Week Three ~ Trust & Surrender

"Try something different. Surrender." - Rumi


Discovering Your Symbology

Symbols have been used to tell stories throughout human history. At this point in our collective evolution however, we do not share one set of symbols with universal meaning. Some symbols may have wider appeal, like stars, hearts, birds, faces and moons. While other symbols have become more personal, as we touch in to the deepest parts of our own hearts and discover the unique stories, energies, purpose and meaning within each of us. 

As we develop relationships with and understand the symbols we are drawn to, we begin to learn our hearts' unique visual language with us. Soon shapes begin to take on new meaning and importance when they show up time and time again in your life, like markers on your spiritual path urging you forward.

The purpose of this activity is to begin to cultivate your own symbol system... in particular, to begin to reveal the symbols wanting to support and participate in your creative inner journey. In your journal or sketchbook, begin doodling shapes that come to mind. Notice what shapes want to be repeated, played with and developed, allowing yourself to be responsive to your inner impulse without censorship. Don't know how to draw something? Google image it.

Fill 1-2 pages with symbols and simple doodles. Notice themes, like nature, cosmic, things that are red... 

Contemplate what these symbols or themes mean to you. What stories do they tell you? What do they tell you about yourself? Your process? Your future?

** Please bring your symbology doodles to class on Tuessday!



Writing Practice

What is your process beginning to reveal about you? 

Painting as a spiritual practice can be a powerful tool for self discovery and healing. In the process, making art provokes and moves us in new ways, or perhaps old ways, as we release that which stands between our present selves and our desired future self, encapsulating in our initial intentions. (See more on processing in today's blog post, 'Surrendering to the process of being cracked open'. 

To more clearly understand the subtle spiritual effects of your painting process, I invite you to try this writing exercise. With journal and writing utensil in hand, asking your own heart the question, 'what is my creative process trying to reveal to me about myself?' Begin writing stream of consciousness (without editing or needing to pre-formulate thoughts), allowing your hand to become the conduit for your heart and spirit. Like being in a sharing circle, there is no need to think about what you are going to say before it is time to say it. Just allow your hand to write quickly to keep up with the sometimes random and surprising things coming through it. At first it might feel like your mind is the one writing it, but keep keep going and notice when the feeling of your writing shifts and becomes the voice of your heart. Write 3 full pages using this method. Once you are finished notice common themes through your writing.

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Steps 6 & 7 Reviewed

Step 6 ~ Encountering the Face

Steps 6 & 7 and continuing to add and fill images 

  • Choose 3 colours light/medium/dark
  • Slightly smaller drybrush
  • Use little paint in a scratchy, circular motion
  • Bring light paint into light areas of the face first
  • Bring darks to furthest back areas of the face
  • Fill in medium spaces, blending into darks and lights
  • Repeat dark/med/light until desired shading and face structure are achieved (at this point complete at least two layers.... more if desired)

Step 7 ~ Awakening Your Muse

  • Use a synthetic liner brush and 1 paint colour
  • Strengthen and open the lines the face, opening each sense mindfully as you do this process
  • No need to go over old lines from end to end, but rather creating a lighter, more broken up line inside the line prior, creating more dimension
  • Continue strengthening and bringing back line throughout your painting, giving new definition to shapes