"Our imagination is the most important faculty we possess....
it is the deepest voice of the soul and can be heard clearly
only through cultivation and careful attention.
A relationship with our imagination is a relationship
with our deepest self."
- Pat B. Allen, "Art is A Way of Knowing"
Process Painting is a powerful way to cultivate imagination and bring us into relationship with the deepest part of ourselves. When we dare to create we drop our insane rushing and mind chatter and instead experience being at home with ourselves. The transformation that happens when we touch our home base, our essential self, is truly extraordinary. An expansiveness is felt inside and an aliveness that says YES to life.
To create is to dwell in the unknown and because of this creativity also helps us with problem solving. We come to recognize and embrace the ability we have to sense and act directly without thought. Our creativity is quieter than the loud shouts of our reactions and opinions, likes and dislikes. It has an intelligence that can guide us. This way of sensing is always available if we remain present, in the moment, alert.
With Process Painting we are not given any instruction on how to paint. There are brushes, colorful pots of paints and large pieces of white paper in the studio. There is no goal to reach, no "shoulds" or "have tos". We are not trying to paint something beautiful or meaningful. We are simply painting: painting from our own imagination, taking risks, inventing, following our own feelings and energy. The facilitator's job is to support us when we are stuck. "Stuckness" often happens when we identify with the inner critic or unhappily try to control the painting.
All levels of art experience are welcome, including beginners, professional artists and people who think they “aren’t creative”. The atmosphere in the studio is safe and accepting; paintings are not critiqued or interpreted. Painters agree from the outset not to make any comments on one another's paintings. Classes are designed to assist painters in opening to their unique creative energy, to access authentic imagery, and to facilitate healing and well being.