Believe it or not, painting can feel like a state of meditation. For me, It's something of a spiritual practice, which I'll try to describe through my journey with art.
"Painting is self-discovery. Every good artist paints what he is."
Every new piece starts with inspiration which can often come from an idea or passing thought about a book, movie, nature, and philosophy amongst other details. When something gets your creative juices flowing, you want to start painting immediately.
There's always preparation and even procrastination before starting a new series. Like meditation art can't be rushed, the creative voyage needs to be mapped, as well as the physical one. I start to imagine the finished product so I can map the colors in my mind.
I pick a focus point in order to start. I select the topic, palette, and style so I can start experimenting with hues and tones. Don't be alarmed if it takes days or even weeks to decide what to paint or create. It's all part of the process.
I personally love setting limits and deadlines since it gives me something to focus on. Depending on what medium or type of paint I'm using I enjoy playing with the time it takes to create a piece. For example, watercolor seems delicate but you can so easily get carried away in the moment because it flows so well.
I start when I feel like I have a rough plan.
First of all, I need to concentrate on my goals in the present. This means I need to be mindful and focussed.
I select the paper and feel its consistency with my fingers, it's made from cotton. If you think about it, it's amazing to know that this paper comes from vegetable fibers. Plants and nature in general, play such an important part in any creative process, whether it's as inspiration or as the medium to create art.
The paper I usually use is very rough, this means that if you could scale it to macro dimensions, so you can see hills and valleys, and streams and peaks. It is extremely thick so it won't get cropped and wavy when it meets the water.
When the paper is ready it's time to pick a good brush. The best brushes I have are made with marten hair. It's a soft brush, ideal for thin paint which spreads easily and it's perfect for detailed work. It can give you control and precision.
Each color corresponds to a frequency and a lightwave, which in turn correspond to emotions and states of being. It is incredible how they melt with water, I love the way these little bright streams run and find their way on the paper. They are alive and every single shade, every hue is always surprisingly unique.
One of the reasons why I work with series is that I start many paintings at once. I paint many layers to create intense colors and each layer needs time to dry before I start the next one. During this stage, my emotions emerge.
When the watercolor base is ready, I like drawing with a very thin ink pen. This part might seem time-consuming but it just requires patience. I find it's the most important stage for letting go to enter into a pleasing and peaceful blank space where silence and stillness provide a sense of wellbeing.
Painting is like a voyage, firstly led by the mind and after it gives way to your body, emotions, and heart. Each stage is like a step towards letting go and feeling a sense of inner peace. It's getting lost in yourself and going beyond what you know, to feel a part of something much bigger yet quieter.
Why not take the journey for yourself?