I have noticed in my art practice that there is a hidden impetus in painting over an old painting or starting a painting with a detailed under-painting. The meaning of layering represents the different layers of growth within the subconscious, and art brings that to my awareness, in the form of layers in oil painting. Sometimes it’s a painting that has been painted a long time ago. Now, more often, I know that a painting will need to start with a different painting, and that, however beautiful I might feel it to be, that letting to and going over it, is a necessary step.
I was thinking of the painting I had painted over, a painting I had done in 2017.
Four Ways Of Wanting And Not Getting.
I painted over it and came to this,
‘Four ways of wanting and not getting’ shows the way we seek what we want in love and happiness, in ways that often don’t give us lasting results and often causes a lot of pain and upheaval.
The first figure on the left is the inner child, reaching for those who are bigger, to get what they she/he wants and needs. In this pattern, the self stays small and cannot grow, stuck in a developmental phase. Never getting from others and life what is needed to fill the lack.
The next figure is the collapsed victim, feeling empty and vulnerable; life is happening to them and they have no control or agency, only to get distressed and/or angry to feel like they can affect those who affect them in turn by emotional outbursts.
The third figure is the intellectual, living completely in their head and disconnected from their body. They are the over-thinkers and over-analysers. They are comfortable with rules and definitions to make sense of their world and find it hard to feel, or to relate to the feelings of others.
The fourth figure is the spiritualiser. A bit like the intellectual, but more in a spiritual way. Hoping to strike a bargain with life or God, by being good and spiritually minded; they might focus on spiritual ideas and philosophies and their energy body, sometimes at the cost of being grounded or being aligned with their own particular goodness, morality and their own intuition. They might be very disciplined in their practice, leaving little room for self-listening and over-riding their body’s messages.
I chose to paint over this painting, just needing an extra canvas for the show at Art-Systems Wickham in July. Because I paint intuitively, I didn’t’ choose this painting to paint over it, with the resolution of the ‘wanting and not getting’ pattern. Those types of synchronicities happen at a different level to the reality we live. It just so happens that today it all falls into place…. Also because a couple of days I wrote the following poem:
The drawing in the second image I made on the same morning as the poem, only realising that when I took ‘the encumbrance’ away it looked like my painting ‘The Gift’. Always trust the creative process!! It knows what its doing, it knows me in my totality!! In painting ‘The Gift’ (it only got its name towards the end at which point, I was starting to have an inkling of what that was about) awareness comes that I am The Gift, in my own life. Just as we all are The Gift, in our own life. We are the gift to ourselves first and then shine that gift-awareness of self, out into life for others and the world. To know myself as ‘The Gift’ I have to accept the gift that I am and to allow myself to stand, as I am, in the light of the Sun; The Life Giver. I have to be able to see myself and others correctly. I have to be able to attend to all Wanting-Not-Getting parts of me, and compassionately soothe, validate and console them and divest them of the encumbrance of their perceptions of lack, unworthiness, aloneness etc.
Thank you Art, whatever it is that you are!!