This is part three in my Wild Heart Painting Retreat posts. You can read post one here and post two here.
After my big, life-changing painting I told you about yesterday my next painting was completely different. I new I was going to paint a face but that was all I knew. I had this feeling of serenity and empowerment as I began. I wasn't wrapped up with the way it looked or worrying about being perfect. I stood before the paper feeling like an artist. Every brush stroke felt right. It didn't matter what I painted or how it looked. I was a painter. I felt amazing. I completed it so quickly and it felt fantastic.
My next painting began by creating blue waves all over the paper and had no idea what was going to come of this. I added some eyes all over it and stood back to look at it. I had moments where I thought it was going to go south and I was going to hate it but it didn't happen. I stayed with it and all of the sudden I saw a face in the upper right corner. It took my breath away and I gasped with excitement and started painting furiously.
I continued and when I painted the face in the bottom left it got ugly but it didn't bother me. I made it uglier and it started looking cool. When things went bad I didn't even care. I just kept going.
It's funny because I had THE BEST TIME painting this. It reminded me of being a kid. I saw things in everything. I remember seeing shapes in drops of water that spilled on the table, finding faces in abstract fabric, and of course seeing all kinds of things in clouds. This felt so good.
Near the end of painting it I realized that this represented all the parts of me. There was the beautiful woman, the mean woman, the nurturing mom, the hairy beast, the tough chick, the lion (I'm a leo), the fun woman, and the wild and crazy lady. That's when I decided to add the words, "embrace your inner Sybil."
This next painting was wild. I started painting it with this incredible energy pushing me along. I knew I was going to paint a woman. My paintbrush was working furiously. I am not kidding when I tell you that there was energy. It was moving through me and I didn't know what to do with it all. I had to keep taking deep breaths and slowing myself down. There were moments where I thought I might hyperventilate.
I had worked on the upper portion of this woman who was naked and then I needed to work on the lower portion and I got a little nervous. I didn't know what was going to come out. I started procrastinating. I got fresh water from my brushes, went to the bathroom, got a drink, looked at everyone's paintings and finally I was faced with it.
I got some support from Chris' assistant Ellen and got started. She ended up having a pregnant belly and was giving birth to this golden orb. Don't know why but I can tell you that as soon as I finished painting it, my energy slowed and became consistent. I felt more peaceful and there was no more heavy breathing. It was like a mini labor...without the pain. :o)
I added some other things... a little gnome (that ended up looking like Harry Potter and gave me a good laugh when I stepped back), a little fairy, fire, a ladybug, water, and a swirl of wind and then I was done. I even had a little monster show up from behind the tree.
My last painting is a culmination of two big days I had watching the sunrise. I went out early in the morning one day to see the sun come up. I got out there at about 7:05 and the sky was beautiful. The colors were brilliant and the moon was still up. I sat there mesmerized.
Soon, however, the moon was gone and the beautiful colors were gone and I found myself sitting there looking at a blue sky with no sun. I looked at my watch, it was 7:25. Where was the sun? I didn't bring anything with me. No camera, no journal, no phone...nothing.
I started getting a little antsy. How long was this going to take? My anxiety over this started to grow and all of the sudden I had this realization that this is what I do. As soon as the beauty is gone, the sparkle, the excitement, I'm done. I can't ever stick it out through the boring parts.
In that moment I became determined to see that sun creep over the trees. I paced, I meditated, I envisioned myself as a tree with roots reaching deep in the ground to keep me rooted. I have to tell you that as crazy as it seems, this was SOOOO DIFFICULT for me!
Finally, the sun came up (7:50!) and I was elated. It felt like a small victory for me and certainly a big life lesson.
The next day I went up to see the sunrise again. This time I brought my camera so I could take some pictures. As I reached the top of the lookout I realized the sun must have come up a bit earlier and I had missed the prettiest part.
In that moment I fell. I took a hard fall, twisting my ankle and banging my arm on the deck. I lay there with my ankle throbbing feeling quite sorry for myself. I picked myself up and sat on the bench. In my mind I went back to the moment I had fallen to access the thought I was having and I realized I was angry at myself for being so stupid. It's certainly a pattern in my life...beating myself up and being angry with myself.
I did an emotional release exercise on myself and cleared out some past memories of this feeling and in the end I got this message that I am "perfectly imperfect" and it's OK.
So here I am at the end of the retreat in front of all my paintings. It was a wonderful, life-changing experience I feel privileged to have experienced.