Disturbing the Peace
Published on February 24, 2016
Today’s IGNITE Peer Mentor Nicole Edgecombe walks us through her process of stepping out of her comfort zone and venturing into new creative territory in today’s guest post. Every Wednesday one of my beloved IGNITE Peer Mentors is sharing their creative wisdom and insight as a guest blogger.
IGNITE Peer Mentors are women who successfully completed my IGNITE Online Intensive and are eager to deepen their own skills and intentions as heart guided artists by mentoring a new circle of women in IGNITE. You can check out past Peer Mentor posts by CLICKING HERE.
After four years of honing my skill as an intuitive painter I’ve been settling nicely into my groove.
I have a way, MY way of approaching the canvas, of splashing paint around of scraping and scratching into the paint and eventually of making final decisions.
And I’ve been increasingly happy with the results.
I like my colour palette, my marks my symbols my drips. But recently the disturbing thought… Isn’t this all becoming a bit too comfy? A bit too predictable?
The whole point of this painting adventure has been to push myself to my edge. To take myself out of the comfort zone. But the comfort zone is just well… so comforting!
Of course when something disturbs your spirit the universe with its phenomenal sense of humour and insight sends the message to you repeatedly. So suddenly my night-time foraging into my favourite art websites turned up artists who loved to paint small.
I like to paint BIG.
People who use a pastel palette, my Caribbean sensibility likes bright.
People who enjoy changing up their imagery or worse using no imagery at all!
Well I’m pretty happy with faces, trees, leaves and moons.
As I absorbed all these differences my internal dialogue began to scream at me to try something new — to push myself past my resistance to change; to see what I could create and more importantly what I could learn about myself, my art, my creative process once I disturbed my peace.
I was intrigued by the idea of painting small and so I accepted an online challenge to go really small. My heart pounded to a beat of excited dread as I sat across from my pile of 8″x8″ squares of heavy paper. I began, feeling awkward.
I missed my old tools of big movements, wild drips and swooshes of paint, of hefting large canvases in an aerobic dance.
The small space felt confining and unfriendly.
I felt irritated and resentful. I was petulant like a child being told “No”.
Without my tried and tested tools I felt lost.
Old familiar insecurities bubbled to the surface. My inner critic screamed ‘unsavories’ at me. Then I was reminded of something a seasoned artist friend once asked me, “Who will beat you Nicole, if it’s not good?”
The answer of course, happily, is no one!
I had tensed up so much around this little challenge I had set myself. I felt like I would be judged and found wanting. I forgot to play! To have fun!
And then something shifted. I began to look for the opportunities.
I approached my small squares in an almost meditative state.
I slowed my pace, made fewer marks per layer and moved between many pieces at a time in sequence, allowing enough time for layers to dry. I even found ways of incorporating some of my old friends, like turning my small squares into different orientations periodically.
I enjoyed the relaxation and intimacy of sitting.
I limited myself to the paint colours that happened to be on my desk.
Then magic happened!
As I looked at this new work beautiful stories began to emerge.
The paintings began to speak to me of some of my friends.
They took on personalities.
This one sassy, that one quirky, another serious and yet another spiritual and on and on.
Some of my minis looked familiar and I could see myself easily in them. Others looked entirely different, introducing me to new aspects of myself.
I enjoyed the treasured finds. I checked in with myself.
What was I feeling now?
These little paintings had given me so many gifts, not the least of which was a new way to connect, both with self and loved ones.
I decided the Journey was well worth disturbing my peace, and I invite you to do the same.
Today, try something just a little bit out of your comfort zone.
Then sit back and watch amazing things happen!
Today’s Guest Post was written by Nicole Edgecombe, Peer Mentor for IGNITE 2016. Here is a little about Nicole…
St. Lucian artist Nicole Edgecombe describes herself as an artist healer. This largely self- taught visual artist is also a clinical psychologist whose personal journey with art started during recovery from illness. She now explores the relationship between art and healing both in her clinical practice and through her paintings. As an intuitive painter, Nicole works primarily in acrylics with recent ventures into mixed media art. She believes that spirit communicates with us through art that we allow to emerge naturally from within; and that in these communications we learn critical information for our own physical and emotional healing. This belief fuels her desire to share intuitive painting with others through workshops and demonstrations.
Nicole resides in Castries, St.Lucia and can be found online HERE.
Never miss a blog post!
Sign up to get blog updates sent straight to your inbox