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The Art of Joy

Written by Cat Bennett, artist, author, creative coach, and facilitator of Creative Spirit's winter workshop, paint/cut/paste. LEARN MORE and REGISTER Here!



"I think art workshops are a kind of sacred time in which we leave our daily concerns..."

The Dalai Lama has said that the highest state we can achieve is that of joy. 

It’s higher than happiness and he shares that meditative practices help us let 

go of all that takes us away from this state to bring us back into the full beauty 

of being fully present as we are. Painted paper collage is pure joy! If you’ve ever 

been in the presence of Matisse’s great cut-outs, or even seen them in books, 

you will know this to be true. And there is joy in the making too!



"It is essentially drawing with scissors..." 

What I especially love about doing this form of art with people is that everyone 

succeeds. It is essentially drawing with scissors and so the forms can be simple 

and bold or as intricate as we like. It’s a playful and colorful art, one that can be 

spontaneous and relatively quick. Or we can take the techniques and develop it 

into more intricate work as Mrs. Delany did back in the 18th century with her 

incredible cut paper flowers.



"We each have our own individual spirit and it shines through when we work in simple and playful ways."

I love doing this art in a group setting. First we have a meditative time painting 

our own papers (and getting some ideas about color) then we begin to create designs with shared prompts. We each have our own individual spirit and it shines through when we work in simple and playful ways. We get ideas from each other and learn more about who we are and what we can do. I think art workshops are a kind of sacred time in which we leave our daily concerns behind to engage in a simple 

meditative art.


There are so many forms of art now and the very nature and purpose of art is 

always evolving. Painted paper collage is a way to make art in which we both 

experience and give joy.



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