I silently prepare the palette by mixing the colors, leaving behind the busy, noisy outside world. I enter into an intimate place, making a whole piano of tones of colors, each one broken with its complement and all colors ordered in a do-re-fa-so-la-si-do way. It takes me over the bridge from the physical world to the contemplative spiritual realm of being – making myself aware of what my senses are experiencing. I ask myself what do I smell? what do I hear? what do I see? what do I taste? I seek to rid myself of preconceived notions and expectations.
The pre-mixed palette then allows me to paint more rapidly, without pause. It supports me in my quest to paint the invisible; to allow what my inner eye sees to exist on the canvas without painting over it. What the spirit’s inner eye observes is so new and so unknown that it needs to be expressed onto the canvas at the very moment it is revealed.
A lapse of time, where doubt or the intellect could intervene, would be the loss of the intemporal mystery, the gift. I tell myself, leave the first brush stroke. Yet that voice is in a constant battle with another and sometimes stronger voice from within that is saying, No, it’s wrong! Fix it. No one will understand. I have learned to wait for the right moment of engaging with the unseen, and then accepting what comes of it as a gift – an expression of some deeper unseen truth.
This reminds me of the biblical story of the disciples on the road to Emmaus. During their travels, they were talking amongst themselves and did not even realize that Jesus himself had actually joined them and was journeying along with them. They only recognized him much later that evening when he took bread, blessed it and broke it for them, before vanishing from their sight.
We are often blind to what is, because we are preoccupied by our daily business and tasks. We fail to see the light, beauty and truth that surrounds us. We must consciously seek to slow down and allow ourselves to be confronted with the subtle truths that reveal themselves in nature and within our souls. The palette puts me in such a state. I am contemplative: ready to receive and ready to create.
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