Painting Into the Unknown
This weekend I went to a fabulous workshop to experience “The Point Zero” painting method with Michele Cassou. Michele’s revolutionary technique of process painting teaches us how to respond to the creative impulse within. She says, “Creativity knows what you need, when you let it through, it gives you what you need.” Love that!
I went to Michele’s workshop feeling open and excited. The first day I painted flowers, trees, and a cow. It was fun but far from earth shattering. I noticed too that my energy level during that first day was really low. I was hungry all day and I couldn’t wait to take a break. When I asked Michele about it she said “Fatigue is not uncommon. What it represents is that we are fighting with our creativity, with our intuition.”
The next day when I arrived, I found myself painting trees, again. Then I started to paint some mostly trite and uninspiring words, “God, Love, Sad…” When I asked Michele if it was okay to the words she reminded me that we were to paint images. I immediately felt at a loss. She then suggested that I stay with the discomfort of not being able to use words to express myself.
I went back to the painting, wordless, and had it in my mind to paint another flower when suddenly I stopped, my brush poised just above the paper. In that moment I realized that because I didn’t know what to do I went right back to what I already knew how to do! By doing what I already know, I wasn’t allowing the unknown to move through me.
This is exactly what we discuss in the journaling and meditation class. Instead of paint however, we use a method called “Free Writing,” writing prompts, and guided meditations to move our awareness away from our conditioned/thinking mind. Through writing and being still we exhaust everything we know about ourselves and the unknown Self emerges.
Connecting with the unknown Self, our source of creativity, is addicting. Once you feel the newness, the insight, and the love moving through you, you want more of it. However, it doesn’t have to happen through the painting process or even the writing process. My feeling is that any method that keeps your attention focused and in the present moment introduces you the great unknown Self. It cannot help but to emerge through us. As Michele says, “It’s just waiting to come through you.”