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Painting and Flow state / Meditation / Trance!

Particularly in loose watercolour, and for me, florals because that's what I paint the most, I realise that I lose myself when I enter the 'zone' of painting. There's a rhythm and timing with the water, the pigment, the brush strokes and the drying process that I can to contend with. And it becomes sort of a dance. It reminds me a bit of a few episodes of Black Mirror where a person's eyes would glaze over in white when they plug themselves into a virtual world. Sorta of like going into a trance state. And maybe that's why painting is so addictive. Because similar to an intense sports maybe like surfing or rock climbing, you have to focus so much on the present, on whats happening RIGHT NOW to be successful. If you get distracted for a moment and lose concentration, you may meet failure. And this feeling, this rush is something that gives people a hit of probably all those good hormornes and gives people an overall sense of positive wellbeing.

That's certainly true for me. But when people say things like "Painting is my meditation" I do get a bit triggered slightly because as a student of yoga and meditation for over a decade now, this flow state is not exactly the same as what meditation tries to achieve. There are similarities, like coming into the present moment. But with painting, I feel like it's more of an escape. I forget my body, I forget to breathe sometimes. I forget to eat, I am 100% focused on my paint, water, brushes and paper. It's an intense, sometimes quite exhausting and exhilarating creative mode. And where this contradicts with meditation is that meditation is meant to bring you into Awareness. It's meant being you so utterly clearly into the now, that it brings you bliss and joy and ultimately, enlightenment from purely just being. So you see how it's not really the same as painting, or cooking or doing an extreme sport? But similar.

All I know is that painting has brought me this immense new way of experiencing life. The chase and obsession of creating pictures on paper/canvas is all consuming and I just can't get enough at the moment. Perhaps, its the pre-cursor of meditation.

If you know abit about Tantra yoga, you'll know about shiva and shakti. Or also known as Yin and Yang. And how in our world, we need both, we need to celebrate and accept and acknowledge that there is both. Shiva is the all-knowing, meditative, centered and balanced, god. He's pretty serious but when you get there, it's pretty awesome. Shakti is the dance, the crazy, the loud flapping madness. And so, in our world, we always have both and we recognise that without one, there isn't the other. And for me, Painting is like the dance between Shakti and Shiva. It's so divine. Sometimes it's crazy and colourful and mad. Sometimes, its so still, so calming, so centered. And maybe that's why I love it so much.

There's so much to explore in this topic and I'm endlessly fascinated. But right now, its a Saturday morning and I need to be soccer mum this morning for my 10 year old's last match of the season.

So laters!

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