Lately, painting has been asking a lot of me. It’s asking me to go deeper and take a closer look at what
continues to bubble to my surface. Painting is just like any other practice, sometimes it’s easy and flowing, other times it’s hard and rigid and I struggle against what wants to come.
Last month I painted an image that was so hard for me to look at and so uncomfortable to be around, that I almost threw it away. This is something I just don’t do. I have never thrown a painting away, and I have never given up on a painting. (Generally, with process painting we are encouraged to work with what is on the page without changing it, painting it out or starting a new one.) So, I knew what was presenting itself had to be big. Luckily, when the urge to throw away my painting was at it’s peak, Jenny was in the studio and she gently encouraged me to continue working.
At first it was difficult, but the more I became curious about the images without too much judgement, the less serious they became. Eventually, the image that was so uncomfortable for me to look at, was wearing a party hat and the whole painting was transformed.
Painting this way is like peeling an onion – my own personal onion full of beautiful, dark layers. And just when I think I’ve “taken care of” a layer, it shows up in another way, giving me an opportunity to embrace it differently. Ultimately, I believe painting is teaching me to come into my own power. Hooray! This is what I’ve wanted for over 16 years. Surprisingly, what I am finding is I am pretty scared of what that might mean. Coming into my own power, means being as authentic as I can. Being 100% honest with myself, taking a look at some pretty dark stuff, and finding compassion for it all. This work isn’t always easy and fun for me, but I love it like nothing else because I am getting to know one incredible human being….ME. Oh, and there’s one other thing… I get to watch this process unfold in others too and that is the tastiest icing on a seriously delicious cake!