Art and the Five Universal Shapes

Art and the Five Universal Shapes

Earlier as an artist-blacksmith, then as a mixed-media vessel sculptor and now as a heart painter, I’ve found inspiration from Angeles Arrien’s research on the five “universal shapes.” Recently I became curious about how other artists are using them. I came across both interesting artwork and useful art activities for personal growth.  

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Remembering Angeles Arrien, 1940 - 2014

I didn't realize till a few days ago that on April 24, 2014 anthropologist and great teacher Angeles Arrien died unexpectedly. I felt shocked and bereft. How could this be?

She has left us books, audio and video from which we can continue to learn. Somehow she has left much more than this, even to those of us (like me) who never knew her in person. There's something much less tangible -- yet no less potent and nourishing that she has given us. I can't explain it but I'm sure that it's so.

Everything we learn from her can still radiate out into the world to amplify the available love, compassion and wisdom. As her website now says, "May all the seeds that she planted within us be nourished and may we all also contribute to the greater good in the world. With love and gratitude during this sacred and holy time of Angeles’ transition...."

The Angeles Arrien website also tells us that her family wishes complete privacy, and that the business office will gradually close down. Angeles Arrien herself asked that those who wish to remember her light a candle and say a prayer on her honor on the 24th of each month for this coming year. We are all welcomed, too, to write something on the Angeles Arrien Facebook page.

I'm grateful for all that I've learned so far from her, especially from "The Four-Fold Way: Walking the Paths of the Warrior, Teacher, Healer, and Visionary." If you read this blog you already know that I use her illuminations of the Five Universal Shapes in many of my paintings of life stories.

Angeles Arrien on TEDx

Just last February, Angeles Arrien gave a TEDx talk that you may want to see and hear. It's titled "Cornerstones of wisdom: the four-fold way."

A toast to you, wonderful teacher

This evening I'll drink a glass of wine with a toast to you, Angeles Arrien, wonderful teacher and unforgettable presence on earth. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for inspiring and illuminating my creative life all these years. And now that you are in non-physical being, I won't be surprised to receive guidance from you in the future as well.