Creative Sacred Living Magazine September 2014 - Page 26

Over and over again, I hear a common complaint from students in my intuitive painting classes that goes something like this... "My painting doesn't look the way I want it to because I don't have enough artistic training . I can see this perfectly formed image in my head and I want to make it appear on the paper exactly as I see it, line for line."

For example, a student in one of my classes recently painted an image of a woman with the intention that the figure would appear very happy and carefree. However, when the image came out looking mask-like and somewhat stiff, she started blaming her capabilities as a painter. "I know that the problem is that I don't have enough technique. If I had that, I could completely control the outcome of my painting and then I would be happy!"

This part of the mind can be so darned sneaky. Listening to her statement, the operative word that jumped out at me immediately was control. "If only I had enough skill I could be completely in charge of this darn wayward brush. If only I had enough training I could wrestle my creative process to the ground and make it give me exactly WHAT I WANT."

What's really true, and what most people don't want to hear, is that there are no mistakes in the land of intuitive, soul painting. The images being born out of your brush are coming into the world exactly as they were meant to be. Your frustration with what shows up really has nothing to do with lack of skill or technique. No matter what your skill level, if you are able to let go and surrender, the painting will simply show you what is genuine and real for you in any given moment. And you are not necessarily always going to like what you see. The painting is an incredibly accurate gauge for where you are, not where you expect yourself to be. So when the painting doesn't conform to your expectations and bow down and obey, you round up the usual suspects and blame the poor brush.

The woman in the above example wanted to see herself as free and exuberant. Seeing the stiff and mask-like part of herself was painful. She was having a hard time just accepting with compassion that aspect of her being. But if you are able to cultivate an attitude of mercy and curiosity for what shows up on the paper in front of you, there can also be a tremendous experience of self acceptance with telling the truth about who and where you are right here and right now. There is a gift in telling the truth, because the truth is where the energy lies. And the energy is your direct connection to the present moment and being fully alive.

When we are painting from our intuitive center we are allowing the unconscious part of the mind a direct avenue of expression. And the unconscious cares not a whit about technique. The deep psyche can be satisfied if you paint your mother as a stick figure or if you paint her as if you were channeling Rembrandt. The only thing that the deep psyche really cares about is the symbol, and that can be expressed with no technical expertise whatsoever. Now, there is nothing wrong with the pleasure that comes from executing an image with great skill and technical virtuosity. It is a real satisfaction and can be very fulfilling on it's own terms. BUT IT IS NOT NECESSARY TO HAVE ANY LEVEL OF SKILL IN ORDER TO CREATE!

All we have learned about creativity in this loony western culture gives us exactly the opposite message. We are taught that we don't DARE to create unless we have a great deal of technical virtuosity at our disposal, and that if we try to create and are unskilled, we are just making fools of ourselves. YUCK!!! and DOUBLE YUCK!! There is no room in this attitude for play, for experimentation, for making things up, for making mistakes, for being anything less than perfect.

Whenever i am speaking to a group about this approach to art I always see a few light

My Technique's Bad And I'm So Sad

Intuitive Painting Bluess