“Portals”-Painting as Meditation

by Kara Ruth Snyder in Reflections

Painting as a Path to Higher Consciousness 

I’d like to describe how painting serves as a living, breathing meditation for me.  Painting allows one to access truth through slowing the mind down and enabling one to perceive reality through the immediacy of the materials and tools one works with.
Pictured below is the first painting in a series entitled Portals through which I am exploring the world of painting as a gateway to higher consciousness.  It is heralded by the first painting in the series entitled “Portals 1″ (acrylic and pastel on canvas, 36 x 36”, April 2011) and is pictured below:


 Painting Allows Access to Truth
I love how in painting you get what you get!  There might be layers of intended meaning projected from the artist, but the bottom line is that the materials always speak for themselves.  Red is red.  Blue is blue.  Canvas is canvas.  I think that is why the act of painting always humbles me.  Each time I paint I am faced with the truth!

Recognizing Oneness in the Act of Painting

For me, there exists a seamless unity from heart to hand, from paintbrush to water cup, from paint to canvas.  This unfolding or this ritual act of painting is a metaphor for the larger human experience.  We are here –and we work with what materials the earth has provided.  In essence, we are of the same “stuff” that our very paintings are!
Because I experience this “oneness” when I paint, I am increasingly able to carry the fruits of this experience into my daily life.  I tend to be more appreciative of the subtleties around me.  This, in turn, enriches my art.  To take it one step further, it is my hope that others will ultimately find a similar experience when they view my art, i.e., an appreciation of the beauty inherent in the materials themselves, and a calming and unifying effect from seeing the colors and markings, the illusion of light and space, the textures and forms, etc.



The Movement of the Brush is Like Breathing 


Just as breathing facilitates meditation, so does painting help us reach higher planes of consciousness.  The “filling up” of the brush with water and paint is like breathing in and  the movement of the brush (or other application tool) upon the canvas -is the “letting go” of the paint and water…it is like breathing out.  As the breath is released something is expressed!  The culminating result of this back-and-forth, this give-and-take, this ebb-and-flow of painting is, of course, the painting itself.   The painting then becomes a “portal” or vehicle for further meditation and contemplation.
Kara Ruth Snyder, “Revelation”, acrylic on canvas, 2011.
Thanks for visiting.  I welcome any comments or feedback! 

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