Last weekend I went on a Vision Quest with artist, teacher, mentor Whitney Freya at my local home away from home art studio Art More Place.. the entire thing was just so magical and amazing that I have been trying for a full week to come up with some words to describe it.. any words.. I just can't do it.
I finally just decided that none would be right. To meet Whitney is to fall in love with her. To paint with her is to learn to fall in love with yourself.
I do not have good words to describe any of this. But I will try to show you the steps I took on my canvas along the way..
The first layer was all water. Beautiful blues and purples and teals, around and around in a flowing circle, om symbol at the center. I joked that I could take it home as is and hang it up because I loved it, but also said that I couldn't wait to paint over it (thank you 30 day painting challenge!!)
Layer 2 started with a glaring orange sun stencil which then became yellow and orange and reds all over, continuing in the round, circular pattern I'd started on layer 1. I added black arrows as marks and wrote blood & fire in large bold black letters. This was my invocation of the fire element (and also my 90s Indigo Girls).
Of course I couldn't wait to cover all of this up again!! I next drew circles everywhere and then surrounded them in white, added some black and gray circles - this was my air layer. I then started to turn the painting into an elephant. God, I wanted an elephant so bad! It just wasn't happening, no matter how hard I tried or hoped. Then I hoped she could be a deer.. She wasn't a deer. Others suggested a fox, maybe she could be a cat? I added some more black arrows around and around while I hoped and waited for some guidance, maybe some divine inspiration. Finally walked away and quickly looked back at my canvas and realized she was an aardvark. FINE, she can be an aardvark. This was the end of Day 2, and we left the studio for dinner, and I left an aardvark on my canvas.
Day 3 - I woke up down, headachy, sad, not really sure where to go with my painting or if I'd even want to, which was so unlike the energy I'd had and felt the day before. I moped around a bit, and Dave even said "Isn't this the opposite of how you're supposed to feel? Aren't you missing the entire point of the workshop?"
I finally decided to just get in the shower. While in there, I rememered the Rainbow Warrior card I'd drawn the day before - Active Wisdom - which mentioned that I need to calm my reactive energies. I had wanted an ellie SO BADLY that my reaction to that want was to be down about what DID show up. As I washed my hair I thought about what an aardvark means as a totem or spirit animal - the answers lie beneath, right? Keep digging, right? Thinking about it I realized that I hadn't invoked any element of earth at all. I'd forgotten the original flow and energy of my round, circular pattern. Realized I'd used almost no green. I'd forgotten all of those arrows I'd drawn around and around.
Suddenly I had an idea of where to go .. serenity.
Calm the lotus mind.
Round and round.
Like a drishti.