It all started with creating a video teaser inviting people to a workshop I will be teaching next weekend. After the video was posted on social media, I continued developing the painting by manipulating the brightly hued alcohol-based inks and adding various textural elements with brushes, sprays, dabbers and a thin white marker.
The flower shape showed up again!
I realized that the fleshy flower is a recurring shape when I create samples for my classes, and although stylized, it is the only recognizable element in a sea of abstraction. In each case too, the blooms are a focal point in a composition.
Opening to understanding the meaning behind it, I found myself thinking about my role as a teacher, and how much pleasure it affords me. In teaching people to express their authentic selves pictorially, I recognize my purpose in the world. I also mirror to them the process of trusting the inner voice that allowed me to be at peace and live joyously doing what I love.
I my classes, I am offering ways for caterpillars to become butterflies or for flowers to fully blossom toward the light of the sun.
Butterflies and flowers not only depend on each other for survival, they also follow parallel pathways in order to become who they are meant to be.
An egg has no concept that it could become a caterpillar, let alone a butterfly! As the larva hatches it stuffs itself with leaves that nourish and provide for its tremendous and willful growth. Evolution occurs through a series of molting and shedding layers of skin until one day, the caterpillar stops eating, hangs upside down from a leaf and spins itself a silky cocoon called a chrysalis. In time and through another laborious inward process of digesting itself, it emerges into an unbounded being of beauty with wings capable of traveling very long distances providing sources of growth and transformation on their journey.
A flower starts as a seed and has no sense it could become something else inside its protective shell. In order to grow, the seed has to decide to leave tangible protection where it can survive for millennia, and brave the challenges of rocks, soil, water, temperature changes, and human contact to emerge into the light. The struggle will continue until it eventually blossoms into a majestic being of beauty that provides sources of nourishment, joy and growth just as they are and where they are.
The egg and the seed made a choice to trust their desire to grow and transform. Neither worried about their right to do what they were doing nor their purpose in life. Yet they both have a life affirming purpose.
In choosing to have the courage to come into full bloom they contribute their unique magic to the rest of us. Can you visualize living in this world if they had been cowards?
We humans are not that different. Life is difficult and it involves choices at every step of our journey. As babes in the womb, we had no idea that we would be mothers, uncles, astronauts, senators, or teachers. Some of us assumed each of our roles with grace and ease, and some of us experienced pain and suffering. Still some lived through periods of both.
None of us are an accident. Had you chosen not to be born, “something will be missing in existence and nobody can replace it”, said Osho and “…that’s what gives you dignity, that the whole existence will miss you.”
I saw in this painting and in the other flowers I create, that in my teaching, I seek to feed the longing in each person to become a flower or a butterfly. In their “safe shells”, they harbor many doubts; their minds rule and tell them that they cannot paint. But by practicing to quiet the monkey mind, each person begins to listen to their hearts, and in reaching out to colors and textures, they start to paint what they hear.
I encourage people to allow the heart to speak loudly and clearly, so they may summon the courage to come into full bloom!
If you want to participate in next Saturday’s Alcohol Inks workshop and start the process of speaking your authentic voice, using the perfect medium to experience growth, go to Valentines Art Gifs Workshop.
If you like to purchase this 5” x 7” painting on Yupo, go to Courage to Become.