Thursday, May 26, 2011

White Baby Elephant

I have started paintings that illustrate a dream I had about a white baby elephant. I will tell the story of the dream gradually as I finish each painting that depicts the dream.

Instead of brush strokes to create the paintings, I am using hundreds of tiny dots. When each dot is applied I say an emotive word and intentionally try to bring about a feeling that relates to the word. 

For the first painting I am using the emotive word love, the idea behind the word is loving-kindness for everyone. This method of using repetitive words is like an affirmation with focussed intention, which then creates a particular feeling and in turn a particular state of mind. This method can also be called mind training or self-hypnosis.

The purpose of this exercise is to create works of art that actively change the state of my mind, with the intention of the exercise having a long term, beneficial effect on my mind.

Illustration 1.   White Baby Elephant, gouache on paper, 30x21cm.

My dream about a White Baby Elephant.

Driving in a white car down a small sloping hill past my children's primary school, I suddenly  had to veer the car to the wrong side of the road to avoid a white baby elephant standing in the middle of the road. I nearly drove on and ignored the elephant; but started to think about how unfortunate it would be if another passing car hit the elephant. I imagined the elephant was very frightened without its mother. 

So I decided to help and pulled the car over to the side of the road, hopped out of the car and cautiously approached the baby elephant, reminding myself it was a wild animal and could be unpredictable. To my surprise the elephant started walking towards me.

Other things I do.

Writing with Invisible Ink

Since 2009 I have been writing on my archived paintings in invisible ink. The writing on the paintings can only be seen by using an ultra violet light. I am exploring this medium because I enjoy the theory that ideas, when they are first created in someone’s mind, are invisible. I feel there is a correlation between the invisible written text on my paintings and invisible thoughts.

I tend to write about subjects that have endless possibilities, for example the mind and its potential with consideration to empathy, compassion and wisdom. Sometimes while writing on my paintings I find myself going into a theta or alpha state, which means there is the potential to forget what I have written. 

This is a bit like forgetting a dream soon after waking. I feel the paintings have an added layer of value when they have writing on them. I'm unsure of the longevity or durability of the invisible ink and the effect the ink may have long term on my paintings.

Things I would like to do.

In the near future I would like to attend one of Dr William Bengston's energy healing courses and if possible apply his meditative healing techniques to my art. Exploring the potential of art and its possibilities for healing.

Dr William Bengston is a professor of sociology at St Josephs College in New York, USA.
His healing research has produced the first successful full cures of transplanted mammary cancer and methylcholanthrene induced sarcomas in experimental mice by laying on of hands technique, while using cyclic imagination that he helped to develop.