For the past several years, every December I meditate with the intention of being open to a word appearing that will be my guiding thought for the following year.
Sometimes, the word struggles to reveal itself as I block the process, pushing and prodding and trying to direct its natural appearance. In my desire to control the process, I test its strength, purpose, presence and put up roadblocks everywhere.
Sometimes, it appears and there is no getting away from it. It just is, and any machinations on my part simply affirm its presence more soundly.
The word for 2017 was such an occurrence. It appeared early in my process and wouldn’t leave. It stuck around, gently pushing me, instead of me prodding it.
As in past years, my intention was to meditate on the word and then, create a painting that represented it. I don’t ‘create’ it as much as it creates itself.
This past weekend was slightly different. I didn’t have an intention of creating a painting of the word. It just happened.
I was in the studio and started playing with my Gelli Print pad (a really fun rubbery pad that let’s you create prints of images – search for Gelli Print on Pinterest and you’ll find lots of references). I didn’t really have an intention for what I was doing. I simply wanted to explore, have fun and be open to whatever happened.
Using a pale yellow tissue paper as my substrate, I printed images on several pieces, experimenting with colour and texture. With some I used a bird stencil. Others, I used string and various shapes. Eventually, I decided I’d created enough prints and moved on to my canvas paper.
And that’s where the fun started.
Underneath the painting you see, is an old painting I wasn’t too fond of. It’s presence informs the process, creating interesting texture and background that would not have been as rich had I not chosen to trust in the process. Included in this painting are cut up pieces of one of my Gelli Print images as well as pieces of grey self-adhesive drywall gridded tape that I decided would be fun to experiment with.
See, often when I paint, I don’t really have a ‘destination’ in mind. I simply have a desire to express my creativity and be open to the process.
For me, that’s where the excitement, the joy and the contentment intersect.
The painting for my 2017 word, INTERSECTION, is the outcome of trusting in the process, leaning into creativity and letting it lead the way. There was no path, no guaranteed outcome, no sure and safe way to do it. There just was ‘the way’.
Which once again affirms that when I trust the process, the way appears.