The Great Release


The Great Release by Lidia Kenig

I often liken painting with being immersed in God, because when I am in the studio, it appears that the Universe orchestrates a joyful dance with the materials and processes so that the right procedure, the perfect color delivered in the perfect way, lands on a canvas without my physical involvement.

It may sound otherworldly, but I often feel like a puppet on a string, except that the strings are made up of pure light, and as painting progresses, light pours out in all directions, but I become the one generating it.  If I were to describe the overall emotion, I would call it love.

The studio is my happy place where I love openly and where I feel unconditionally loved. It is where, with unabashed trust I allow colors, textures and images to appear on the canvas. It is where I practice trusting life.

Thus, I was not surprised at the images in the completed canvas when I began the post painting meditation. I saw a bright sunrise above a fiery earth, facing a deep blue ocean below. Perhaps there are buildings in the distance, but there are no people about in this slice of Summertime.

My slice of summer was bittersweet. Long held traditions ended and relationships shifted or expired, yet I had many rewarding experiences reconnecting with old clients, successfully designing residential spaces, serendipitously finding places to exhibit artworks, attracting painting commissions and receiving heartfelt testimonials about my art and my designed interiors.  Like when I create, I was deeply present to what landed on my life canvas and in meditation, I reflected on the emotions that emerged and the people and situations that provoked the feelings.

I felt like I was being carried into a new life cycle, and consciously allowed all of it to coexist by trusting in its inherent rightness. As such, on the second meditation, I considered that the “fiery earth” I originally saw in the painting, could also be looked at as the very precious antique cloth that is my life.

I can’t prove that we have had many lives and accumulated what in Buddhism is called karma, which ripens in each lifetime. I noticed that not all the experiences and people that show up in our present life are a product of our thoughts and deeds in this life. Some seem to come from some other place and time. We can see strong patterns operating in people’s lives that can either help them grow in a supportive way or challenges them to become stronger. In all cases, when we become aware of these threads, often through meditation, that seem to run our lives and take inspired action, we gain much wisdom and can lead very fulfilling lives.

In my first meditation with the painting, I saw a starry sky receding to make way for the light of the sun. The land below is still smoldering from ravaging fires above the great ocean. The wind helps the ashes and debris to fly off into the ether. The bits blowing away depict the things, people, relationships, thoughts, emotions and life patterns being released from the mind, which is represented by the landscape. The rising tide washes away the last bits of live fire as a new day begins. The sun shines upon the parched land, spreading bits of light to help the ashes transform eventually into fertile soil.

On another day meditating with the painting, I focused on the textured “land” and began to see it as precious antique tapestry. All my life experiences, my mishaps and my triumphs in this or any other lifetimes have given my soul much material from which to create the rich cloth that is my life now and that could not have existed without such journey. Yet, in time, some threads on the cloth wear out and must be discarded because they no longer provide a viable structure to the tapestry. A good restorer can seamlessly weave new threads, place the worn-out ones into the recycle bin and lovingly return the cloth to its original glory.

I looked at the difficult changes that occurred this summer as worn out threads that needed to leave my life. In emptying the recycle bin I saw an opportunity to release old emotional baggage and lovingly weave new patterns into my life tapestry.  I appreciate what I learned from the outworn threads and admire the beauty and power of the parts that remain. Its overall stability accepts the new strength being provided by new material and trusts that, restored to its brilliance, it will gracefully carry me into a new life cycle!

I recently shared this painting, but not my interpretations with several clients as a meditation. In most cases, the revelations were quite powerful; all had to do with letting go of old patterns of thought!

The Great Release invites you to look within and let go of what no longer makes your life tapestry strong. Isn’t time to weave the shiny new threads to carry you, as if by magic into your best life?

Call it self-love and take inspired action; find the painting’s purchase options here in, The Great Release.

 

Moonlight Rebirth Meditation


A moonlight meditation in images
Moonlight Rebirth Meditation by Lidia Kenig-Scher

Awoke shortly after sunrise and as usual, I prepared for meditation. Instead of doing a contemplative exercise, I slid into the studio to make painting the contemplation. I picked a 40” x 30” blank canvas and as I sat in front of the canvas, some words and sentences bubbled up.

Arising, releasing pain, sorrow, guilt, shame, tiredness, frustration, danced in my mind’s eye. A certain pride for having persevered in spite of the many naysayers, including me; a visceral urge to break away, to say good bye to the past, without attempting to change it or squash it emerged, giving me a sense of peace and acceptance never before felt.

Eventually I was moved to pick up a jar of fluid Prussian Blue acrylic paint along with a flat wide brush. I loved how the inky paint flowed onto the canvas!

The last thing I remember was reaching for the cellophane that had covered the brand-new canvas and diluting thick Iridescent White acrylic paint with a little water and colorless polymer.

Twelve hours later I emerged from the studio and fell into a deep slumber. I awoke the next morning feeling lighter, smiling broadly and remembering a dream where Divine beings were guiding me to swim in loving waters of changing colors.

In the dream, the Bodhisattva Kwan Yin was showing me objects beaming with light floating in the water around me. I recognized some of my paintings, a home I had recently designed, students’ artworks, sculptures and photos of happy and grateful people. These were all things and situations that I created in my life and that coexisted with painful situations, interactions and sadness. I realized that Kwan Yin and all the other angels were showing me how blessed I am, as my past became the rich fertilizer that now helps flourish the life cycle I am sailing into.

For the next 10 days I looked at the painting before I turned in for the day and immediately upon waking. Each day I wrote in my journal, knowing that lessons and title would eventually come forth clearly. I noticed that the day I began to paint, coincided with a full moon and a partial eclipse, best observed in the Southern Hemisphere. In the Boston area the moon showed its fullness with alluring brilliance. It was easy to take in its beauty on a hot summer night.

The moon is a symbol of the spiritual aspects of femininity- intuition, psychic abilities, creativity and wisdom. Its phases remind us that all things on Earth have a natural cycle. Water evaporates from the ocean and falls down again as rain. Fruit falls from a tree, carrying a seed that grows into a new tree.

Because of the moon’s connection to water and the tides, it is said to represent our emotions and our subconscious mind – what we see on the surface often does not reflect what is going on underneath, nor does it reveal its vast depths. We must go deeper and explore.

When the moon is completely illuminated, it represents completion, the height of power, the realization of our desires and the peak of clarity. It is a time to celebrate our growth, take note of what progress we have made and reflect on how far we have come.

An eclipse invites us to see what is hidden and release it to the light; the art’s meaning and its title became clearer now.

Several decades ago I was privileged to learn a meditation called Moonlight Rebirth, from my most revered teacher, HH Lin Yun, Rinpoche. A few days ago, as I was again contemplating the painting, I began to practice it and immediately I knew that this is what I had painted!

Practicing this meditation, we are able to touch oneness, when spiritual powers can reach through time and space. A profound physical and mental healing takes place enabling us to “wipe the slate clean”, so to speak and begin anew. Aware of the effects of the moon upon the earth, this practice can improve luck, spur new growth, diminish anger and increase the sense of peace and well-being.

The meditation, the intention, the creative process and the dream are all depicted in the art. Are you the lucky buyer now willing to summon courage, unflinchingly look in the inner mirror and feel Oneness?

Even if you are not ready to shift yet, Moonlight Rebirth Meditation, with its colors, images and textures will infuse any space where it is installed, with bliss, peace and joy. Purchase includes the meditation instructions and one practice session with me to “wipe the slate clean”, own your gifts and sail into a new life cycle.

 

 

Can You Allow Life to Surprise You?


Allowing Life to Surprise by Lidia Kenig-Scher (c) 2018
Allowing Life to Surprise by Lidia Kenig-Scher (c) 2018

 

I must admit, I was getting impatient. I have been feeling listless for several weeks. I would meditate and fall asleep. I would go to bed early and sleep late. I would go into the studio and stare at a blank canvas with an equally blank gaze. I would re-arrange the brushes and inspect them carefully only to put them back unused in their bin. Even though I checked all my acrylic inks and the soft body paints for drips and dried up paint, when I looked around I noticed that the studio was untidy yet my living quarters were nice and clean.

Lacking motivation to read, I slept. I was not depressed; my empty mind knew that this is how I needed to be at the moment. From a sort of hibernation I trusted that somehow I would eventually find my way into a more physically and mentally productive stage. The full yin mode prepared me for a shift that fittingly so, began on the first day of Spring.

The sun was shining brightly as I cautiously entered the studio and felt the change in consciousness. I looked down and saw light in my heart and began to quickly and randomly apply soft body cadmium yellow paint on to a square canvas with a slanted palette knife. Filled with joy, I scratched the thick paint to make deep marks on the surface. I did this literally and figuratively, like I finally broke through a stalemate.

Even though I soon ran out of steam and needed to rest again, I was unafraid to yield. Something was about to be born and all I had to do was to continue to show up and be willing to be genuinely surprised. Allowing was the key.

A beautiful pearl is born when the oyster quietly secretes pearlescent nacre as she tries to ward off a foreign substance. Allowing gives time for the foreign (the unknown) to become, make itself known and reveal the beauty of the process.

During the next session, violet and lavender drips moved about the canvas aided by air from a compressor. When the undulating deep purple shape appeared on the bottom, I realized that I had created a window into the new cycle of my life.

Contemplating the final painting and looking for the lessons it was teaching me, I saw that after a whirlwind period of painting, exhibiting, presentations, teaching and writing, I needed permission to really let go. Thus, I allowed myself to come apart and be dissembled so that the pieces could be reassembled into a new spiritually coherent form.

The drips were an important part of my learning. They represent my unwillingness to detach from a painful life situation. The images suggest that it is time for a thorough unraveling. Spirit guided me to see that the reedy formations crafted into branches were now bursting with luscious red berries. Basking in the light of a glorious sunrise the young trees are so rapidly growing that they blend into the dreamy sky.

This painting reminds me and anyone who beholds it that life does not have to be grasped, or sought as much as received. When we are willing to trust our heart’s guidance and hold the necessary time and space for the new to unfold, we allow life to surprise us with the sweet berries of gratefulness, delight and joy.

As I internalized the art’s gifts, I received even more.  I was offered new and exciting art commissions, renewed a very old friendship and my family is hosting a party for my birthday. Last week, a friend hosted a surprise celebration for me.  Former students publicly expressed their appreciation for how my teaching affected them, a faraway friend surprised me with plans to visit me in the fall and another one booked a visit for next Summer.

I could actually post a very long list of happy surprises, but I hope that you may want to purchase the painting and learn to allow Life to Surprise You! Click on the link to see the painting up close and buy it now.

Healing Cloth?


Energy One Silk Scarf by Lidia Kenig

I don’t know why I never thought of it before!

Acrylic transparencies and alcohol have been part of my creating toolkit for quite a while now, and seeking more saturated colors, I added acrylic inks to the mix. Without the binder’s presence, the inks’ hues were clearer, brighter and when exposed to alcohol, offered felicitous effects. So it seemed natural to heed one of my student’s suggestions and explore alcohol-based inks in class.

With gusto, I dove into the vivid palette and explored ways to use the quickly drying, yet easily changeable medium. I tried them on canvas and on Yupo; the latter, a synthetic non-porous and non-absorbent machine-made paper, used by watercolorists, allowed me to more efficiently practice the many ways to affect and move the inks. As soon as I began to post mine and my students’ art, I received teaching requests from outside my studio.

And once you prepare a class, you learn even more!Student painting a tile with alcohol inks

The first attempts, using cellophane paper to create texture, watching the inks react to each other and  easily create masterpieces were such fun that I moved on to painting on ceramic tiles, to the oohs and ahhs of delighted students.

Inherent in using the medium is the element of surprise.

The inks are fluid and fast-drying. Recipes are few, and the best intention a newbie can put forth is to work with what shows up. Thus, if one is willing to suspend judgment and see the results of the inks on the surface as colors, textures, shapes and interact with them as play, the results are always outstanding.

The card on left was created by moving the inks using a straw while they were still wet, and after the art dried, dots were added with the tip of a cotton swab dipped in alcohol. Additional marks were made with water-based pens before sealing the art.

In the tile on right inks gets layered to create new effects. They bloom when clear alcohol or another color is added and the size of the dots is controlled  by mastering the amount of ink absorbed by the cotton swabs.  Misting causes another texturing.

And then, I stumbled upon silk fabric and I was hooked!

The scarf above was created with alcohol inks and markers set by heat. When cooled, the fabric retains the familiar softness and lustrous feel. The inks vivid hues add luxury to the mix.

Here is an example of a scarf that started with a linear design, got a heavy dose of alcohol and was sprinkled with salt while still wet, then the fabric was swooshed around and when dried, it turned out with a really interesting mottled texture in a gorgeous blue tint. The student later added amorphous shapes by randomly dripping alcohol. She finished it with silvery dots inside the random shapes, and the effect is truly celestial.

And then I got it.

This technique was not only the easiest way to teach people to paint intuitively and encourage presence; it helps students engage in play, observe ego-based thoughts as they surface and assists them in managing the mind with courage and joy. Everyone left the class proudly wearing their creations and asked for more instruction.

I began to see scarves as another way to become intimately involved with the art I create and experience its transformative and healing energy.

Just as I do with my students, meditation and grounding precludes encountering the materials to be used. In the stillness, my heart opens fully and I invite Spirit to guide my hand.  What is created through me has a powerful message embedded in each color, shape or texture.

When a viewer or a wearer beholds the art, the energy produced by the combination of all the elements becomes available. It gains power when users intentionally open their heart to what is there to learn.

When this happens, it is an “aha” moment. Something becomes clearer as the wind catches their scarf; and a solution to an issue is found, or a new viewpoint is suddenly available, when carrying an item blessed with the artworks.

Everything is energy and we are all connected to it. When you select a painting co-created with Spirit, you have begun to heal, although you may not know what needs healing at the moment. If you are attracted to a particular painting, or a scarf, maybe a tote bag;  Spirit beckons!

Today I opened a new gallery on the website called Cloth Art. Go get this scarf now and open your heart to hear its voice. It is Healing Cloth!

lidiascherart.com
Energy One Silk Scarf by Lidia Kenig