Each painting has it’s own personality. I’ve heard authors talk about a character developing a mind of it’s own and having to follow the character they have created to it’s own destiny. Michelangelo famously talked about David being trapped in the marble and his job being to chip away all the parts that weren’t David.
When I am immersed in painting the painting leads the way and I follow. The path get’s narrower and narrower decisions become more and more difficult as the essence of the painting is revealed until there is no more to be done.
The other day I decided make a soul portrait for a friend. A soul portrait is a personal mandala created to represent the essence of a person, place or organization.
I went in to meditation opening up the question of this persons soul portrait and awaited an answer. I began to set up the software, create a color scheme, begin to randomize mandala settings. I thought of a painting I had completed a year before. It seemed to resonate with this person. I went looking for the image of this painting. I chose the painting as a base for the soul portrait/personal mandala and began to work. I created 20 different versions then went to sleep. The next day I looked through the versions to see which one resonated with the subject. Having chosen one I began to refine the image. Shifting colors and shapes here and there, making decisions as the road narrowed toward a representation of the person. Here is what I came up with.
I have created these personal mandalas after people, places, organizations, companies, even longed for dreams. They become symbols of the essence and work as great meditation tools to focus energy.
Immediately after I created the soul portrait for Ariel I created one for Unity of Palm Springs. I knew right away which painting I had completed represented Unity of Palm Springs. Years ago I created a series of watercolor paintings and this was one of them. Strangely enough another of the same series was chosen as the cover for the minister, Paul Tenaglia’s meditation cd.
An idea whose formation was only recent, Unity of Palm Springs, had been preceded by a painting 10 years earlier. I didn’t question only marveled.
I went to work focusing the energy of the painting in to a mandala and was surprised at the result I was led to. It seems to represent an organization not fully formed. A nebulous symbol with very real roots. I like it and so does Paul. I wonder what it will look like when I make a new one a year from now? Will it call for the same painting? Will I have to make a new painting? Will the colors change? Will it become more intricate or less?