A recent commissioned Spirit Painting/ Elaine Clayton copyright 2014
In this recent commissioned Spirit Painting, I felt the feeling of great creative energy, a sense of the new based on past knowledge gained, and of working with a spiritual openness. The gift of nature bringing a wisdom and feeling of security, in that life renews time and time again, also came forth in this one.
This is a detail taken from a recent intuitive stream drawing, and below that I colored it in so you could see how I saw it:
In a recent intuitive stream drawing reading, on the far right of the drawing (done in meditation with my eyes closed) I saw what to me looked like a penguin with an egg. Male penguins do take care of the eggs and it made me feel inwardly that for this client, talking about partnerships and love relationships and caring for children might be very important. Of course there are many other ways to interpret this image, but I went with what felt most powerful for me. Whenever I see an egg shape, I think of it as potential not yet hatched, great things to come within a person–wonderful strengths to realize. It turned out that this topic of partnerships and children, in particular raising children, was of the utmost concern to this client. The day after her reading session, she told me that as a matter of fact, she has loads of penguin images in her house for this very reason–the wish and desire to have a mate who will join in the raising of a child. I thought that synchronicity was a thrilling thing! It confirmed for me that somehow, at our finger tips, through drawing, we can discover and explore what matters to us and find ways to support one another. (This intuitive drawing technique is available to anyone who is interested. MAKING MARKS: Discover the Art of Intuitive Drawing will be out in May!).
A recent commissioned Spirit Painting Elaine Clayton copyright 2013
If you have ever dreamed of horses or have a special feeling or affinity for them, learning their symbolic meaning is enriching. Horses represent empowerment, the majestic and pride as well as many other meanings. When you ride a horse, you are elevated above the normal height so you see things with an air of detachment. Horses have always been associated with wealth, too. Horses may mean something to you beyond the universal symbols, and so your own associations with horses is very important. One of the Illuminara Intuitive Journal cards is of a beautiful horse in a stall. Is it a well-cared for horse, protected and groomed, or is it trapped when it would rather be frolicking in the fields? Any one horse image brings up a lot of questions, and if you spend time going over what the particular image means to you personally, there is an intuitive and subtle activation happening. The unconscious gets a chance to surface into the conscious, with feeling and memory. This is true of spending time on any image, but archetypal ones are especially powerful.
Detail from Plantagenet in Heaven copyright 2013 Elaine Clayton
He was with me, we were on a flying carpet, flying about 7th floor level through New York City, we could see into apartments, my dog and I. And one person, a young woman in her twenties, was delighted to see us as we flew on soft air currents by her window at eye level to her. Plantaganet was beside me, as he had been for so many years. Sometimes now I think I feel him beside me, in dreams and during moments when I least expect it.
If you’ve had a pet that is no longer on earth, have this pet appeared to you in dreams or visions or in other ways? I’d love to hear about hit. They all go straight up to heaven, we know it.
I love doing mono prints because you never know how they’ll come out and often the imagery surprises. This, similar to the technic I developed which I call “intuitive stream drawing” gives you a chance to use your intuitive sensing when perceiving the meaning in the image. In this recent mono print, I had painted some human figures and when I used the brayer (my favorite art tool besides a a sharp B-6 or fine-point sable brush) and pulled the paper away, I saw a centaur there. It lead me to read about them and to imagine as I have in the past, what it would feel like to be half-human and half-horse. I particularly like that centaurs in C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia were excellent star-gazers. In my own mind, like horses, centaurs would be majestic, powerful, not entirely bound by human weaknesses and playful. If you rode one, you’d be going where they would like to go as opposed to putting a bridle on a horse. Intuitively, I took this to mean something to me about self-direction and the power of free will to choose well, always gazing upward at the stars, wishing my choices to be centered on love.
Detail from a recent Intuitive Stream Drawing/ Elaine Clayton copyright 2013
There is a technique for intuitive discoveries that I developed, and I call it “intuitive stream drawing”. Often in my meditations prior to an intuitive reading sessions, animal imagery appears somewhere in the intuitive stream drawing (these are created while I’m alone, before a session begins). In this one, at the crown and 3rd eye, there is a fierce rhino facing the past. This to me has to do with desire and the fierce look may say, “desire is threatened” or “I am going to have what I desire!” or possibly there is anger from a past experience in where a particular desire was taken away. Since the crown chakra and the 3rd eye chakra have to do with awareness of the presence of the divine within, and how it is recognized and attuned with the self, this single (of many possible) interpretation of this intuitive stream drawing makes me want to talk about getting assertive about any past event that holds a threat in regard to creating and having what the soul desires moving forward. There are many other ways to look at it.
Below we see what may be a fox–it could be a cat. The fox is a terrific symbol. I almost ran over one a few evenings ago and thought, “Time to become invisible”. Fox in Native American animal wisdom can be about “becoming invisible”—since this is a huge fox and it’s in the heart and solar chakra it feels like the need to be unseen in matters of love and even in terms of home life in some way. If it’s a cat, I feel it has something to do with intuition, the mysterious aspects of life– and possibly about trust. We can’t train or control a cat, and so it is in matters of love in some ways, there is no way to control others or make everything go the way we’d like. Fox and Cat could indicate many other things as well. Interpreting intuitive stream drawings is wonderful because it gives us a chance to explore the meanings and to discover which one is most powerful for the client personally.
More about intuitive stream drawings in my new book MAKING MARKS: Discover the Art of Intuitive Stream Drawings (Simon and Schuster/ Beyond Words due out 2014)
Yellow Blue with Rabbit/ mono print acrylic, pink and colored pencil Elaine Clayton copyright 2013
Rabbit symbolizes many things, including abundance or fertility and fears. I’d also encourage anyone to allow their own personal meanings and associations guide them as to the meaning of rabbit (when coming across rabbit on any ordinary day or dream). In this intuitive mono print, I found a person tossing coins and the yellow circle became sunshine and reminded me of a coin. Coins are tossed to make wishes (and to place bets?). Fertility sometimes translates as being “rich” and having abundance. Fears want to be conquered or worked with so they evolve into strengths. Wishes are perhaps urges toward abundance and away from fears, making bets or taking risks may be foolish at times and at others the only way to go. What risks would you have to take to remove or to overcome certain fears? What would be lost or changed?
Akashi Records/ mono print and drawing/ ink, watercolor and acrylic on paper Elaine Clayton copyright 2013
As I created this mono print, half the fun of it was not knowing what would happen. Art is most enjoyable when I am surprised by it as it progresses. What emerged into my consciousness via an image on paper was a sense of purpose (symbolized by the appearance of the whale–known as the “Keeper of the Akashic Records”). What seemed to whisper to me during the drawing phase of this mono print was the spirit of life purpose (after the print was made, I went about finding the meanings and the imagery anew). The discovery, through experiences, of my purpose in life, and how each of us finds what that means to us as individuals kept coming to mind and heart. For me, the purpose is to realize that all these constructs I’ve found myself in (life roles–that of daughter, teenager, wife, mother, artist, teacher, etc.) are there to show me who I am. I can easily see all the ways in which I need to grow more loving, more patient, more internally loving. The roles I’m in only show me the reflections of ways in which I need to grow, and sometimes ways in which I have over time.
A recent Spirit Painting commission Elaine Clayton copyright 2013
In this newly presented Spirit Painting commissioned a few months ago, a Tree Spirit is also a Spirit of the Air and Light. There is wind, sun, and water, too. The person who this was created for has an extremely rich sensitivity to nature and to the hidden feelings and meanings in her surroundings. I felt that she has the ability to tune into nature and almost blend into it, that she is of the forest and the sunlight, they sky and water. Working on it was a wonderful little journey for me. I have to let these paintings talk to me, so sometimes they take a while to fully emerge. With this one, I had to include a snake although at first it bothered me somewhat. I personally did not want to put a snake in, but the meditation guided me to, so I trusted that. Interestingly, shortly before presenting this painting to the client, she talked quite a lot about snake symbolism, and she had no idea I had felt guided to include one in her painting. That made me realize I truly have to trust the process, trust messages that arrive. I start each painting asking for spiritual, intuitive guidance. These paintings are prayers and are meant to heal and support, to activate the spiritual sense of wonder for the one who commissioned them. And in that person’s honor, they are meant to do the same for anyone who gazes upon them.
My sketchbook drawing with ink and stamps copyright 2013
I love spring and I’m thrilled that my cherry trees, finally planted into the ground, seem to be thriving. Deer ate some of the early blossoms, but I have been spraying an all natural product for fruit trees to keep them away (with hot pepper and cinnamon or something in it to keep the deer from nibbling). There are so many little cherries growing, I hope the birds don’t eat all of them.