Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Painting as spiritual Growth

Watercolour as Soul Work

Ruth Hayes       Watercolour       "Tree of Life"

"The Artist must train not only his eye but also his soul. "

Watercolour is said to be the most difficult medium because it doesn't allow for mistakes or so I've heard.  A true watercolourist might say mistakes are only "happy accidents" waiting on the imagination of the artist to figure out how to take the painting in a new direction. As a painter who loves the spontaneity and surprise of watercolour I have spent a lot of time trying to imagine new possibilities for sudden blossoming of colour or unintended drips.
This is where painting has become my spiritual path and discipline.

 I've seen lists of "Ten things I've learned from my dog". I could do one for watercolour or to return to my quote by Kandinsky how has my soul been trained (or tortured).
High on my list is patience and more patience. How often have I gone back into a wash before it has dried completely? A crucial part of watercolour is allowing drying time before going in again. Another aspect is patience as a painting reveals itself. This is where I set the painting aside and at some later time I will look at the painting and know exactly what I need to do to make it work.

Surrender to the creative process. I might think I know where I'm going only to turn the painting upside down to find a different painting wanting to emerge.

Listen to the painting and not to my intellect.

Stay present and in the moment.
Paint with a sense of play and joy.

Paint with a sense of humble gratitude as sometimes it feels like I'm only a channel for what emerges on the paper. Sometimes it looks like a dog's breakfast and finding again the patience to hold the space and tolerate failure as well as success.

Paint for the love of it.

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