Wednesday, September 22, 2010

It's Bigger Than The Painting

I have been busy creating all kinds of artwork here in my home, safe and hidden from prying eyes. Free to just put the brush to the paper and paint whatever comes up for me. I haven't felt like I wanted to share any of it because I didn't think it was blog worthy.

That got me to thinking about why I create. What is the purpose of spending this time alone in my house creating art I don't want to share? I pondered this as I looked through some of these paintings and the answer came out loud and clear.

When I spend my time creating paintings from an intuitive place, allowing the painting to evolve I learn so much about myself through the process. I learn about my perfectionist tendencies, I learn how I respond to fears when they arise, I learn to be in touch with my feelings...all of my feelings...good and bad.

Each session teaches me something that is far more valuable than the actual painting I create. It is the process that is so powerful. It's a window into my soul and into the dark parts that I like to keep hidden.

If I could run a recorder that could tape my thoughts as I progressed through a painting it would be the most enlightening thing you've ever heard. You would be a witness to the moments of bravery that push me forward even when I know with all my heart that I am going to suck and no matter what I do it will never be enough (that's a nice negative voice isn't it?).

You would hear the back and forth banter I have with the scared child inside that thinks she isn't good enough. You would be shocked to hear the foul language and bravado that surfaces when I am riding a wave of empowerment. You would celebrate with me as I dance around the room singing a song that celebrates the moments of pure joy and love I uncover as I paint.

It's a special thing this process painting. And the thing is it loses some of its power when the finished painting is posted for all to see. Because without this running tape of the powerful moments that arise as it's painted, it seems to be just another painting.

But the thing is those moments can be raw and vulnerable and can seem so difficult to post for all the world to see. I mean really, who wants everyone to know their deepest, darkest emotions and fears?

This painting for example is one of my favorites. Not because it looks particularly good but because I started it with no idea of what I was going to paint. I taped up two pieces of poster board on the wall and began writing all over it. I had an intention for this painting, I wanted to explore my career and see what emerged for me. After I filled the page with words I just dipped my brush into the first color that called to me.

I kept listening to my inner voice and painting with wild abandon. While I was painting it I was listening to the most powerful, awesome rock music that helped me tune into the part of myself that is powerful and awesome.

As the painting emerged I understood what every brush stroke was telling me. Each ring of this circle represented a chapter in my life, a piece of who I am. There was an understanding that I have accumulated enough of these rings and now it is time to head outward, to share them with the world.

I added a halo of white that represents my life force, my aura, the beauty in my human form with the knowledge that there is more than the eye can see. It's mystical and powerful.

I added a small white circle in the center that represents my soul and I put a tree inside that represents life and balance. The trees reaching upward into the sky, into the universe and the roots deep into the earth grounding and connecting that energy.

So you see, if you just looked at this painting you would see some nice circles and a bit of a starburst of sorts. It would seem fine, nice even. BUT when you know the whole story...It changes everything!

1 comment:

  1. Michelle, This is a beautiful way to phrase what I feel as well! That process...that is what calls to me. When I start striving for the end piece the entire thing loses its magic.

    Gorgeous - thank you.