Putting the Heart into Art – that’s it in a nutshell really. Are you familiar with the term Heart Intelligence . Its a fascinating concept and many artists and creatives use their Heart Intelligence quite intuitively when they work.
Heart Intelligence requires 2 skills, one is to be internally aware in any given moment of what you are feeling ( not what you think you should be) and also simultaneously having relational awareness i.e. the ability of knowing others. I think that what art does is allows you to access that place in your heart , and express that through your chosen medium. After all every creative work is an expression of the internal awareness of its creator and putting it out there to be shared with others.. I have had a couple of extraordinary experiences in which a painting told me an amazing story that I didn’t know was unfolding even as I was painting it.
Allow me to share this with you and I think you may well agree that it was an amazing experience. This story begins actually with the end of a painting . The painting you see below was finished.
I put down the brush and knew that it didn’t require another brushstroke. So what’s the problem you may well ask. Well the problem was that it didn’t feel finished. When you do something do you ever have to reach an internal place that feels just right to you, in order to feel it is complete and move on. Well I always look for that when I’m painting.
So to return to the painting – I looked and looked at it – went away, came back, left it over night, sat in front of it again – nah – still that nagging feeling and still no solution. Left it another night , came down the stairs into the studio the next morning and walked right up to it and turned it around, till it looked like this! And it was complete!
Well that was literally a shocking experience – here was a painting I had tried so hard to paint as an abstract, using some melded landscape photos and look what turned up.
Now do you know anything about symbolism? Well I was familiar with a bit of it and immediately recognized several symbols in this picture. There I was sitting on a rock with a hood on my head. The hood was piereced with holes. Behind the figure back to back is another figure looking out into a landscape and off to the right hand side of the picture a rather obese looking person slinking around – I was struggling with weight issues at the time. Then there are more shadowy figures in the dark area at the upper left of the painting. All these figures represented someone in my life at that time – it was a chillingly acurate portrait of my life during that period – I was in shock for several days. My heart, intuition call it what you will made me pay attention to myself in a way I could no longer ignore – it was truly amazing.
Do you think this was Heart Intelligence at work?
Our first assignment is to describe the people we want to visit and read our blogs.
I am an artist and my real passion is creativity. The people who may experience an instant connection to this blog are those who recognize that they are creative. Although I am primarily a visual artist and now a budding writer, I would like to think that creatives from all walks of life will gain benefit from my blog. The issues I post about are usually related to the creative journey in some way, offering insights and knowledge gained during the course of my creative career.
However I would also like to think that my blog offers food for thought to those of us who don’t think they have any creativity. That it might give them the courage to have a look and be delighted and surprised at their own- magnificence – to not put too finer point on it. It is my passionate belief that we all have a creative genius within us waiting to be uncovered and so my blog is to encourage those of us who haven’t discovered this part of themselves yet.
In particular I would like to reach out to people in the business world who think that creativity is largely irrelevant in that arena. They couldn’t be more wrong, especially in today’s economic environment. If you have any doubts about this – read Seth Godin’s latest book –Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?
The other group of people who may enjoy this blog are those who are interested in self development. Unfolding one’s creativity, is a journey of the soul and calls to all of us if we are able to hear and be open to our voice within. So many of my students are amazed at the qualities they find themselves developing through their art practice.
Therefore if you like reading my blog you probably fall somewhere between the ages of 20 and 120, you might live anywhere in the world and currently most likely speak English. Your interests probably lie more in the arts than sciences and you may be interested in developing innovative changes in your business environment. You enjoy personal challenges and are interested in the arts and creativity.
You know, It’s amazing how when you commit to something, so many other things suddenly pop out of the woodwork to assist you on your path.
Not only have I joined the Next Top Spiritual Author competition this month but recognizing that I have a commitment to building a more vibrant blog, I also signed up for the 4-week BlogTriage class with Cynthia Morris and Alyson Stanfield.
I was tempted to not sign up and dithered around a bit, wondering how I was going to find time for it all, however I also recognized that this is something I really need to do right now to move my blog forward. I tend to be one of those people who take the widget out of the box and only read the manual 10 hours later when I get stuck. Hmmm …… sound familiar to anyone?
Creativity forces us to make changes.
Further to our discussion on people’s rejection of their own creativity – lets look at the Change Factor.
Even for those for us who constantly work with creativity, there is still often fear and resistance to change. I know I’ve often reached a point in a painting where it’s looking good but I know at some level that it needs something else, that it could be better – if only I actually knew what that was LOL.
At that point I have to decide whether I can live with making changes and possibly losing the whole thing or leaving it as it is.
To keep going requires great courage. However more often than not we end up with something even better if we are prepared to take that risk. However I believe we must follow our own inner guidance system. I made the mistake once of thinking a work was pretty much finished until my partner at the time came by and said something in the vein of this would look better like that. Internally I didn’t agree – I thought it was fine.
However to please him on this occasion, because I never usually took any notice of his criticisms, I thought – OK’ Ill do that. Well needless to say it was a disaster and not only that I never could seem to manage to get it back to how it was before. I’m not blaming him – rather now understand that it was about me and not having the guts to stand up for my work and what I knew on some level was right at the time.
We have to, as creative people, understand that Change and all its inherent risks, is an integral part of the creative process. It is only in the last few years that I have become more proficient in following my inner voice, gut instinct – call it what you will. This is a necessity, a requirement to do good work, because if you listen and follow it invariably it is always right.
I have a fascinating story about following that voice ….
Tidal Platform II - Kadira Jennings
Does anyone know where March went?
Do you ever get that feeling that somehow you’ve missed a month? I think that happens when we are super busy and have hardly had time to stop for a breath. A friend said to me the other day,
“Oh its April – first month of Autumn.” I had to point out that Autumn starts in March on this side of the world. But it was funny because I felt the same – its been so mild it hasn’t seemed like autumn at all. The weather’s probably been more like a hot English summers day – I suspect!
Education is an area which still doesn’t acknowledge that creativity is an important life skill. Not only that, it is arguably one of the most important skills we can develop in the 21st century.
It was refreshing to read this article on the Presentation Zen blog in which Sir Ken Robinson speaks about this very thing. What is interesting is his thoughts about how our schools until now, have trained us to meet the needs of industrialization. This is a sentiment echoed in Seth Godin’s new book Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? which is well worth a read. I’m only half way through it at the moment and will talk more about that in another post.
I would estimate that maybe 90% of the worlds population not only are unaware of their own untapped creative potential, but that many of them also actively deny they have any.
Why is that do you think?
For many many years creative people have been regarded with a range of judgments such as; odd, wacky, not got their feet on the ground, far out hippies, eccentric, not to be trusted, non conformist types that just don’t even try to fit in.
It is amazing when you think about it because while they rail at creatives in one breath , in the next they are admiring the Sistine chapel or Gaudi’s wonderfully eccentric buildings.
Gaudi Building - Barcelona
I suspect that the driving thing behind most people’s denial of their own creativity is a deep fear of things like – being different, standing out from the crowd, or being remarkable. Even more terrifying, might be uncovering something within themselves which would call to them, thus upsetting the status quo of their carefully orchestrated, safe lives…..