A must-read poem from Maripat

maripatLucky me to have dear friends who share their creative insights. Maripat Munley is one of these. Maripat is an RN with a masters in Art Therapy who has made art all her life. She studied oriental brush painting while living in Seoul, Korea, and her life reflects a balance of eastern serenity and western practicality.

Currently, she’s working on a poetry project with incarcerated women – she practices the healing power of art every day in every way – pretty cool. Maripat was a joy to work with in the recent workshop I did with Lesta Frank. Afterwards, I sent out the video to the participants, saying how proud I was of their beautiful folding handmade books. Maripat wrote back with this heartfelt poem, which I have permission to share with you. Thank you, Maripat, for all you do and all you are!

How to Be an Artist

Be still; silently breathe in my studio
wherever that studio is.
Use simple tools and colors that draw me.
Remember, making art is my spiritual practice.

Begin by releasing attachment to outcome or product
Bless eyes, hands, tools, paint and mixes.
See, touch, hear, smell everything I use.
Become one with the materials.
Remember, making art is my spiritual practice.

Immerse myself in the art process.
Let it be my prayer and my calling.
Draw and paint for the joy of it.
Be patient, able to stand back and gaze.
Remember, making art is my spiritual practice.

Get up early to walk, to meditate, to create
Draw EVERY day.
Spend time in the company of other artists.
Learn from them.
Remember, making art is my spiritual practice.

Let my quiet breathing prayer
mirror images beckoned from that silence.
Accept these images from the depth of my soul.
Remember, making art is my spiritual practice.

Maripat Munley

Sumi-e painting by Maripat Munley

Sumi-e painting by Maripat Munley


16 thoughts on “A must-read poem from Maripat

  1. Beautiful poem & serene e painting…. Art is her spiritual practice and a fine and true calling it is. Go forth and spread your practice, Maripat, the world needs more like you.

  2. Surprised that Lyn would like to have my little poem on her website, I am even more surprised by everyone’s comments and how my poem touched your own creative spirits

  3. I think this needs to go in an art journal, and, better yet, it should be handwritten on a canvas of some sort and hung near my work space. May I, Marypat?

    • You certainly may hang it near your workspace in whatever creative way you chose – if it motivates you as it does me, I will be happy…

  4. Thank you, Maripat, for sharing this poem with all of us who knew intuitively that art is somehow a spiritual practice but didn’t have the ability to put it into words. You did it for us!!

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