Are you brave enough to embrace the messy, surprising, transforming and non-'aesthetically pleasing’ in your painting?
If you are, your creativity - and your everyday living- can reach new, bright, exciting, unexpected places!
We can feel so hung up and trapped by our own fears of process, which necessarily means non-pretty things, jaggedness, discomfort, shocks and confrontations arising… perhaps even despair and lack of self-love and certainly self-judgment when we survey what we are painting or experiencing in our lives. We tend to want to see the ‘happy ending’ always as if this is the ultimate goal and should always be what we are seeing on the canvas/in our lives.
This can hamper our creativity, and definitely our growth, as we stay stuck in fear of the unknown and hiding from the ‘unpretty’. I have felt so frozen in this state and can also relate this to how I look, what I wear, fear of being seen without makeup when I was younger - wearing a mask of make-up as I was so fearful and cautious. It keeps us hidden in patterns that can bind us up so tightly that as the years go by we are suffocating. I have compassion for this as know so well how painful it can be and also how freeing and alive! when little, by little the fears dissolve.
Embracing the energies of open surprise, transformation, feeling fine with what ourselves and others may perceive as ‘unpolished’ or ‘messy’ is so crucial in nurturing our creativity and letting it breathe and express – recognising that when we make a mark it isn’t in order to always paint a pretty picture – it’s not ‘not to’ either…but the important point is in the process where new connections, like synapses in our brain and new muscles in our body can express! When painting arises from a space that bypasses ego and thinking, it has a new, liberating lease of life! If we are caught in our life-long fears of ‘how a painting should be beautiful’ we will never get past this block and all the newness cannot be accessed and released.
Allowing things to remain in process, unfinished, experimental, talking to us and other elements of the painting keeps wonder alive and our ego out of the process. It can be scary when we’re not ‘controlling’ the outcome, but as more of an observer, willing to be open and watch things unfold. Then we can, of course, like or dislike certain things that arise, choose, alter, go with, transform… and we’re doing this after the space for play and experiment has been happening (and still is).
Importantly we can love this space of process and not feel ashamed or embarrassed, or that we cannot show the process of messy marks on the paper. We can learn to listen, look and love them. Having a safe place or group is always good for this, a group where we embrace the same ethic and do not simply ‘like’ someone’s work because it looks beautiful. The beautiful is actually the easiest to share and respond to, whereas the fabulous freedom of process and change can come with so many societal judgements, disapproval and shaming – largely because it is not a ‘gloss’ and it is the lived experience of us all, and most do not want to embrace this ‘messy’ and perhaps judged as ‘ugly’ wonder! of their own lives.
Intuitive and experimental painting is a fabulous, authentic and exciting mirror, one where new sparks of life and infinite possibility are free to ‘be’ – and with this, expressing a truth in ‘A Course in Miracles’ that ... ‘A happy outcome to all things is sure’ (l.292) x
'Consider everything an experiment. There's so much possibility in this approach. If we could always predict how things would turn out, we'd never discover anything new or interesting. We'd never surprise ourselves.' - Corita Kent
This post was inspired by a recent workshop on the wonderful Sister Corita Kent - artist, teacher, social activist and joyous revolutionary!
To find out more about our 'Intuitive Painting Grace & Joy' workshops see the Meetup site x