Intuitive Painting: Following the impulses, urges and messages from an intuitive place. Letting go of mind, letting go of results, allowing the process to unfold. By “listening” to the paints, paper and brushes, feelings are reconnected to and insights are gained. Intuitive painting can act as a mirror to our lives, letting us see what we need to see right in that very moment.
A client, Dasha, has allowed me to use her recent session as an illustrative example of the intuitive painting process. Though each session is unique, this example can give a glimpse into what a session might be like.
“For this client, the process began with a simple pink circle. Red and yellow “wings” appeared, soon followed by a carefully painted, deliberate black chain. For Dasha, the wings represented freedom and the desire to explore the world, to have adventures. When the chain first appeared, she thought it would make her feel tied down, imprisoned.
As she worked, however, Dasha soon began to realize that the chain represented her need to be grounded, literally chained to the roots of the tree, reaching far down into the earth. Rather than feeling restricted, the image was a liberating one as Dasha became aware of the need in her life for both flight and grounding. She saw the importance of both energies, instead of one being “better” than the other, they both gained value in relation to the other.
As Dasha happily contemplated this stage of the process, having gained a valuable insight into her life, she soon felt an inner directive to begin to splatter paint on the corners of the painting. Brush soon gave way to fingers, corners gave way to the whole being covered. Dasha was very clear that she was not following an impulse to “cover up” her earlier work, but rather to let go of being attached to perfection. As the greens evolved, she was delighted with the results. It was very satisfying to let go and create a new, more spontaneous form. Her whole body became involved in the movement, dynamic and expressive. What freedom!
Then, the directive to change reappeared, and this time it was harder to follow the impulse. She soon realized that this was now about letting go of the desire to keep what came before, of attachment to the image being a certain way. “You can have an experience, but you don’t have to hold on to it.”
She bravely let go of the lush “green forest” and allowed the whole thing to become muddy and swirly.
New colours were splattered on the now brown and black surface. A quick muddy heart appeared in one corner.
Dasha, contemplating this new stage, felt good about the colour transformation, but also now had a strong desire to get rid of the muddy heart. However, she was aware that this urge for change was different to the first. Now it was her desire to get rid of a part that she didn’t really like. This urge was one of covering up the unwanted as opposed to freeing herself from attachment to form and to perfection. She resisted the urge to get rid of the muddy heart and eventually began to see the beauty inside, the closer she looked.
Quite a journey of revelation in the seemingly simple process of painting from intuition.”