With the exception of 2018 when I completed 5 major paintings for the Color of Woman training program, I have worked on a yearlong painting project each year since 2015. For 2019, my project is based on Shiloh Sophia’s Imagine curriculum. First taught in 2017, its goal is not the creation of an art masterpiece, but the use of creativity to cultivate resiliency and build capacity for thoughtful and creative response to the seemingly endless stream of personal and collective traumas of life.
In truth, these benefits have been evident in all the prior paintings as well, but in this year’s project it feels as if the layer of creating an image has been replaced by a willingness to surrender to the process without any objective other than to code my very experience in paint on canvas. Whatever that might look like.
When the student is ready the teacher will appear.Variously attributed, but most credibly attributed to Lao Tzu in the Tao Te Ching
I began this year’s project a bit later than usual, and am continuing at a pace about a month behind the curriculum. The perfectionist in me might have had quite a lot to say about that in years past, but not so much any more. The more use my creative practice as a tool for personal growth and resilience, the more I realize that everything arrives in its proper time for me. I set the intention, but it progresses at the “pace of grace”. Whenever a lesson is delayed – whether it is a book I want to read, a painting I want to finish, or meeting with an old friend and mentor – I invariably find that when it finally is accomplished, it holds a lesson exactly perfect for that moment.
I invite you to join me here for my “Imagine” journey of 2019…whenever the time is right for you.