sharing some inspiring examples in the hope that it evokes feelings for you.

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Weaving Across Cultures

By Kathleen Reeves | February 15, 2022

In this piece, Kat Reeves interviews Doña Paula, a textile artist in Guatemala whose work provides a vivid example of the interwoven nature of things, by participating in a program that not only involves the coming together of individuals from multiple cultures but also invites her to create unique pieces that combine multiple cultural expressions.

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Sincerity In Calligraphy

By Jared Morningstar | December 24, 2021

In this piece, Jared Morningstar describes the challenging but rewarding process of producing an artistic rendering of the 112th Surah of the Qur’an—Surah Al-Ikhlāṣ (tr: The Chapter of Sincerity). “I found the process of creating this work to be rather demanding. A high degree of precision was involved, both in perception in order to begin accurately reproducing the piece, but also with the strokes themselves, especially in the final pass with pen.”

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