Sunset Ridge- I did this painting with the lovely SCAPE group a couple of weeks ago from a gorgeous avocado ranch up on sunset ridge. Painting plein air really puts me in the present moment in way that studio painting doesn’t. I love the sense of merging with the landscape.
Submerging beneath the ordinary realms of object relations into the depths of vast spaciousness emptiness was initially frightening….floating in a sea of nothingness. But the space eventually filled with the golden nectar of pleasant sensation and I am one with the Source of Love at our existence. I am indeed tasting the gold of cosmic consciousness that I could only have reached through the loss of my love objects and ego identifications. I recommend saying yes to whatever losses come your way and see what lays underneath the pain…It is Unconditional Love that will always be with you, no matter what the circumstances of your life.
Last Friday night during the lunar eclipse I was laying in my bed over the ocean in that liminal space between consciousness and sleep and I slipped into a depth of another realm. I experienced myself as a bubbling fountain of protoplasm, a wellspring from eternity and I was no longer a body with an ego. It was pure freedom and bliss and I realized that all my relationships and past history were just memories of thoughts in my mind; a figment of my imagination. This reality of experiencing the pure Being of Soul was true and the rest of my life as I’ve known it is just a dream. I had an image of my children and I wanted so strongly to convey to them that it’s all just a dream. This was a life changing experience, for now I know my true self as a Soul that is bubbling up from the wellspring of the Source of life.
When we mirror hatred, ignorance and fear (disguised as superiority) with anger, judgement and hostility we are just the same as that. I think it is important to meet that restricted energy with an openness that includes kindness, acceptance and love. It seems to me if we resist that which we perceive as different from us, even if we know they are wrong, there is no spaciousness for other to move into a more expanded state- they only dig in their heels deeper. Let’s model a higher level of Being Love in the face of hate. Be like the grace of the Peace Dove.
In the defeat of rejection by my kids and the art market last year, my primary identities as Mother and Artist were stripped away in one swift slamming of a door to a well worn path of a lifetime of pleasing other. With no other choice I stepped inside looking for myself in the depths beneath the roles I filled in the outer world. Though the journey through this ego death has been incredibly painful and disorienting, the landing has been soft and sweet and I like who I found here. Unconditional love and pure Presence; acceptance of all my light and shadow parts; an embracing of my very human imperfections. It is enough to just embody these qualities in the world and be myself.
“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about. Ideas, language, even the phrase each other doesn’t make any sense.”
Original Painting available here
Skunk medicine has been coming in, showing up in the pre dawn hours as I make my way down the garden path to my meditation temple, carrying Georgie so he doesn’t chase the nocturnal creatures who are so active at this time. Skunk is very shy, cautious and illusive, yet one glance at her makes all mammals give her lots of space and utter respect. She only sprays when threatened and will do all she can to avoid this defense because at her core she is very peaceful. But when cornered or provoked she will retaliate very powerfully and the opponent will be sorry. I love her lessons of energetic boundaries and peaceful avoidance of conflict, yet with a powerful defense that demands respect of others. When we respect ourselves we honor our authenticity and we nurture ourselves and from that place of security we are better able to serve others. She is a beautiful emanation of this and she also sports the black stripe of kundalini energy up her spine, marking her connection to goddess energy. When I align with her I align with my true nature which is that of self love. I am taking a page from her book and making my word for the new year Self Respect. The animals with their healthy instincts in tact have so much to teach us if we open up to their messages. Skunk print available here: Skunk Print
I am happy to be offering a workshop at the Carpinteria Art Center on Saturday February 11 on Painting Your Animal Totem. Here is more information: Paint Your Animal Totem workshop
A couple of weeks ago I took a 5 day process painting workshop at the lovely Esalen Institute in magnificent Big Sur. I always have transformative experiences there and this retreat was no exception. I have a routine there of waking up at 4 am to go soak in the mineral hot tubs under the vast sky with millions of stars, lots of them shooting, and a moon so close and present her beams are an embrace. I am always the only one there at that hour and the solitude becomes complete union with the universe. My awareness this time was that the heart beat of the Earth where the Divine Mother emanates from in a field of loving vibration courses through my being and I am of the same energy as the earth and all the stars and planets. It was a very cosmic experience and fueled this painting.
It was completely liberating to paint from pure instinct and impulse after 31 years of painting for a finished product. It brought me back to why I was initially called to my path as an artist; to heal inner turmoil and to connect with my divinity. The cool thing about process painting is that you go into it with very little notion or idea of what to paint and you are guided by your intuition to see what the brush wants to do. You follow the energy and it guides you to secret places within. Imagery emerges and then the painting becomes involved in guiding you as well.
Subconscious material becomes form and color on the page and brings awareness to hidden aspects of your mind. You receive messages and even direction, solutions, healing. You learn to trust yourself at a much deeper level.
In keeping with the spirit of process upon returning home I returned the paintings to the Earth where Mother dwells.
Laying them down on the ground just outside the perimeters of my seaside meditation temple with a prayer of gratitude for her support, strength and nurturance which has provided the healing and movement forward from a very difficult recent passage in my life.
I have continued with the process painting upon my return and don’t know if I can ever go back to “painting to please”. Not that the work created over the past 30 plus years has lacked authenticity; it has always been an honest expression of the joy of nature. But at this juncture in my life I am living from a depth in my soul that contains a wider expanse of knowing to express. May you live fully and deeply know your truth~
The original wound gets punctured over and over again until finally the gash becomes so deep it is an opening to the eye of God and tears of compassionate joy stream down, washing over the soul with love and tenderness toward oneself and all beings. The sacred wound becomes the source of new life, regenerating the body, mind and spirit with nourishing seeds that will ripen into bountiful fruits. One needs only to stay present with the pain and offer a witness of loving kindness to the injured self from the wisdom of God within. Then one becomes part of the flow of eternal life and love.
The birds seeded these sunflowers from the feeder. Multiple blooms on one stem so profuse. Sunflowers are symbolic of our solar plexus chakra and personal will- place of the most armored holding in my body in an unconscious effort to control.
As my ego unwinds, relaxing into Being and surrendering to what is, my belly has softened and become more fluid- especially with the release of my super ego, that inner judge so deeply internalized from our patriarchal culture.
I’m shaking him loose, out of my body, psyche, and soul. Freeing myself of the contracting constraints that question my innate goodness and my right to be myself, to feel all my feelings, to express myself.
There is a new sweet, open flow of feeling in my belly center now. There is a soft vulnerability but a sensitivity that allows me to feel more pleasure and sensuous subtlety. As the personal will releases the grip of the super ego, our will becomes aligned with Divine will of Love. So beautiful. So grateful. Thank you Spirit for this gift of evolutionary life.