I'm ready for shuffle
I'm ready for the deal
I'm ready to let go of the steering wheel.
- Bono (U2-Zoo Station) - you can listen here
We're talking about Bravery in week 4 of my painting class. This is a favorite song of mine from the Achtung Baby album. It seemed to work here. When you are brave, its OK to let go of the steering wheel and face the unknown. I'm ready, ready for what's next.
I have written about bravery in the past. Yet, I think being brave is one of those topics that can be revisited often. Its one that if we allow ourselves to be comfortable in how things are going, it gets harder and harder to be brave. The farther we get away from the edge where it takes a brave act to cross over, the farther we get from our authentic selves. Being brave is not backing away from fears, but moving into them and beyond. When you actually do move through the fear and break out the other side, the opportunity comes for your authentic self to shine. Being brave opens the door to an aliveness inside. It stirs things up, gets the juices flowing, ignites a fire. Being brave is about moving outside of the comfort zone. It means, trying something new, doing that thing that I don't really want to do or I'm afraid to do, or facing conflict or going into the studio without a plan. I believe being brave puts you in a position to find how far you can push yourself and then reveals how strong you really are. Its surprising and uplifting to realize the power that we hold inside.
Its a brave act to paint intuitively. It is starting with nothing and embracing mystery. Its trusting the process and just knowing that in the end, a painting will emerge out of the layers. Its a brave act to keep going, keep layering even if the painting isn't cooperating at all. Its brave to "just know" and believe. Its a brave act to paint BIG, especially from where I started.
This hare painting is a brave act for me. Its not like any other painting I have done. Yet, it is so much me. Where do the ideas come from? When does it seem right to paint a hare and an upside down hare? I can't explain it. Did I see the hare within the layers and build from there? No, not from an image within the painting, but in my mind's eye, yes. I just knew I wanted to paint a hare in the lower left of the painting in just this way. I followed the thread and this is where this painting wanted to go. So, I'm not necessarily looking for an image to emerge from the layers of the painting, rather it is just a feeling as to which direction to go. As I do the layers, and let go of the steering wheel, its allowing the door to open to something I would never have considered before. Its then taking that something and running with it and following its lead.
I'm actually looking forward to seeing what the next painting brings. It is a beautiful way to paint by just playing and letting things go without thinking. Its a way to let myself just dream up something without worrying about it. If it doesn't work out, its just one more layer. I can say, that I was not expecting the deer or the hares to show up, I wasn't expecting to paint animals, I wasn't expecting how joyful bright colors are to paint with or how wonderful it is to paint BIG... so mystery is kinda fun. And... painting animals goes all the way back to my roots as a kid. Its where I started and now I'm returning home. At least for now.
Friday.. you know what that means - Party Time!!
PS - If you are interested... This is what the Hare Totem means:
Hares are connected to both the earth element and to the lunar energies of the moon. The gestation period of a hare is 28 days, the same time as the moon. Hares are quick with the ability to twist and turn. As a totem or power animal the hare teaches us to aim for our dreams and not let anything get in our path. The hare is an independent, solitary animal that often lives alone. In modern society the loners of the world are often frowned upon, but history has proved these types of people to be invaluable and they should feel a sense of pride within themselves.
Unlike rabbits, hares cannot be tamed (although there is a domesticated rabbit which has the name hare, but is in fact a rabbit). They have a wild nature to them. They are the totem of people who like to run free.
Hares have been associated with magic and the ability to walk between worlds and connect to the other world. The hare is a totem of mystery and misunderstanding.
The hare is often seen as a trickster and to many people the trickster is seen as a negative trait. The trickster though may simply do things different to the norm. They may be the individual who stands out from the crowd and does things their way. The trickster is the one who will break rules and rebel; they are the sort of people that can create great changes within society. As with all attitude, the clue is how you use your power – the trickster archetypal can be cunning or foolish. They can be a power for good or a symbol of disruption. Tricksters often have two spirits that they present to the world. [They] can also be the hero. . . .- Samantha Grayson