Creative process clears the mind, so we can better understand our life and ourself.
I love faerie tales in which a magic door appears and opens to another world. I wanted to paint such a portal.
But the story’s been done so many times. I needed to portray something new—make sure the door was painted in a way that was true, and original.
I couldn’t get a grip on executing that, until I realized it had to be my own door—the one that I personally go through. Mind you, I did not fully understand what that meant, did not fully know what “my door” is. But just knowing it was mine was enough to start painting.
Besides, had I fully understood, there would’ve been no point in starting the painting, because there would have been no adventure.
There was still a surprise though, revealed well into the painting process. Little did I realize that my door was going to be the door to my home.
Let me be clear as to what I’m saying. Often, when a magic door appears in a story, the person who walks through it feels at home for the first time. They’re in another realm. They are finally in a world that makes sense. That is not what I’m referring to right this second (although the painting surely does refer to that). But right this second, I’m talking about realizing that the door I was painting was the door to the home where I already live and sleep and cook and write and paint.
This realization should’ve been self-evident, given my lifestyle, and who I am, but it’s amazing how oblivious we humans can be. And amazing how the creative process clears some of the oblivion—so I could better understand my door, my home, and myself. Heh, creativity too is a magic door.
Below is the painting. Scroll past it for the rest of the blog.
There was another theme to this piece and to my process: Spring beginning. Outside the door, the foliage on trees begins; and a potted plant has been put out onto the stoop after the long cold winter. I was exploring the transition between the hearth’s indoors mysteries and spring’s mystical burgeoning. I will display this painting on my altar when I celebrate Spring Equinox.
Exploring the beginning of Spring was part of meditating on a theme beyond the season: Thresholds and magic. A contemplation on a time of transition and embracing possibility. Again, the creative process became a door, in the sense of helping me see … well, see life’s doors, LOL.
My Door—this painting is dedicated to my students. They know why, probably. But to explain to someone who doesn’t know me: Even before I became a shut-in (due to disabilities), I taught almost all my classes in my home. Teaching in my home was crucial to me spiritually. Hundreds of people have sat in my living room, which has blessed me tremendously. Painting this picture allowed me to muse on years of joy, and to celebrate joy I still receive because I still teach in my home. Now I do it through group phone calls, or in one-on-one phone calls. But it is still us, in a personal visit, walking between stars together.
Also dedicated to one very special patron of my art. (And I say to her, “I bet you know why. If not, let me know.”) She is a patron of my (he)art.