Daydreams–I think they make the world go ’round, or at least the daydreamer seems to notice the world in a way that being “on task” can block–we are so on task, we forget to sense, to truly see and feel. Stream drawing is one way to slip into your zone of creative, intuitive and empathic sensing. It’s an expressive, active way of “being still” rather than passively waiting for the beingness or stillness to arrive. Daydreams come and go, ideas, thoughts and feelings surface, all while you’re drawing as long as you draw with complete freedom and playfulness. Looking out the window and seeing the shapes and lines in the trees, sensing the mood in the light are also transportive and I think some of the best things happen when we daydream. It is a form of learning, one we don’t nurture in each other very much because we are conditioned to be more “useful”. At least if you’re daydreaming while drawing, you’ll be doing something. Not only the practice of drawing but the impact a simple act can have on our world strikes us all as very evident after the recent massacre of artists in Paris. Stream drawing does not require you, however, to do or be anything but just yourself, in that inner-realm place where the essence of the real you thrives. There are powerfully positive effects stream drawing can have on us. Draw for your sense of peace and creative sprightliness, and know that it is indeed a very, very powerful practice to do so, often in ways that will heal us and delightfully surprise us.
This is a recent Spirit Painting commission Elaine Clayton copyright 2014
In a recent Spirit Painting commission, while meditating on the one who commissioned it, I felt the sense of deep inner peace commingling with movement and change and felt I was in a realm of the possible. Memories of the past blended with future visions of good days ahead, sunshine and a return to the sea. This painting took me on some adventures, but I still felt at peace inside through the many places and changes the painting the painting took me to. I felt as though the most real adventure is the internal one, and all external experiences are strongly influenced by how we perceive them. I felt a sense of grace and love while painting this, and it made me realize that when we feel grace and love inside, we bring that out into every place we go and to every person we meet. Then that inner peace truly is in our surroundings, as we are the host or vessel of that peace.
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.
From my sketchbook/ copyright Elaine Clayton 20014
I’m cold and want it to be like March normally is, which is mostly pleasant temperatures. I’m looking out the studio window and I see a few green blades of grass springing up in hard, frozen earth. Winter will not let go, and we expect snow tonight. Many people remark on the extreme oddity of the weather. We are in “earth changes” and we see extremes in climate and storms. For more on earth changes, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_Changes
Ken’s Spirit copyright Elaine Clayton 2013
Life is sacred, when we engage with it as sacred. Every leaf, every speck is full of vibrance–the Spirit of Life is everywhere. I painted this thinking of my brother Ken and his richly poetic way of weaving words and images and stories into visions of humorous and life-enhacing awareness. He has inspired me and many to recognize the living spirit in my surroundings.
Into the Moon, Inward Journey Elaine Clayton copyright 2013
On earth, we learn in increments of time and space. We have a linear concept of life and life’s lessons (“first this happened, then that and now….”). And yet what once happened is no more than a shadow we revisit inwardly, a cinematic recording. We still learn from those recordings by remembering them, playing them in our minds, as we create our life forward. Yet love is not subject to time, love is present, forever, within ourselves and everyone and everything around us. Enlightenment is love entering our interactions; we exist in 3-D opportunities that, from moment-to-moment, become recorded “spiritual films” of our experiences. When love is ignored or made absent by our choices or the free will of others, we know it because it is a glimmer of hell. I want to be in that love that is pure light, and each situation in life gives me a chance to see where I still have shadows within.
Tree Entrance/ ink and watercolor/ copyright Elaine Clayton 2010
Yes, I talk to trees. They talk to me, actually. I see faces is the leaves, bark and limbs. Even as a girl, my eyes were gazing out the classroom window, and I was mesmerized by the blurring, glowing clusters of greenish gold leaves, slowly swaying in the breeze. I felt soothed, loved, and as though I were a part of something mysterious and good–nature was out there calling to us and I was tuning in.
I remember once years and years ago when I lived in Atlanta, I needed a change but had not done anything about it. I knew I needed to make a big move but hadn’t made myself actually do it. One day, looking up at the shimmering leaves in the trees, the trees I gazed at every day for peace and solace, I distinctly felt them say, “Time to go.” Their shimmer and sway had a different look that day. I can’t describe it, but it was there all the same, and it surprised me. You know it’s time to go when the trees around you shove you along. What was needed from the inside out (my knowing it was time to move) was reflected for me in what was outside of me, and for the first time, I really got the message. I moved not long after.
We just had the summer solstice a few days ago. In rural Texas farm country, I was taught by a neighbor when I was quite little, to put small offerings “for the fairies” at the tree roots on the solstice. I was delighted to do so and do this often, still, solstice or not. I really do think connecting to life in the most fundamental way is important for wellbeing. Opening up to feeling and sensing the magic in nature, the love and energy of growing life and thriving greenery is very essential to feeling whole. We are not separate from the environment, and it is there to support us. What you know inwardly will be reflected in what you absorb outwardly. All that surrounds you speaks to you.
My new Tree of Life Oracle deck will be available this fall on Amazon.
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.
Once a few years ago, I was dreaming (just before waking up at dawn) and was hovering over some rocks and plants. I had the complete sensation of being not just one with everything, but of BEING everything. The feeling was as if in an instance, but a forever kind of feeling. I can’t really explain it, but I felt I was not limited to this body, I was everywhere all at once. Now that it’s spring, I love walking around outside and trying to feel myself blend in with everything, the trees, the leaves, the sky. The blurry leaves shimmering in the distance, the rocks and even the air. When I do this I feel a kind of “zing” that is elating and for a moment I almost have that “I am everything, everywhere” feeling again.
This is a recent Spirit Painting/2012
In this Spirit Painting meditation, I felt so moved by a sense of time–the time we experience as humans which helps us learn, initiating us for new life adventures. Sometimes we say that the past repeats itself and we have similar things happen to us over and over. That is usually for me a sign that there is some lesson I am not getting, or something more I need to grasp and understand in order to move forward. This painting for me is about the structure of our sense of self, how it can change through life lessons and how learning through increments of time affords us the sense of initiation, shaping in us courage, integrity and endurance.