With my grandson Jake visiting for the summer, I converted my studio into his bedroom then spread out my painting supplies in the dining room. When it’s not horribly hot and humid,  I set up outside @ my backyard creation station. Otherwise, I’m painting on the dining room table with supplies spilling into the kitchen and living room.

The mess mirrors what’s happening inside me as I attempt to drop my mind and paint from my heart. With artist Susan Melrath as my mentor,  I’m experimenting with acrylic abstracts, painting bigger than usual ~ 20 x 20” and on boards instead of canvas or paper.  And as I explore this process of layering paint and building texture, a boisterous conversation between two competing voices yammers in my head.  On the Yin end of the spectrum is Susan’s advice: enjoy the space of not knowing, be bold, take risks, play.

In Chinese Medicine’s Five Element Theory, summer is the season of the heart. The element is fire; it’s color red. It’s the season to vibrate love, passion, fun and pleasure in your whole body, down to the cellular level.

When it comes to creative expression, vibrating love to replace feelings of fear and limiting beliefs takes belief and practice.  It takes Kung Fu, which means effort and discipline. In art, as in health and life, it takes Qi to replace doubt and follow your intuition ~ to open to universal consciousness and love.

Here’s what I’m wondering: With practice, will I be able to release my mind and drop down into my body? Will the heart energies of love and passion ignite my imagination and my paint brush?

Here’s what I’m doing: First I’m amping up my Qigong practice to engage deeper quality and more quantity. With painting I’m experimenting with acrylic abstracts, painting bigger than usual ~ 20 x 20” and on boards instead of canvas or paper.  And as I explore this process of layering paint and building texture, a boisterous conversation between two competing voices yammers in my head.

On the Yin end of the spectrum, I hear: enjoy the space of not knowing, be bold, take risks, play.

Then there’s the Yang clang:  Kill the artist before she ruins the painting.  That slogan is all about the issue of knowing when to stop, of knowing when a painting is complete. Worrying about when to stop morphs into a paralyzing energy that can stop me from dancing past the edge of my comfort zone. Over thinking can squeeze the Qi out of creativity.

Qigong and curiosity to the rescue:   To practice Qigong I wear a black T shirt with the word Qi in big white letters on the front and on the back in those same big letters the mirror image ~ iQ.  What’s the message? That Qi improves your intelligence quotient? How about your intuition, imagination, inspiration quotients?  What might Qi = iQ say about the way we connect to our invisible muse?  From the head? From the heart?

Other questions from my Field Guide to the Creative Energy Field: 

  • Is my creative expression a mirror of my Qigong practice?
  • What is the connection between cultivating Qi and creative expression?
  • If I practice more (quantity) will my painting change? (quality)
  • And here’s a crazy idea: if I practice in front of a work-in-progress, can I create an energy exchange between the painting and me?
  • Will I be able to look at a painting and feel it’s Qi? Or lack of Qi?
This summer, as I open my heart through my daily practices of Qigong and painting, I’ll see what discoveries I make about my made up phrase Creativi~Qi.  I hope you’ll stay tuned for future field notes from a

 

 Kung Fu Painter.

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