“When you go out next, take a look at the dirt at the side of the road. Blonde dirt, ochre red dirt, black dirt, brown dirt, yellow dirt, clay white dirt, green dirt. Then, look inside your house. Most everything in it came from the dirt first. Our Mother is everywhere: metal, plastic, paper, glass. Don’t tell me you have no ideas. Dig.”
~Tending the Creative Fire manuscript, by Clarissa Pinkola Estés
Chris leads Process painting. Beautifully.
The Process began with picking my paint colors and brushes.
For me, this process was about digging. The painting I did didn’t come from the top of me. My head. It came from someplace deep down in the darkness, someplace where the paint flows like honey, like blood, like dirt…I guess that would be mud.
As Chris said right from the beginning, it’s not about the painting, it’s about the process, about what’s happening within you as you choose colors, choose brushes, face the white paper, become the conduit for seed to sprout from the dirt, and for the mystery to come to life as creation.
At the very root of it all, it’s a big mystery. I didn’t know what would come out on the paper. I don’t know what it is or even what it means. It just came out. It’s as simple as that.
I noticed, as I painted without a plan and without a story, that it was fun. I had fun simply watching it all happen. I felt playful as the color changed the paper from white to painted. It was spontaneous. Joyous. Innocent.
It was a lot like the painting I did as a child at pre-school, where long tables were made from saw horses and wood, long tables that held clean white butcher paper.
Back then, I just LOVED to see the paint flow onto the paper. That’s the part I remember most. The colors. The mixing. The colors mixing and turning the paper from white to painted to creation.
Sometimes, what is flowing wants my mind to join in, so the creation can have meaning, can be shared with words, can have a different kind of impact. Sometimes, there’s no invitation to the mind to join in. I like those times. They’re empty. Nothing here but dirt and digging.
I could try to make something up about what it means, but why?
Dirt is where it all comes from.
I just dig.