Mystery lives in the waking dream as well as the sleeping dream and is often referred to as “The Dreaming” or “Dreamtime”. the dreaming is timeless, existing simultaneously in the spiritual dimensions of the present, as well as the distant mythological past. It is mystery, wombspace, the vast empty void, God-Goddess and the place of all possibilities. It is mystery that holds the stories, the laws and Spiritual principles that guide life.
Our indigenous ancestors lived by the information from the Dreaming for they believed it linked them to their origins at the beginning of time. According to Aboriginal belief, all life as it is known today – human, animal, bird, mineral, fish or plant – is part of an unchanging interconnected system, one vast network of relationships which can be traced to the great Ancestor Spirits of the Dreaming. the heart and soul of the ancestors arise from the primitive images of their artwork and stories and the art form for them becomes the oracle. We have lost touch with this ancient form of art, The Dreaming, and it must be revived for it is the source of vast amounts of information with while guide our evolution.
It is from this place of mystery that my images come. It is through the dreaming that I hear Her voice. Mystery doesn’t whisper to me in the language of the mind but through the language of the soul as it connects to the world of Spirit. The language of the soul, for me, is about color, light, shadow, symbol, metaphor, image and space and is no less real than the language of words, for it comes from a place that is pure and it resonates as truth. spirit doesn’t ask me to pub words to what I paint for it is in the attempt to give meaning to image, through words, that the truth and essence of a great piece of art can be shattered into meaningless piece.
My early works were a reflection of an inner need to control, and thus my style was very tight and lacked life. About eight years ago I used a technique, which required the use of the non-dominant hand for drawing. This was a way of accessing other parts of the brain. I created sixteen paintings using permanent ink, watercolors, with my other hand and I discovered that it forced me to give up my control and accept what naturally flowed from my pen. When I looked at the images I was struck with how alive they were. A space opened in me that allowed me to access another dimension using my dominant hand and permanent ink to draw. Over time I developed a style that flows naturally in the same way one’s handwriting does and it allows me to listen to Spirit and let the paintings paint themselves, using me as the vehicle. I have learned that I have a wise friend inside of me who knows far more than I do and I have become like the watcher or witness as images create story on the paper in front of me.
As a trained art therapist I am aware of the healing power of art. I have also been a recipient of the healing through my own creative process as Spirit speaks to me in my native language – image. I have healed my body, mind and spirit just by allowing the images to flow.
Like fairies dancing in the garden, images spring forth on my drawing board from a place deep inside me and beyond. I am often unaware of what they mean for they are not linear or logically sequenced, but they engage my psyche in an energetic dialog. Over time the unconscious content comes forward and I again understanding at deeper and higher levels. I believe that without my art my healing process would not have been as concise, efficient, directed or deep. The art that has created through me has helped me to remember who I truly am at a deep, profound level.
The process of creating art has taught me to relinquish my need to control and understand, so that I can connect with that which is mystery and listen to it’s wisdom. Through this form of visioning I am able to create images that spring from that inner well of wisdom in union with the collective unconscious and the wisdom of the ancients. The images that result speak to deep levels of the psyche and activate ancient wisdom in the conscious mind of the viewer. Thus an energetic dialog can take place that touches the psyche through and interchange of color, symbol, metaphor, movement, image and space, all of which dance together to speak the language of the soul. The information received speaks differently to each viewer and whether they understand at a conscious level or not they have been touched in some way just by viewing the image.
The process of creating an image happens in the following way: a piece of the image forms in my minds eye and I begin to capture it on paper. This acts as an entry point into another level of consciousness as the painting unfolds before me and I am carried on a magical journey. I begin with a very sketchy pencil image an I fill in all of the details in permanent ink, allowing whatever comes to go onto the paper without censoring it. It becomes a meditation that draws me deeper and further connects me with the unconscious realms. The final step of filling in the color with water color pencils requires repetitive motion in from of my eyes. This is similar to EMDR (a rapid eye movement technique) and studies have shown that it creates changes in the brain wave patterns which allows access to deep levels of information that can effect anyone and through the process of viewing the work, the viewer is changed.
Like the dreamers of ancient times I am asked to navigate the dreaming, take the stories entrusted to my care and create for them beautiful images. I am blessed to be used as a messenger of Spirit and I see the making of art as a sacred responsibility. It is my intention to create images that speak of this ancient wisdom with a freshness that works in the present as I stay open to the drawing that is creating itself through me as it’s midwife.
Watercolor paintings in this blog by Katelyn Mariah BFA
Katelyn creates personalized soul portraits. Learn more here