Enchanted by Painting

The RED thread in my life is indeed red, full of engagement and passion, empowering my “AM-ness” in most delightful ways. The online class BIG enthralls me. Connie is my kind of teacher – believes in us, challenges us and then steps out of the way for our unique unfolding – AND she’s doing it online. What an amazing world we live in. I am so jacked to begin teaching online too…when I realize not just facts can be taught online but transformative, juicy processes, too.

So this first week of our process is about easing into using the materials. I can’t wait to start the first exercise yesterday and get up early to do it. Actually, I don’t sleep much with daylight savings time and excitement, so I kind of roll out of bed to a dark rainy timeless day and skidaddle over to my BIG paper already taped to a plywood board and leaning up against the piano. My art studio for BIG is a corner of my bedroom …

I choose four colors. Well, I ask my hands to choose four colors from my stash of poster paints left over from my teaching days in the yurt in Montana. I choose orange and turquoise instantly, then black, then yellow. Later white gets into the act. My first marks are orange zig-zags, but they soon are covered over with large vertical arcs. Then smaller ones, almost a spiral, take place in the upper left. Then horizontal bars along the bottom. I realize – boom – there’s a landscape. I did not intend that. I don’t want to see sea and sky but heck, there it is.

I watch my thoughts zig and zag between knowing it’s a landscape and wanting it to be just flow. Between knowing about the importance of value and contrast and juxtaposition of color and wanting simply to express the motion of the moment.

Fascinating to me to witness my interior process, to be aware of the dance and choices being made. I notice too, that I am humming, chanting. My body is singing to support my staying present with the movement and the colors and the expression.

I purposefully shift hands to mix it up and that bring arcs from the opposite direction, overlapping the first. That reminds me of how much I adore plaids – the under/over quality of the pattern – the web of weaving. Thinking about plaids as I type, takes me back to childhood memories of this special little book, which I still protect carefully.

Falling apart now, I remember studying it and wishing my surname was in this book so I could prove to myself that I am native to northern Europe.

In the painting I suddenly see a sun. I grab magenta and make rays but hate them and so “arc “ them out. I make lots of V shaped birds but as the painting thickens with paint, the birds simply become texture behind the arcs.

The interplay of plaid memories and painted arcs overlapping horizontal bands reminds me of the shimmering interbeddedness of living everyday, simultaneous interconnections, synchronicities, the visible and non-visible weaving our lives endlessly.

About Deborah

Deborah Jane Milton, Ph.D. is an artist, mentor, and eco-psychologist, mother of four and grandmother of eight.
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4 Responses to Enchanted by Painting

  1. Lucy says:

    D- you are such a radiant fabulous artist, visionary and writer! Thank you for sharing your tremendous gifts and giving me and others so much inspiration into our own I AM ness!!
    Love, Lucy D xxxxxxoooooo


  2. Shannon Goose says:

    It looks to me like sun, water and star dust; a great beginning.


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