Its a real hot summer day out here in West Wales & I was lucky enough to have a swim earlier.. which set me thinking about my painting Shell Fish above..
It came from working with a oyster shell I found on a local beach, I loved the shapes in it & wanted to draw it, looking at it in different ways, with different sets of eyes, so to speak. I used my Chi Kung practice for this. The system I work with (its one of very many) uses gentle movements to move chi or vital energy round the body, along the meridians, or pathways, that acupuncture uses. So different sets of movements nourish different parts of the body, and the layers of energy our bodies are part of. There are 3 key areas which correspond to those recognised in many other ways of looking at the mind-body-spirit too - and the poetic name for them in Chi Kung is The 3 Gates of Enlightenment. One is in the centre of the head, one is in the chest - the heart centre, and one is in the belly - the dantien, or hara . I have experimented with doing the Chi Kung forms (thats the name for a group of movements) that feed each of these areas, and looking at, for example, this shell just after working with each area - with the eyes of that gate. I find I see/feel/know differently each time & it can completely change how a painting is developing. Its something I would like to develop further & explore with other people.
The painting above had quite a hard birthing - some of them have to be lost & found again. They seem to be going well & then I do something that doesn't work Aaaargh!! But if you don't take the risk you probably stay somewhere too safe & bland, so I take the risk, & sometimes I blow it, & sometimes, like this one, I end up somewhere unexpected. I didn't know that the scribbles, the movements, the mix of media would end up giving me the fish in the shell or the movement of the sea either.
So I thank the Spirits who help me & work through me, just as I thank them for the joy of swimming from a busy beach round to deserted one today, & the gift of having some time being the only human there with the sun, the expanse of sand, the cliffs, & the birds before the tide dropped & others walked round to enjoy it too.