Friday, November 29, 2019

Painting with Intention

Intentional Creativity® offers an approach to painting (and other creative projects) where we set our intention at the beginning, and follow our curiosity, using inquiries and letting the brush lead. It is a way to activate Breakthrough, without Breakdown, to attune to  inner guidance and own images. It can also be a powerful mindfulness process. As we paint dots, dashes and other repetitive patterns, we move into a flow state. 
Changes occur in the electromagnetic field around us, when receive from the unmanifest, and bring that information through the portal, into our painting. 

We begin with a theme, often choosing an archetype to provide a framework and images for our painting.

  • How do we connect with our Muse of Creativity, or lead a more Legendary Life? 
  • What are our Super powers? 
  • What gifts sand talents are in our medicine baskets?
While the themes, and archetypes are limitless, we are encouraged to choose one that lights us up, or has us "shaking in our boots!"
Siren Song 
Whether working on our own, or teaching a class, I use a step-by step method designed to foster insights and inner access. Founder Shiloh Sophia writes, "There's something sacred about the container, about the formula holding you, that allows for freedom to emerge. You are going to create an intuitive painting, from the heart of your own self. You'll learn to use your visionary lens for Active Imagination to connect with the light and spaciousness of your own sovereignty."

We usually begin with a visioning, a guided Meditation focused around the archetype it theme of the painting. Everyone has their own paths of access, so while some may receive visual images, another will "hear" something, and yet another may have a more tactile experience, including the hint of a scent. 
There's no "right or wrong" way! Even if you feel you didn't "get" anything, as we spend time with our Journal and canvas, images and symbols emerge. The painting become our visionary Portal.

Juju Journal · One of the keys to the intuitive painting process is moving back and forth between the canvas and our Journal. Using image and inquiry, we follow the thread of the story we are weaving, and access information we didn't know we knew. This practice of asking for information and allowing images to emerge helps is transform old stories, and gives us more bandwidth for good juju.

As we move through the steps, we build upon previous layers. Something you loved may later get lost, to, perhaps, re-emerge later, like a dear friend, well-met after years apart! So we remind ourselves, don't get attached! (And take photos!) 
With our inquiries, we note where something similar happens in daily life, hmm... and may ask, 'how does our guide receive information?' 'What symbols does she have?' 'What are some of the trials and dangers faced?' 'How does she overcome them?' 'What weakness is she ready to transform?'
Student painting - in progress
Partway through, we send our lady into the mist with a risky glaze, spraying the canvas with water, and using a big brush and diluted transparent color to unify the painting, and send her into the Fog! I wrote about glaze options in my last post, and additional glazes adds depth and luminosity. This is a great time for journaling, exploring what is going behind the glaze and getting lost, what is coming through? How does she want to re-emerge?

Step by step, we journey to the heart and soul of our lady, to our own heart and soul! Sometimes we get discouraged - have I lost her?? ... Ah, no, there she is! Lose her, find her, lose her! ... This dance may occur several times, as we move towards completion. Confused about what's next?
Ask her.
Listen. Record ...
Bring in more light, illuminate - we're *cooling sacks of stardust* - the light beams from within! 

At some point - during the Workshop or later, as we feel compete,  we sit back at least 6' and hand her the pen. This is a time of inviting information, her statement, perhaps a poem. There may be a message about the next mission, insight into an old story, a recurring roadblock, codes, secret language, a lexicon of symbols...

And even after we'd done this "final step," ... We may get called back to the canvas (often years later!!) Because she wants something else! ... 
And if we're listening, we come!  

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

When in doubt, take it to the journal ...

In our Intentional Creativity Classes and personal practice, we spend significant time with our journals, unpacking information and insights. 

A wonderful practice is to begin the day with a cup of your favorite beverage and your journal. I recently moved a wicker chair about 6' from my easel, (which my kitty thinks is especially for him, lol) I have my colored pencils, a book of poetry, and several journals nearby, for this important part of my process. 
Symbols for Wonder Woman
During a class or after, there often comes a point where the student becomes frustrated, and just wants to slap a coat of gesso over the canvas, and start over! 

Ah ....

This is such a potent point, which can be an opportunity for recognizing old patterns / unconscious reactions, and shed light on the issue, on ways we've been stuck. It's one of the ways we call access a breakthrough, rather than a breakdown
How can we use it? 
What if we tried something different this time?

In the classroom, two of my favourite phrases for this stuck/I wanna start over point are: "When in doubt, Glaze!" and, "take it to the Journal!"

** If you just got home, I suggest waiting at least overnight before making any changes! Give your canvas (and yourself) time for reentry. This is a great time to journal about your experience and anything that came up.
Collage - vessels over watercolor pencil
  • Take it to the Journal: Move back about 6' and sit with your journal. This is a good time to write fast and furious about whatever is coming up, and is fun to use watercolor pencils. If something seems important, you may want to note it elsewhere, or just process - get it out! (I hear Shrek, "Better out than in!") Is this something that's come up before? Is there a voice attached to it? (Can you identify a person who told you that?) You may want to dialogue a bit with your Muse. You can let the words and colors cross and build.This is your compost layer ... 
  • Next, One option is to sketch a flower, lotus or rose, or perhaps a simple daisy, in the center, and activate the colored pencil around it with water - no mud, no lotus! You can use paint over the flower petals, to highlight the shift. You can also use collage (like my image above) 
  • Here are 150+ prompts if you want to completely step back and puddle around with something different for awhile! That's a good option! 
  • How do you feel now? Look at your painting again, how do you feel about it? Did you get insights on how to proceed? Ask your Muse what she wants you to do! At this point, you can write about the shift, before you return to the canvas. Let it sit! Go do something else for awhile! 
  • It can also help to return to the initial visioning and inquiry - return to that page in your journal. Ask yourself if/ how what's coming relates to those? What attracted you to this class or project in the first place? What's shifted who've you first wrote? What insight is arising?
Applying a partial Glaze in a recent class
  • When in doubt, Glaze: Glazing can be scary, and is so potent!! It is a great way to integrate what has gone before, and is another key component of our process with Intentional Creativity. In class, glaze partway through with a transparent color - Golden's Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold is a favorite! Each layer adds depth. You want to gesso? Look for a transparent color, water it down a bit, use a big brush and cover the canvas with a layer of glaze. (Golden Fluids work best for this) you can lay it flat to dry, or use a piece of T-shirt, to rub and "burnish" the canvas. ... 
  • Then, you guessed it! 
  • Sit back with your journal, and write about what's being integrated! 
  • Glaze options: a) partial glaze, use one color on half the canvas, and another on the other half. Smudge the line between the two, burnish if you wish. b) 4 directions: choose 4 transparent colors. Spritz the canvas with water, then use the first color along the top, spritz again and let it drip ...rotate the canvas, spritz and use the next color ... Spray, paint, play with the drips. Turn the canvas again ... c) White!! If you REALLY want to gesso the whole thing, try spritzing the canvas, choose a direction, paint white along the "top", spray again and let it drip! Or use white on the area you "don't like" and spray it, let it drip ... d) Gold! Our inner Critics are easily distracted by shiny objects! Spray the canvas, and use splashes of gold or another metallic in a few areas! e) White and gold, in different areas.
  • And - however you glazed, grab your journal, and write about what's coming up, what's being integrated. Do you still feel like starting over? What happens if you turn the canvas and get a differing perspective? 
In our process with Intentional Creativity, each layer builds on the last, and we are invited to return to our Journal, and our notes in messages from the original visionary journey, and our intention for the piece. 
What if there was nothing we could get wrong? 
What if we let the canvas rest while we do, sleep on it, and revisit it in the morning? 
Magic brushes and altar
Paint brushes are magic wands - will we let them work their magic?
Happy Paint Party Friday!