“Out of the Vastness…”
“The human spirit is not a worm of the dust. It is the Masterpiece of the Infinite. It is builded for citizenship in the Universe forever…Out of the Vastness into the Everywhere.” -Author Unknown
Last Saturday, I woke up with little voice nudging me at 5am: “You need to paint,” it whispered. So, I begrudgingly got out of bed–much earlier than I prefer on Saturday morning–filled up my water jars, and began to paint.
I didn’t have a plan in mind. I knew I wanted to tear into some paper, and I knew it would be easier to get started if I had a black background. The rest…just evolved. It began with a layer of torn tissue paper and followed with several layers of blue, green, and purple paints. I switched between this cool palette and warmer tones of red and orange–all in between layers of stenciling and writing. I then highlighted the forms which had emerged with white and black Stabilo pencils. Finally, I randomly selected a sheet of text from an old book and cut out a phase that caught my eye: “… Out of the Vastness into the Everywhere…”
I’d be lying if I said the national and world events of the past two weeks weren’t on my mind before I started painting. Maybe a reminder needed to come through that no matter who we are, where we come from, and how we choose to identify ourselves, we’re really all made of the same stardust and we are all connected, standing side by side next to our ancestors as they support us in carrying out our higher purpose.
This style of painting is so freeing and forgiving. I can let whatever is bottled inside, out onto the page. I choose to keep an art journal of these paintings, so I can reference them later and review my journey–like a typical written journal. Sometimes, however, I paint on single sheets of paper that can be destroyed or transformed through collage. Whatever I choose to paint and whatever I choose to do with the completed painting, it is all done with acceptance of whatever images appear, and without judgement about how “good” it is.
check out the time-lapse video
If you’re interested in experiencing this technique for yourself, join us for the new “Paint it Out” workshops on Monday evenings or Wednesday afternoons. I’ll be teaching some basic principles of intuitive painting, and guiding you as you paint with colors, lines, and shapes. This is open to individuals 16 and older, and, as always, no art experience is needed and all supplies are included in the cost. More information here.
Kara Ashley-Gilmore is a Licensed Professional Counselor Associate, Art Therapist, and mixed-media artist at Mountain Creative Arts Counseling. She provides counseling to adolescents and adults who feel crushed by the weight of their anxieties, and want to live more present lives. She often incorporates the creative process into therapy sessions with clients, helping them access their creativity, and use it for their own growth and healing.