“Intuition can also mean an instant recognition of a truth, sensing that you are doing the right thing in making a choice or decision even if it is not the immediately obvious option, or an experience of knowing the probable outcome just as it is beginning to unfold. The dictionary defines it as immediate unreasoned perception.”
― Sylvia Clare, Trusting Your Intuition: Rediscover Your True Self to Achieve a Richer, More Rewarding Life
Some pages, paintings and images have a lot to say. I have long been keenly aware of that dynamic in the work of others. I’m a total art museum/symphony cry baby. Beautiful art moves me. But it took me a little longer to listen to my own work. After years of practicing and teaching traditional drawing & composition, painting and color theory, my main motivator when I approached a blank canvas was to get it right or make something that would sell.
And then I began journal keeping and decorating pages. I began to marry my creative practice and my spiritual practice. My intuition began to pour out onto the page – first in streams of words and poems and then in images. I allowed my deepest heart to emerge in my journals and I began to explore painting with no regard for technique or audience.
One of the first paintings that I painted intuitively, was a self portrait. I didn’t sketch first and I chose the paint colors without thought. I painted with my intuition. And I hated the painting.
She shook me up.
The proportions were off.
The colors were strange.
And she didn’t really look like me, but she did.
I wanted to paint over her. Add. Correct. Fix. Just start over.
But, I sensed there was more there.
So, I hung her on the wall in my studio and waited.
Eventually, she spoke.
She told me stories of moving without worry. And pointed me to tales filled with accuracy and inaccuracy and freedom. She showed me that I could weave grace into my painting process. And reassured me that my serious-minded ways are just fine.
She taught me to stay when things go south. Stay and paint through. Stay and listen. Just stay.
She taught me not to think too much. My head gets so big. So full of ideals and expectations. Pride and needing-to-know block so much of my creative process. And if I’m honest, my living. Shame and less-than-perfect execution muddy the water. So, I stall. Or look at someone else’s work and feel small.
She reminds me that sometimes unfinished is finished.
I look at her and I breathe. I look at her and I feel grace. She handed me permission and voice that I could only give myself.
She reminds me to hold my hand open. To wear fire and a crown as daily garments. To courageously hold out my heart even though the risk is high that it will be broken from all the exposure.
Perhaps she has something to say to you, too.
Breathe deeply. Be in your life.
“Intuition is seeing with the soul.” – Dean Koontz