|8"x8" The Ocean Has Stories To Tell (available on etsy)|
My painting sessions work best when I settle myself first with some meditation or sitting before I jump in. If I am too quick to pick up the brush I end up mucking about. Painting is so akin to spiritual practice. I mean it's the same in life. If I jump into something without the ground of awareness firmly gathered around me, I tend to muck about and potentially get in trouble in one way or another. The good thing about trouble or mucking is that once you recover your awareness it's always instructive!
The other thing I've noticed as I spend a lot of time in the studio is that I have "go to" things that I do on a canvas. How much like the rest of life is this?? Habit. I have painting habits that have evolved and they don't always serve me well. It can be like the definition of insanity "doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." So sometimes I find it's good to change up the surface I work on or the colours I favour, or the time of day I work. This movie about Gerhard Richter is really interesting if you work in abstraction. Even he gets mucking about and finds himself painting over and over things that don't quite seem right. It's a great watch. He says things like, "sometimes I like a painting for a day or two" and "I know when something is done, it just feels right."
|8"x8" cold wax on canvas "The Forest Has Wings"|
As always life is deeply spiritual experience for me. I listened to a great talk via "The Awakening Joy" course by Zen Hospice leader, Frank Ostaseski. It reminded me how easily and habitually I steel myself against what I don't like with "resistance". How subtle resistance can be. Often I find that in trying to fix or heal some health issue I am subtlely resisting it. I just want it to go away! Non resistance doesn't preclude trying to work with problems, it just means we also need to be with them. Sometimes the solution is contained in the problem itself, well maybe always?? And how can we find it if we are so busy pushing it away (says she as she talks to herself) He pointed out the simple maxim of"what we resist, persists."
Oh and in case you are inclined, like so many of us, to say unkind things to yourself, you might enjoy watching Kristin Neff's TED talk on self compassion. That's all I know for today! Have a great weekend.