Discussing the painting “COMPASS” that I am currently working on gives me the opportunity to tell you about how I have come to commit to the images I’m creating in my studio. The couple of pictures in this post show the early progress of it.
In my experience of life my visual imagination is always activated. Like a running visual commentary, there is a dream life accompanying my experience of waking life. As I see with my apparently physical eyes I am able to also “see” in mind’s eye an overlay of images creating a rich mixture of physical and symbolic imagery. The nature of the resulting visions appear to me like parable and allegory illuminating deep meaning in each situation I turn my attention to. At some point in my life I became very conscious of this visual activity in my mind and understood that it held some degree of wisdom useful enough to recall the images again and again. It has been inevitable that the strongest of these visions would make their way into paint and morph from their spirit selves into concrete form, presenting themselves physically so that they may fulfill their own purpose.
I’m sure that what I am describing is a common human experience and is essentially the realm of ideas and human imagination. It is my current belief that the content of these images are received from the right brain by the left brain and translated to consciousness using the language and symbols available there. In this way I suspect that within each one of us our imagination is unique to the vocabulary held in our individual left brains, essentially the result of our conditioning and education. (here’s is a link to a fascinating description of the right and left brain by Jill Bolte Taylor http://www.ted.com/talks/view/id/229 ) So, each human I imagination is prone to express this imagination in different ways-writing, building, doing, philosophising or on and on-and my modality is painting and drawing. As an aside, It is a constant practice of mine to explore and be aware of my left brain activity. Becoming concious of what vocabulary lies there, I aim to experience the purest translation of information flowing from my right brain and beyond. It is my belief that this information is received in each of us from a divine source. I will discuss this process more in a later more appropriate post.
I fear that I’ve taken as much time as you have to give so for only a moment more I will begin the story of my current painting but continue it next week when you have more time.
One night while I was talking with a friend over tarot cards we came to focus on a card -the Five of Wands- that addressed the source of my friend’s anxiety. While discussing the spread of cards I experienced a vision that was particularly strong and helpful. The image clearly described at once the source of her anxiety and the path of her liberation from it. For the whole night and next day it stayed with me and as I turned my attention to it a scene unfolded full of the tragedy of human anxiety, pain and the potential dissolution of it. Although it originated as an image for my friend I quickly observed that it was describing a human experience, widely felt and that it held value for more than just her. It has stayed as vivid as the night I first viewed it and I have used its wisdom often. Committing to creating the image in paint, releasing it so that it may have an independent life of its own, feels like a psychotherapy as the vision relaxes its persistant pressure in my mind’s eye.
Next week I will tell you in detail about the painting and themes and symbols in it.
With much gratitude for your time and interest,