REFLECTING on this event (Sasol New Signatures Competition) and the meaning it has for me, I realise that it is through letting go of expectations and the harsh judgment of myself that I was able to even enter this competition. I realise how much courage it takes to put yourself out there. And I salute all the artists who did.
After failing my 3rd year Fine Art in 1988 because I was too afraid to commit to expressing my deepest self and afraid of criticism, I didn’t pick up a paintbrush for another 4 years. I dabbled in all sorts of other creative fields for 27 years. But in the past 5 years, on my journey of selfhealing and self actualisation, I have been learning to follow my intuitive impulses: blasts of inspiration that arise from my subconscious – that prompt me to take action. At times these actions have seemed wild and ridiculous and extremely frightening. But when I’ve followed the most wild and impossible impulses, great things have occurred and each time, my life has changed. When I look back to the frightened 22 year old that left art school, and compare her to the person I am now, I realise I am often still frightened to be myself – but now I know that only when I am fully myself , and trusting those intuitive impulses, then I find courage to be bigger and to go out into the world bravely.
The power of intuition cannot be ignored. And the more you are in touch with yours, the more life can flow. And it feels effortless. The painting I did for this competition was done spontaneously in a few days. The dates for entry serendipitously coincided with a trip i was taking to Cape Town, and the framer in Cape Town was able to do the framing at short notice. Everything fell into place with ease because I followed an intuitive flash that said to me “You can do this! Just do it!”.
And seeing my work in the Pretoria Art Museum last night was overwhelming and incredibly affirming that I am on the right path.
My artistic process is created from intuitive impulses, and I just go with the flow of the medium (ink and bleach). I noticed last night that as soon as I start comparing my work to others’ work, I get a headache, a sore stomach, and everything contracts. This is not conducive to healthy living. Life is about continuing to open the mind and heart, stay connected to your OWN higher guidance (God/ Intuition/ Higher Self), and listening closely for those very important impulses that serve as your guide to living your purpose in the way that only you can do. It’s all about you. It’s only about you. And it’s also not, of course. But by knowing yourself deeply, you can then radiate out to others and give them permission to be themselves wholly and fully – and achieve wildly impossible dreams.
As Mandela quoted Marianne Williamson in his inauguration speech:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
― Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”
Today I feel like I have given myself permission to shine at last, in the field that I was most afraid to enter into…. The Big World of Art.
May you give yourself permission to shine forth and do what you love with passion and pleasure, and follow your impulse toward fulfilling your dreams.
with love and gratitude to all who have supported me on my journey. This is only the beginning……….