Creating a portal into possibility is akin to seeing a crack in the door, and peeking at what is beyond the daily emotional and psychological material that we struggle with. Shelly Kramer (www.expressiveartworkshops.com)
I’m going to write for me, much more so than for you. But, I’m hoping the process I am going through can be used as a model to help you find a crack in your awareness that will let in light and direction for where your life wants to go. In case you don’t want to read my rumination, and I don’t blame you if you have better things to do in your life, in this post I will highlight the steps I am taking for clarity’s sake.
You may want to get into your body first by doing something physical, even silly. Om while your hoping on one foot, that sort of thing.
1) Find something you want to paint on. I’m using one of those big black sketch books. Watercolor works great. Paint intuitively, use whatever color that seem to be calling you moment by moment. You may or may not paint images. Paint until you’re done. A good way to test this is to choose a color for no reason at all and just put a dot on your painting. Does it feel you need to add more? Does anything come to mind? If yes, keep painting. If no, you’re done. I do suggest you push yourself a bit because often at the end there are surprises and the very last things you put on your painting are often some of the most important details. (Please check out Michele Cassou‘s work on Intuitive Painting or come with me to Willits, CA and attend a painting class offered by Beth Levitan, one of Michele’s students).
2) Observe judgements you have, whether thinking your painting is a masterpiece or a piece of trash. Don’t get attached to them. Just let them be. Allow for uncertainty. And if something seems troubling for whatever reason, subject matter, the blotch you put by “mistake” and hate… let it be… Try not to paint over things that emerge, but modify and enhance as seems fitting. Apply this as you do your collage.
3) Choose images from magazines, or whatever picture source your pulling from, again without thinking too much. Go for what grabs your attention or gives you a strong emotion. I don’t often get an emotional response but more of a “that’s interesting” feeling.
4) Arrange the images over what you painted. Play!
5) Give the collage and individual images time to speak to you. It may speak in these ways: 1) immediate aha! or 2) huh? I don’t know why but I love this cow on roller skates. You will know immediately why you chose some images, but the meaning of others may take time to unfold. A few will stay in the realm of mystery for a long time or even forever…but you will still have the feeling they are important.
6) This process is akin to any tool that makes you go deeper. Tarot, bird entrails…you get what I mean. Is it divination? Yes and no. The unconscious works in symbols, so the symbols that you have chosen are telling you what you already know, but which the ego may or may not want you in on. This is not predicting the future because the future is always flexible, but it is guidance as to how you can make that future a healing place, meaningful and sustaining.
6) Journal about your collage, write a poem, create a song…in short, write, write, write, and let the writing flow. As in picking the images, don’t suppress ideas. Anything that doesn’t seem real to you when you go back over what you put down (give your self some space again to revist), simply cross out. But I bet most of what you write about will feel true.
7) Give yourself the time the process needs. You may be inspired and do the work in a flash, one sitting. BUT if the journey takes a month, celebrate!
8) Put the individual points together into a gestalt, if possible. Don’t force this though.
So on to the personal…next post….