Spirit Paintings: Thinking from the Heart


Spirit Painting for Niki/ Copyright 2011 Elaine Clayton

I create these painted meditations in honor of the one who commissioned them (unless they ask for me to paint it for someone in particular). I focus from the heart and paint what feels like emerging, and it is a very beautiful process. I wish we were all raised to “think from the heart” more in life, rather than being conditioned to be primarily rewarded for being rational and logical. Thinking from the heart gives me the feeling, not just the words, but the feeling, of “being one” with others. It is a sensation of calm and peace and excitement and the feeling that all good dreams can come true. Especially if we, from the heart, support one another in becoming aligned with Source, with our deepest sense of wellbeing.

Becoming Who You Are and Creating


IMG_9068Well, it’s October and the cycle of life brings us to change, autumnal transformation. The leaves are dappled with orange and the air whispers cooly into our ears. Creating comes in cycles, too–there are seasons of ruminating on ideas, like a spring time within the imagination. And then summery dreams of wonderment and work, getting the ideas into material form. Autumn is for reflecting on what has been created and where it will go next. Winter-what is winter in the creative process? It would seem to suggest death–cold, frigid and painful, dark days. It’s the beginning, though, of allowing new life experiences and new ideas to stir in the heart and soul. All of these seasons of life and of creating are about becoming. Becoming new, becoming alive, becoming what we’d most desire to be, feel and do. It is not comfortable at times, transforming and creating ourselves into new life experiences, new ways of perceiving ourselves within the world, but it is undeniable. There is no escaping change. It is our true state of being, to be changing and moving through seasons.
I had stepped away from Illuminara.com for a while, after 7 years of creating posts each day, it was time to have that rest, the sabbatical, to renew from within. I look forward to new ideas, art and life experiences urging me to grow, and I hope you’ll share your thoughts and feelings on the art I post. It has been such a privilege to be with all of you in this spiritual cyber land! Let’s see what changes and create ourselves into all good things, dreams come true.

You Can’t Hide: Betray Others, You Betray Yourself


Hidden in the Trees/ Detail from a recent painting/ Elaine Clayton copyright 2015

At Paideia School years ago, I remember smiling with a colleague while watching young children  at play in the classroom. When they did something they should not, they had the idea that they were invisible, unobserved and could get away with what they were doing. It was kind of cute to see that innocent children did not know any better and we knew they would be learning to become conscious of what they were doing, sometimes through hard lessons, gradually as they grew.

It’s not so cute when adults hide, sneak, lie and live in deception, come what may and no matter who it damages along the way.  Nothing is really a secret for long, someone always knows and in the end the truth always comes out. And hopefully adults who deceive and betray others will learn (probably the hard way) not to think of themselves as invisible, like a naughty child. It takes strength of character not to exploit others through deceit: ultimately it is a betrayal of self to the self.  If our choices and actions dishonor others, we grossly dishonor ourselves.

When Horses Show Up


Detail of a recent painting/ Elaine Clayton copyright 2015

Majestic, sensitive, powerful.  Horses seem to know what you’re thinking, they pick up on how you feel. There is a quality of spiritual opportunity about them. Riding them makes you feel closer to the sky, taller than human and grounded in your power. This horse just appeared–the head and neck were something I “found” when looking at random brush strokes, so I filled in the rest. I love it when horses show up.

Dogs in Dreams


Detail from a recent Spirit Painting/ Elaine Clayton copyright 2015

I think of unconditional love, obedience, companionship, loyalty and protection when I think of dogs, and especially when they show up in meditation or appear in intuitive stream drawings. You might have other things to add to my list, personal meanings you hold and associate with dogs. Dream symbology is great to explore since it can lead to insightful personal and universal truths. In this recent Spirit Painting, a well groomed dog (poodle) shows it can sit up, beg (for a treat?) and embodies training and grooming. This is a cultivated dog. I wonder what are the things I cultivate in my life? What has my attention, and what do I nurture? The saying, “You reap what you sow” makes me think that what we nurture and cultivate yields fruits for us, so it better be things we intend to nurture and cultivate but I am certain we unconsciously give a lot of time and space to things that will end us up in not so good places. Becoming conscious of how we use our energy in the way of thoughts, plans, emotions, ideas, etc. is a pretty good idea. If you’ve had dogs in dreams, I’d love to hear about it!

Personal Spring: The New You from Inside Out


IMG_7646This is a New Spirit Painting commission, created for Heather Strauch for A Different Approach PT / Elaine Clayton copyright 2015

How often do you have a personal springtime, a time of conscious renewal or even unwanted change which forces new ways and different approaches?  I found Heather Strauch years ago when I was in a process of change both physically and spiritually. I sought help healing and found that “a different approach” was available, thank God.  I had previously received excellent treatment, but then relocated and found a new practice that seemed unconcerned with the whole body, or with meaningful alignment and treatment which reflects true care. I searched alternatives hoping I’d find what was “right” for me and found it. Heather’s practice, A Different Approach PT, is “the real deal”, she is a true healer and I have trusted her for almost a decade with myself and my family members.

I have found often that in the process of seeking healing, we align with people and situations that are optimal for us as we unfold anew, creating the life we seek. At our core we are spiritually renewed even as we age and even as we experience illness.  A personal spring time is necessary now and then, time for brining in the new, to heal and re-emerge with a different vision and healthy start. Spring into action, spring cleaning, spring has sprung. Eternal spring–our true essence!

“Now” is a Sacred Moment



Elaine Clayton copyright 2014 Spirit Painting

Are we captives of time and space, and our perception of ourselves in relation to time and space, as Abraham Joshua Heschel asserts: “The higher goal of spiritual living is not to amass a wealth of information, but to face sacred moments.”

Come Stream Draw with Me at Fairfield University Bookstore


Come recapture drawing in a free-style way I call ” stream drawing” and allow your unconscious, creative, imagination flow into your hands and onto paper. This drawing event is at Fairfield University Bookstore on April 25th at 11 a.m.