Verbal vomit

20 Jan

Isn’t that a great title for blog? I crack myself up sometimes.

But really, this morning I did something I have been meaning to do for a long time but life had never quite aligned to make that happen. I headed over to Creative Nectar Studio for a process painting workshop. The workshops are facilitated by my friends Jenny and Stephanie who are artists and long time believers in process painting.

In the last couple months I have been feeling drawn more and more to my artistic side and the studio has been calling me. This last week I knew it had to happen. Studying for interviews, catching up on assignments, sending that email was all gonna have to wait.

My life, is a crazy mis-mash of stuff… kinda like everyone else’s. Sometimes it feels like most of the elements are humming along as they should. Other times it feels like an epic storm keeps shaking up each item you nail down. In the last few weeks there has been a significant amount of storming, at least 5 bigger items bringing up ‘stuff’ that settles and rises, giving great opportunities to practice breathing and balance as I said in last week’s blog.

So here I was, standing at a blank piece of paper with some ‘stuff’ going on. I was inspired and started painting. Process painting isn’t so much about making a painting that you would sell or hang on your wall, but a process of expression and self discovery. So there I was, painting. Going along ok with what I was doing but having resistance, an internal struggle of what this was all about. Stephanie (who was facilitating today) came along and asked some great questions. I told her I wanted to express my frustration in big letters across my painting. She said I could do that of course, but I could also get another sheet of paper and write on that and go back and forth. She got me that piece of paper (and a kleenex box) and taped it up a step away.

Holy cow! I wrote in big ol’ letters some angry words in olive green and I underlined something in red. Then I went back to my painting. After a while another phrase came to mind and repeated itself. On to the other page it went, pink this time, because that was what was on my brush. Since I had written in 4 inch tall letters the first time, the page was already close to ‘full’ but some turquoise words went on too. Around now Stephanie came back to see how things were going and I was feeling less stuck on my painting and quite happy with my other page. She offered another page to write and I declined, not ready for that just yet.

What happened over the next hour or so was very powerful. As I continued to paint, words and phrases that went along with the theme of my ‘picture’ painting emerged and I  integrated them into the painting. At the same time, all sorts of unkind/angry/mean phrases were coming to mind, and if they stuck around for a repeat I slapped them up on the words page. Whatever color I happened to be working with at that moment, that was what went up there. I didn’t run out of space because I kept writing over whatever was there. For a while you probably could have sorted out what some of the phrases were, but soon it looked like a page of crazy lines and graffiti.

and IT FELT SO GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There is so much that we don’t say. Sometimes it’s because it’s not what ‘nice’ folks say. Sometimes we edit because it wouldn’t be very helpful. I’m not against this, I am for always moving towards a peaceful kind world. Knowing what is helpful or not to say in a situation is a wonderful skill to practice. Sometimes, in day to day situations the thing we could have said flits away shortly after the situation is over. Other times, when we feel more enmeshed in it, with the words and feelings having a dance party in your mind, it’s gotta come out. There’s lots of ways to do this, I have done many of them and at least for today, this was the most clean. There was a growing freedom as the process went on, in part because I was really getting into it, but the messiness of the page, the un-readableness of it was also freeing. No censorship of language or of what anyone is gonna think, or if someone overhears. Just letting it fly.

And my other painting, well, it had transitioned too, it got detail, connection, words that sometimes contradicted but in a poetic way.

In short, it was great.

Something I’m gonna try, next time there is a crazy dance party in my head, is going at a piece of paper with markers. Pretty soon it too will be a mis-mash of colors and my mind will have more clarity.

Walkin the path,


PS, I’ve blogged about Jenny’s work before, in Deeper into Oz.

PPS in case you noticed I didn’t refer to the title of this blog, verbal vomit is what I call the spew of gut reactions that is ‘icky’ (in NVC language, ‘jackal’) that is sometimes needed before a more ‘enlightened’ response is possible. What I painted on my words page today was a big ol’ pile of it.


One Response to “Verbal vomit”


  1. Today « preacherchick - April 27, 2012

    […] Nectar Studio for some process painting. I have talked about the process and a previous experience here. Part of the adventure is to be open and not try to think ahead what I might paint or what it […]

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