Tag Archives: sky

Winter Day Dream


Detail of one of my recent paintings Elaine Clayton copyright 2015

Snow changes the acoustics, making a sanctuary of the surroundings. There is a hushed, majestic quality. As I stand on the snow, there is something present within it, spiritually intrinsic and obvious to me–it is an extraordinary something– might be that each flash of light from each crystal snowflake (though we cannot see that beauty without a microscope) reaches the psyche, the heart in winter. After snow has been on the ground for many weeks or months, there is a formidable sense of endurance that comes with each step taken across the cool whiteness. Wanting the bitter cold to subside, the shadows across snowy mounds that have known us for a while whisper that Spring is not too far away.

Eve’s Dreams


“Eve in a Shift Dress”,  from my new series, Painting Midrash: Eve’s Dreams

This weekend at Congregation B’nai Israel in Bridgeport, CT, we are having an art show. Tomorrow we have a reception and conversation with the artists, if you’re local, please come by around 4:30! 
Tonight is a Shabbat dinner with special guest, Bella Meyer, the granddaughter of Marc Chagall, one of my absolute favorite artists. I am thrilled about it. 

I have been working on a series, Painting Midrash: Eve’s Dreams. Dreams and intuitive sensing are such major themes in my life, and I have been learning to chant Jacob’s Ladder in Hebrew. It got me wondering what about the dreams of women, and are there any in Torah? I imagined the first woman, Eve, and thought about what her dreams would be. I had a sudden realization that her dreams are the same as ours: longing for Paradise. We long for something we cannot quite capture, or we do in glimpses, but there is always “trouble in Paradise” in one way or another. We live in a world of shadows and light, it is not perfect, it can be very painful. These paintings in this series represent that longing for harmony, self fulfillment, love and bliss in general, or even just basic safety and comfort.

Dimension of Being

IMG_6865Detail from a recent painting

I had a dream where there was a very frightened woman, so much so that she jumped face-up into a creek, shrieking as she looked up at something very terrifying in the sky. But when I looked up, all I saw was a shower of yellow-gold leaves streaming down into my hands, all over my head and filling me with a feeling of love. At that moment I woke up, and still in the hypnogogic state, I saw the face of a spooky ghost. Eyes seething, teeth rotten and gnashing. I felt sorry for him and said, “God bless you.” I repeated this several times. Then, as though this image of the spooky ghost were on a screen, the screen tilted back and I saw that it was only paper-thin. This negative apparition was only a projection, it was not “real”. I then seemed filled with an understanding that all of our emotions, thoughts and intentions are also like projections which we send out, and each one is like an area or plane of existence that are all stacked up like paper in the Universe: the angry area, the fear-filled area, the revenge area, the love area, the joy area, etc.. We play out or actions and reactions based on life events. If the negative ghost which seemed to be angry, mean, full of fear, was  actually on a paper-thin type of area or screen or plane, then there would be many more such areas, all filled with other kinds of emotions and thoughts and intentions. Which one are you in right now? I’m at this moment feeling a mixture (can we be in more than one area at a time?). I feel expectation of a big blizzard coming, I feel creative bliss, I feel slightly uncomfortable in my body because I am sore from painting for so many hours.

So what dimension would we want to be in? We all know what it is like to have emotions like anger and fear, to feel as though we cannot forgive one who wronged and hurt us. These are human emotions. But we also know that when consumed by those, it feels like we are “in a bad place” as they say. And we want out of it. I think it is true, the only way out of those emotions is to be conscious of them and our response to them, and to practice compassion where we are able to, to love in each moment as best we are able to. Forgiveness often comes in time. Being free of anger is such a great feeling. When we hold positive feelings, thoughts and intentions, cultivating love and calmness, we must then be in an area or dimension of being. I want to stay under the shower of light-filled leaves, catching them in my hands.

Do You Feel “At Home”? A Journey of the Heart and Soul



This is one of the 40 Illuminara Intuitive Journal cards. I painted it thinking of my birth place and the Texas landscape that was to be my idea of what the world was in my first decade of life. I think of going home when I choose it randomly, it brings up many thoughts and feelings for me. This is what it looks like in the Texas Panhandle where I was born and lived until about 10 years old. It hits me hard to realize that at the most foundational level within me, is this place, this extreme flat land with characteristics unlike any place I’ve lived since. I remember being myself in the most unconscious way, I had not thought about who I was, I just WAS “me”. Once we moved, I began to be very self-conscious and noticing drastic differences in people and places. So when I see this card, I am struck by that true, authentic cowgirl/tomboy “me” that I was, from a long line of Texans on my dad’s side, and how I had 10 years to live in that totally present self. After that time, I have visited many places, lived in many, and have been exposed to all kinds of life lessons, yet I have never felt “at home” in that same way. What does “at home” mean to me now? It means finding my soul, connecting with my heart, being myself and genuine, true to who I am. It means expressing myself and respecting others. I am at home in my own skin.

Right now, I am totally immersed in Judaism with all its ancient wisdom and mystical richness. I “came home” to myself in many ways when I finally started studying Hebrew and chanting the prayers in the Siddur. This would seem to have taken me far from home, but instead it feels like going back home. Maybe it was that menorah Mom had or all the Levy family who we were so close to, and who my dad and all of us grew up with  in Texas, or Jesus who I knew to be a Jew, wondering why everyone wasn’t then just Jewish if he was?  Maybe it was past lives. All I know is that I love being home within, in that way I cannot verbalize.

What is “being home” for you?



Sun, Sea and Internal Peace


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 Spirit Painting: Springing into a New Life


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.


The Spirit of Life in All Things

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.

What Am I Supposed to Learn?

Etzev/Sorrow  Elaine Clayton copyright 2013

The point of change, the moment of mercy comes when I finally ask, “What is it I’m supposed to learn here?” Some situations, goals or thoughts are held hostage by the ego to the point where no shift seems possible.  I had a client recently who said she’d been having a terrible streak spanning many years, and felt cursed.  We all relate to that feeling, but what is it that shifts us out of that? I don’t believe we’re cursed, even in bad times because I believe every moment holds the Light in it, but there can be very difficult times in our lives. I told this client that I’d found in my own suffering times that there is no shift out of misery until I surrender and ask, “What is it I’m supposed to learn in this situation?” It’s like looking up at the sky and surrendering, waving a white flag as big as the Milky Way, and the ego can’t stand it! This “breaking point” does not come easily, the ego refuses to be put in a position to have to “learn”–it thinks it already knows everything, and it asserts itself as to what it wants with great authority. “I know what is best for you,” ego seems to say. But when things are sorrowful, painful, forced or simply dysfunctional, it is a good moment when that ego has to surrender and the humble question of what should be learned arises from within. Tears may follow, but the good kind.

Stay Aligned with Your Ideals

Pieces of Sky/Gesso, acrylic on paper Elaine Clayton copyright 2013

Just because you don’t have something, doesn’t mean it isn’t “yours”.  We don’t have to own everything we love, in fact, just loving and appreciating something is often motivating and inspiring. Edgar Cayce made the very empowering of point of reminding us to stay aligned with our ideals, and I have found that acknowledging what we love and appreciate, is in essence, a way to align with our soul’s purpose. For example, during a phase of moving around in rentals that didn’t reflect any of my personal ideals, I forgot to have that soul-aligning conversation with myself about the kinds of houses I idealize. I just didn’t focus on the material at all, and we thrived as a family during that non-materialistic phase of being. After several years of not even thinking of what kind of house I truly love, I was struck by the ideals I hold, and told my husband I love solar houses. Not long after that, we found a place we now call home and are no longer roaming. It is not a solar house, but is filled with sunlight and makes us happy. One day it may have solar panels. The point wasn’t that I have exactly the thing I love, but just to know what I love and be fulfilled just loving the idea of it. An African American psychic I met once while in my early 20’s (she was a corporate psychic working for a multi-million dollar West Coast corporation) held my hand and said, “Just because you don’t have it doesn’t mean it isn’t yours.” She went on to explain basically what Cayce said, that to love something makes it “yours” on a spiritual level, because you appreciate and value it. I notice, too, that not being in the “I must have!” frenzy of feeling lacking in some way truly does bring peace. I listen to Eldon Taylor’s InnerTalk cds and one of my favorite is the 23rd Psalm, “The Lord is my Shepherd, there is nothing I shall want,” is a line that really, when I feel that calm inside, that there is nothing I must have right now, is the best feeling ever. At home when any of us get into that frenzy of “I must have”, we hiss and slither around and say, “Precious” like Gollum in Lord of the Rings. I’d rather own a love for something than to be owned by that something.