transformation through painting

Breaking Beyond Bad or Good

When thinking of a fun way to introduce Albuquerque to a bunch of process painters in a workshop, visiting from the Midwest, I came up with the above workshop theme. It seemed that the TV show breaking bad was now part of the New Mexico culture. In restating the title, the thought of how creative process, is both a mixture of dark and light, and a balanced integration of the two, just like in nature. When we allow a process to unfold the whole way, it brings us to a place of satisfied witnessing, detached and yet, energized. Like a big cat at rest, until action is necessary, we are alert to the moment and poised for right action.

Although Walt, the main character , never found this balance in his TV life, when we listen to the voice of intuition, there is a balance that goes beyond the rational, beyond what we know or identify with. It takes a leap, because sometimes what or who we think of as ourselves or our lives may have to be relinquished, even for a few brushstrokes. I think that is why people love creating. it gives us moments of going outside of ourselves, beyond how we think, feel or remember.
So going beyond the opposites is , although not a goal, a cherished experiencing that comes when we allow surprise and the unexpected. You may want to try it, as you allow process to find it’s own way with your life.

Little Irritations

Ever find some small thing, totally irritating, a noise, or a smell, or the someone trying to talk to you, when you are trying to do e-mail? I find these small irritations taking a lot of my attention these days.

For instance, as I’m writing right now, my husband is doing heavy yogic breathing in the living room. He was here first, so I can’t complain. The kitchen faucet has been dripping , and when I sit to meditate, it seems to be trying to keep time. My cats will want to go out just at the wrong place in the movie, or a good friend calls to share difficult issues, just as I’m cleaning my studio, and getting lots accomplished.

This is a good place to notice the irritation. I can go two ways with it. I can see it as something that needs fixing, adjusting , or a more sensitive other.

Another way is to just notice the cues. When something doesn’t go our way, intrudes on our attention, takes time we think we don’t have, we can notice how we brace against it, and even explore it as a signal, like a dark place in a dream.

When we paint, there is often some part of the painting that irritates or disturbs us.

We would like the painting to stay in it’s place, not take us too far out of our comfort zone. We do our best, to ignore, fix or cover up the offensive part. Get the plumber over here. I can’t stand one more day of dripping.¬† But that call to attention may have something to offer, if only patience. If I followed the drip, maybe it leads to more flow, more capacity to open to what show up, more generosity with things that seem to pull my attention away from where I think I want it to go.

When we open our attention  to include what shows up, new insights can be gained, and a more fluid receptivity can be had. I will try two more days of dripping, and get back to you, really. And maybe, I just need to get my own yoga mat out, and do some breathing.

For those of you wanting more to read, I recently was published in a local magazine.

Title of the article is Anticipation:, pg. 13

Empty Space

Here I am, seemingly in empty space, between classes, scheduled events, busy life, gone to quiet, yoga, mediation, painting, hummingbirds(not the least of it). In these times, and they come, intermittently, i wonder what is holding up my life. I often think of my life as activity, so really notice when I’m being asked to be not do. My friend is pointing to my impulsive nature, stepping into things, when I really don’t know. I am taking this in, maybe taking it personally, which really isn’t helpful. I painted yesterday, and noticed how I stepped in too soon, not listening to what was really calling me first. Today, I looked at my painting and said to myself, “Well, you really screwed that one up!” But had I? My mind ran right for doubt, just after it ran for completion. So many ways to distract from the discomfort of not knowing. So, I am about to enter the studio, again, this time with more openness to do one thing next. I know what it is , white lines, and , dang it, that’s all I know. Someone must see the whole of the painting finished, but it’s not me.

“I can’t go on. I go on.” Samuel Beckett

Hello my painting friends. The website is up, and I’m very excited to be writing. Hoping that you enjoy the new website. You can still see our old studio space and the walls, that you all said you loved so much. Transitions are so strong sometimes. They shake up what we are holding on to as ourselves. It’s a great opportunity, for me to look at where my roots are to the earth, how strong, how twisted how ready to come free.

Last week was studio closing week, with several helpers coming in the first three days. It was very strange to see the studio go starkly empty, kind of like being on the stage still as the lights go out, after the audience has left. The second week for me has been more like beginning to walk out of the theater. We all have these opportunities to leave the theater from time to time, to see what’s outside of the life we have constructed. I have learned that from painting for process. When I was sad last week, painting wouldn’t let me sleep. I got up from my bed, and went back to my painting space, in my house, and painted till 2 A.M. It was luscious. It is hard to leave the class routine, the safety of knowing I would see you all on Monday, Wednesday or Thursday. It certainly rooted my life in a joyous way.

We’ll see where this new life takes me, and all of you, too. Please keep painting . If you have questions about the process, I will respond by e-mail. Hope to see you all at the June or August workshops, and will let you know when the move to New Mexico is imminent.

Love, Deb

Debbie Purdy


Creative Wings Studio