I have always been intrigued by the idea of meditative art as a way to enhance and relaxation and creativity. I developed the art of Kumomi process because I love the way colors interact with each other and I wanted to achieve a sense of well being and creative freedom that meditative art offers without having to learn complex patterns. I started to share Kumomi™ with friends, the elderly and children with little or no experience in art and saw the benefits they were receiving as well as my own experience in practicing it on a daily basis. I developed a process I could easily teach it to others and wrote the book, The Art of Kumomi™.
Using stencils in my art work has helped me overcome the fear of the blank canvas or page and I am able to create compositions more freely. Many years ago, I cut my own stencils with a hot knife and mylar and used them in large scale paintings on canvas. The shapes within the stencils were a great jumping off point for creating.
I discovered StencilGirl stencils at Art Unraveled in Phoenix where I was teaching Kumomi™ for the first time. I purchased a whimsical stencil called City Stories by Cathy Nichols and started to work on some ideas for another Art Unraveled workshop and the idea of Kumomi Mindscapes™ was born.
In the spirit of mindfulness, a wash of color is put on the paper and when it dries a variety of stencils are used to create a loose composition. As the mind retreats to a special place, the art unfolds and the body is relaxed.
A Kumomi Mindscape™ is a place of our own imagination. The tranquil spot we retreat to when we meditate or the place we remember as a child where magic happened. Brilliant colors interacting with each other is the foundation and adding stencils creates the structure.
From there, we let our imagination roam as we mindfully draw out shapes with more color and line.
In the workshop I’ll be teaching at Art Unraveled students will be able to create whimsical, imaginary landscapes with brilliant watercolors, acrylic inks, stencils and pens. I hope to see you there! Art Unraveled is a week long retreat held in Phoenix Arizona every August. For more information, visit www.artunraveled.com.Karen Elaine is an artist, author and teacher living in central Arizona. She is the author of Origami Card Craft and The Art of Kumomi and teaches Kumomi™ and mixed media workshops nationwide. You can find her at various places on the web sharing her enthusiasm for life, art, love and origami. Visit her at