The Power and Magic of Intention in the Creative Process


Today’s IGNITE Peer Mentor Kate Elliot is demystifying how to bring more intention to our painting practice.  Every Wednesday (but this week we’re doing it on Thursday!) 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.

[vc_separator type=’normal’ position=’center’ color=’#000000′ thickness=’1′ up=” down=”]

Ahh – the blank canvas and the dilemma of where to start.

You have an idea, you have a spark and then what?

Intention is that self-proclamation, the claiming of the great, underlying what (not why, but I’ll explain this later). Intention is the container in which the sacred is held and from which sparks fly. It is on conduit through which the voice of Creative Source flows. Intention provides the base, a point of reference, a way to embrace that which serves the intention and to let go of that that does not, and a launching pad from which to FLY!! Without this base point of reference it is easy to succumb to chaos and confusion. I write this from an intuitive painter’s perspective but the concept applies to all creative endeavors.

Intention serves  to hone the intuitive response – focusses attention in ways wishing or hoping or thinking or seeing cannot. It is the conduit for connecting to Source, that invisible energy in back of all creation. Through intention, Creative Source has a place to land, somewhere to express through.

I’m talking about intention from an energetic point of view – not from “I’m going to paint a tree and I want it to look like this.” The real juice and magic lies in the “what” behind the “why” you want to paint a tree in the first place, the “what “ spark that ignited the desire to paint a tree. What does a tree represent for you? Strength? Life? Protection? Grounding? Reach? The “what” is the intention and the spark from which the fires of creation spring forth.  I make a distinction between why and what here. Most people teaching intention call it the why, but for me, why doesn’t always have an answer, or the answer is buried, or the answer is yet to be revealed, or simply “because I want to” (my favorite) which is the best reason to do something but it begs the question. If I wait around for the why, I can get bogged down in inertia. What is a question in the moment of now and always has an answer. The same is true for life. Whether we are embarking on a new adventure, a new art piece, or even something as simple as a new day. By claiming our intention for that next thing, we claim our experience and we then know when our intention has been fulfilled. The intention opens up the channels to receive from Creative Source precisely what was intended. In some way, we do this whether we consciously participate or not. All the judgement rolling around in our heads is also intention. Let me tell you a little story to illustrate.

I signed up for a workshop on painting the body energetically. I created my intention of wholeness (what I wanted to feel), splashed it on the blank page, along with a prayer (the “why” I am doing it: healing of old stories, wounds, ideas I have harbored deep in my cells). I proceeded to push paint around, going with the flow, feeling the fluidity in my bones.


Then I got stuck . . . stuck in my head.

Once the initial flow of energy subsided I wanted it to “look” like I wanted my body to feel. I added elements based on what I “thought” I should include. I did this over a period of weeks. I knew I wasn’t finished I just didn’t know where to go next. I even lost the original intention in my effort to make it “look” a certain way but with no idea what that was. This was the confused and chaotic stage.

Then with a prompt from another, I approached my painting after conjuring up as best I could the feeling of wholeness. I engaged all my senses in the expression of the original intention. It was then I realized I had been using my visual sense only.

When I let go of what I thought it should “look” like, I could then let it be what it was intended to be.

When I engaged all my senses (what does wholeness smell like, what does it taste like, what texture does it have, what color is it) the energy once again flowed and the intention expanded. All the elements (or metaphors thereof) I had originally tried to force on the page flowed effortlessly and in ways I would have never expected. I “felt” finished and complete with the painting. I felt the power of the process, I felt the energy of wholeness. But Creative Source had bigger ideas that I could not have foreseen when I started this painting a few months ago. The Magic. . .


You see, I wasn’t going to share the finished product or any part of it, other than the opening picture.  

My blog was going to be more about how intention is a necessary starting point of any creative endeavor (and it is). I used the excuse that it was too personal to share, but when I really looked under the veil of illusion, the true reason for my reluctance was that I lived in judgment that the painting wasn’t good enough to share.

But if I stand solid in my devotion to art making as messenger then in sharing my painting with you, dear reader, I find the courage to claim wholeness as the truth of me. As I was writing this blog I heard a very clear voice from the ethers that I had to share the actual painting. Tears welled in my eyes. When that happens I know I have healed a deep wound and have moved into an expanded story. Claiming my wholeness this way deepens the experience beyond its felt sense. It is who I am. I am whole.

Thank you for being my witness.

[vc_separator type=’normal’ position=’center’ color=’#000000′ thickness=’1′ up=” down=”]

KateElliotToday’s Guest Post was written by Kate Elliot, Peer Mentor for IGNITE 2016.  Here is a little about Kate…

As an artist I believe in creative expression for its own sake and art as a means of interacting with the Divine, or the Invisible(s) as I like to call them. Everyone is creative, we are born with an inmate desire to express ourselves. Sometimes we forget this or we don’t pay attention to life’s subtleties and details. My joy and passion is facilitating that remembrance. I create art and workshops that speak to the Creator in each of us. I draw your attention to your own unique voice and how and what it wants to express. Through art I encourage your authentic voice to speak and invite you to court its Presence and uncensored expression.

My offerings are both local and online. My current passion is facilitating Intuitive Painting workshops in my home studio, and Creative Practice as Spiritual Practice as an online workshop. My intention is to grow as an Artist and my workshop offerings will grow with me. My purpose is to live so that my heart, body, soul, mind and the Divine co-mingle as one voice. To play in the realm of the terrestrial while courting the realm of the Invisible. Art, and creative expression is a bridge between the two. Come walk it with me.

Kate resides in Seattle, Washington, USA and can be found online HERE.


Join The Paint Wisdom Newsletter!

My weekly newsletter is filled with studio updates,
announcements,& short musings intended to nourish your Artist Soul.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.