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Process Painting

I just tried something I’d never heard of before. It’s called Process Painting, and it’s a combo of meditation and painting. I watched a brief demo by Patty Ripley in my online art group and I couldn’t wait to try it. It’s a process whereby you meditate and then paint, letting whatever comes up within you lead you. The aim is not to make a painting–but spiritual, personal growth. Well, this hits my two biggest things of late. As we all know, carpentry is not one of those. No, dummy! Meditation and painting!

Patty states: “I devote to the healing power of art. It isn’t about making the final product yet more about the process. It’s about connecting with the spirit within and channeling that. It’s about allowing the narrative to be fueled by emotion, sensation and landscape. All is welcome here.” It might sound woo-woo and it is. Right up my alley!

I bought some kids’ paints and poster board, taped two pieces together to make a nice big surface on my wall, and began. First, I listened to her meditation and then I let loose. I should say that my painting is normally fairly free to start with. But here, there is absolutely no imperative to show what you make or to make a pleasing painting or to follow any rules at all. The idea here, though, is to let anything at all come up from within you. Emotions, thoughts, reactions to the meditation, reactions to the colors and the paints, responses to whatever you’ve just put down. And then just follow.

I started with brushes, even skinny ones, which I normally avoid because of my shaky hands. But the paint was a lot like finger paint, so I started using my fingers. Much more fun and freeing.

And then I shut out the little voice that says one should not make the same mark again and again in a single painting, so I just went all out with circles. Circles circles circles! I love circles and I put them into my paintings all the time.

Why? Hmm. I had to think about this. Circles are unending, symbols of life and infinity. They seem to float, like bubbles, which are perfect and ephemeral (thank you, Lynn) and therefore precious; a treat; a gift. They are happy, simple shapes. They represent love (xo). They are happiness.

And there was more that I won’t go into because it was really just for me. Just as when you try it, it will be just for you. I will do it again. It was a beautiful, opening experience for me.

“Devoting to your energetic being will help you reconnect with the pure essence that you are.” – Patty Ripley

“This true essence is beyond the ego. It is fearless; it is free; it is immune to criticism; it does not fear any challenge. It is beneath no one, superior to no one, and full of magic, mystery, and enchantment.” – Deepak Chopra

“Magic happens here.” – Patty Ripley

If you’re looking for my cards or art, you’ll find all of that on my website. If you enjoy these letters, feel free to forward this one to anyone you think might like it. And if someone forwarded this one to you, you can sign up here to receive the letters right in your Inbox. Finally, you’ll find past letters and poems here.

Thanks for listening,

P.S. MerryThoughts is the name of my first book, out of print at the moment. The word is a British one, referring both to a wishbone and to the ritual of breaking the wishbone with the intention of either having a wish granted or being the one who marries first, thus the “merry thoughts.”

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