Friday, July 26, 2013

A Grand Push...



Next week Evolving magazine will feature a process painting of mine on their cover. This will be the 3rd one I have done for them, but the first time I have offered any process work. Initially I had mixed feelings about  it. Feeling vulnerable. Feeling hypocritical. But the conclusion I came to was to put her out there.
Process painting is my life and I have a burning passion for it. I have witnessed the alchemy of the process transform my life in almost every way. Now I facilitate the process and see this magic happening for others.
So why wouldn't I jump at using an image born of this potency, especially for a magazine who's topic for the month is mental health? When it came right down to it there was really only one reason not to put this sort of work out for public consumption....safety.
In order for the process to work a safe, non-judgmental environment is needed. This sort of painting isn't about making a pretty piece of art to hang on the wall but rather a tool for self-discovery. In the studio, we do not comment on each other's paintings, this is an essential part of allowing whatever wants to come onto the paper - the good the bad and the ugly. All images are welcome. There is no judgement.
So did this feel safe?  I sat with the idea for a bit and realized it did. The image that I submitted did not give away any of my deep, dark secrets and the process is something I believe in so strongly that if even one person was curious about it, perhaps they would check into it further. What I am coming to understand is
that ultimately it is the decision of the individual painter, steeped in their own process, whether or not they choose to show their paintings to anyone.
What I know for sure is I love to paint. I have no art training and process painting sparked something big in me, moving me to explore other avenues of creativity. I paint as a tool for self discovery. I help to facilitate the process in others. I also collage, make people cards, paint on canvas and occasionally sell stuff. Throughout it all the process has informed my every move. I feel a grand push to have all parts of my creative life become a cohesive whole and not keep any part of my creative journey in the dark.
I am not quite sure what all this means yet, but it feels right.