Recently, I've been willing to learn more about mandalas. After reading Heather's post about them, I just couldn't stop thinking of painting one.
A mandala (in Sanskrit means both "circle" and "centre") is a spiritual symbol in Buddhism and Hinduism, which basically represents the Universe, wholeness. It was used as a therapeutic art tool by psychologist Carl Jung, who believed that creating mandalas helped patients to make the unconscious conscious (read more here).
After studying the subject for a couple of days, I went to my art table, and started drawing. I didn't want to think it too much, so I just used what I had already out on the table- soft pastels, a canvas, collaged with some scraps of vintage papers, a graphite pencil, gesso, charchoals, brushes and my fingers.
I usually move very, very fast on the surface I'm painting, whatever it is. I remember people being impressed by seeing me while painting. It's just so natural to me doing so, I never think my work too much- I prefer it to be spontaneous, just as I am. If I think it too much, you bet I am not happy with the finished result and it doesn't "feel right".
This brings me to the point of Intuitive Painting. The wide majority of my work (now and always, whatever medium I may want to use) is intuitive, based just upon intuition. Painting is exactly like a form of meditation for me.
And that's why over the two years I've had to share a home with family members, before moving to England, with no space for solitude and for working on my own- I went crazy. Truly. I need to be alone to let the creative juice flow... it comes from instinct, so you bet it's extremely difficult to do that while someone else in the house is doing vacuuum cleaning, chatting or watching tv! :(
I really encourage you to find a space, for how small it may be- in the garage, in the attic, in the garden shed, wherever. But this kind of intuitive painting (just like prayer or meditation) must be done in quiet.
We all have this internal compass, that guides us towards unexplored territories, but for many people, intuition is buried deep under the judgement of the conscious mind, and they find it really difficult, if not impossible, having access to it.
Intuitive painting is one of the ways that can be used to let the logic brain rest for a while, and working with the flow of our innate creativity, be able to connect with our true, intuitive self.
When you work this way, you must be completely open- minded and hearted. You must be open to accept the messages you receive, and make room for the beauty of imperfection. It's a process where your logic mind, your left side of the brain, turns off for a while.
Now I usually use this type of paiting, whatever surface I work on and whatever medium I use. I like to not think too much when I paint, and definitely let my intuition guide me. Whether I am painting flowers, birds, snowmen, Santas, or affirmation girls, or I'm designing a product- whatever. This type of approach I use also with styling and photography and crafting- it's all driven by instinct in my own work, no rules. It is "felt" rather than "thought".
And I LOVE what came out!
"Turn your heart to the point of oneness, then nothing will be impossible to you."- Buddha