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Soulful painting in a cup of tea

Some people ask awkward questions, they’re brilliant at it. My spiritual healer friend has a knack of asking me deep and meaningful questions on subjects that I’ve never considered before, but I always enjoy the challenge of them since it makes me consider different ways of looking at things that I thought quite ordinary up til then. And I know that although our conversations can sometimes be a bit of a challenge, that she finds me a similar challenge in some of the things I ask and say to her, too! I’ve always said that between us there is some powerful thought processes going on.

Take today for instance….

Over a cup of tea she asked me about the new art classes that I’ve started up, and told me about the spiritual healing she’s going to be doing with a new art group in a nearby city for disturbed people  (not a city for disturbed people, I’m not going to make any jokes about Brummies!) – I’m sure there’s a proper politically correct phrase for the sort of people  I’m trying to describe – people who have some mental issues and need some healing and councelling  and therapy through their art sessions. Just the sort of thing that she loves to get involved in, to open up a person’s deepest phobias and fears and help them to address their problems and move on in positive and self aware ways. As we were talking about it, she mentioned some artwork that she had seen that they had done, and described it to me. Some of it sounded quite disconcerting and menacing, and we discussed how much of the soul of that person would be exposed in their choice of colours, and the reason behind the choice of images they had created with them. It made me think…..

…..and I said if I was to lay out a line of crayons in every colour there was – which would SHE chose? And straight away she said “Pink! cos I’m in a pink mood” I smiled, and said I’d automatically choose Red since I’m attracted to that as a bright and vibrant colour. BUT, if I was then told to paint some large banner saying something offensive like “Fuck off you bastards” then that red would suddenly become far more aggressive. But if I was told to paint the most delicate and beautiful picture of something like a landscape then that red might be totally inappropriate for the subject matter. The point I was making was that gut reaction is from the soul, conscious decision making isn’t. So, although you might automatically choose a colour, it might depend on what you’re going to do next with it that might cloud that judgment.

She asked me then if painting was from the soul. And I nodded – Yes!  But, then I had a flash of thought and said that it wasn’t for people who were learning to paint, but it was for someone like me who knew how to paint. Now this is an interesting concept, I realised, as I talked in more depth about it. Because I’ve seen how the people who are in my art class are learning to draw and paint and see things more artistically. They don’t paint from the soul, they paint from the veneer at the top of conscious learning. If you’ve got to think about every line you draw and paint, then you have a large awareness of yourself, and not being able to get the lines right, or the colours right. Its only when you do it automatically (like me) without articulating the thought and just working on action, on flow, on reaction, on instinct, that it comes from the soul. Because you’re not thinking to yourself how do I get this pencil or paint brush to work how I want it, but how can I express the feeling I have for this image in front of me in the best way – and you do it without realising how you’re doing it. That’s soul painting. At least that’s how I analyse it.