Process Painting Retreat

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~

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