Friday, October 03, 2008

Flying Girl Follows her Star, or Intention

Flying Girl Follows her Star, or Intention
Golden Fluid Acrylic

I've got to be quick here because I spent the whole of naptime thinking about plans and goals. It is not a coincidence that this Flying Girl is about Intention.

After the last few posts, infact, the last few weeks, I have been watching myself get closer to my goals in life. Sometimes I feel like I go awfully slow, but I am still moving forward. Sometimes I have thought that I should be moving faster or perhaps I am going slowly out of fear. But I have still been learning so much in the process, so I have faith that everything is going to be all right.

I don't know if it was coincidence or synchronicity, or someone heard me talking and was responding, but last night before I started my new Flying Girl, I found this wonderful post from Cliodhna about intention. I have never seen anything laid out so clearly to help me make the leap from intentions in my mind to intentions in the world. She makes it a simple five step process. (Simple in the saying, not the doing, I understand.)

Here is what she says:

#1 Make the wish from your heart

#2 Intend success

#3 Let go of any expectations and attachment to outcome

#4 When the choice comes up in every moment ask yourself, before blindly making it, which one coincides with my intention at this moment

#5 Trust that is all going according to plan and enjoy the journey

So there is Flying Girl, following her north star to her goals, even though she flies over the wild ocean and it seems there is no spot of land to rest upon.

Sometimes that is the way it feels when I embark on these painting (in a small, evening type of journey). I have an idea, sometimes a sketch, sometimes a color scheme, sometimes just a concept for what I want. I intend it to be the best painting ever. I take off and start painting with an open mind and heart for whatever comes up. I try to trust that it is all what needs to happen, whether it comes out as expected or not.

Did you notice a step missing there? Yes. Number 4. That's the one I realize I lose, often. The constant choosing of the intention. Is this moment feeding my intention? Is this choice taking me to my ultimate goal?

Sometimes that number 4 can be tricky. It doesn't mean that you have to be burning the candle at both ends, never relenting on your forward movement. Sometimes the choice to step back and relax or reassess is part of what will get you there, while pushing forward will get you stuck. That's a difficult distinction to make in the moment. When confused, I think it's best to move on to step number 5 and realize this is all part of the process.

Water Babies, Gabriel and Ivy in the Garden. The Big Draw, #3.
Pen and ink. Prismacolor Watercolor Pencil.

Even mess ups are part of the process. (We seem to be on this theme lately.)

I sat in the garden while the kids played, intent on doing my drawing for the Big Draw Challenge. And really, I should have just turned the page after I drew the big head Ivy. It was the first thing I drew and I knew it was goofy, but instead of saying, no, I don't intend to draw a goofy Ivy, I kept at it and kept at it. This entire drawing (except for the boy) was made to obscure the goofiness of Big Head Ivy. I committed to it and took it all the way home, but I still can't help seeing Goofy Big Head Ivy.

Does that mean that the drawing is not getting me to my intention? No it does not. To be fair, when I saw the picture in thumbnail on my camera, it almost looked like a faded photograph, so if I can manage to ignore Goofy Big Head Ivy, it's not that bad. And it is not a failure.

I do not know where this challenge is taking me. It is part of my intention, not for each individual drawing, but for the challenge to my artist self. For the building of my artist's practice. For my ultimate dream of an art and writing career, in which I do begin to earn a living from what I love and do not have to go back to teach HS as part of a huge bureaucracy when the kids are ready for school.

Here's the thing about being an artist that I discovered over my many years of being artistic but not being "an artist".

Being an artist is about committing to art. Just like being a writer is about committing to writing. You are an artist if you make art. You are a writer if you write. Period, really, no matter if you never get a cent from it or no one ever likes your work or even sees it.

Live art and you're an artist. So this challenge and this drawing is indeed getting me to my long goal, even if the individual drawing did not get me toward the goal of loving this drawing.

What is your big goal? Is your life coinciding with your intention? If it is, can you teach me how you do it? And if it isn't, choose one thing today that you can do to take you a step closer to your goals... and then release all attachment to the outcome, trusting that you are on the path that gets you where you need to go.


Mim said...

I love your flying girl. I have also developed a little drawn alter ego and I love to have her doing all kinds of fun things, symbolic to me perhaps not to others. and the vintage alice stuck, literally, in the house is such a strong symbol vs. flying girl.
Great stuff

Kate Lord Brown said...

Your drawings are really, really beautiful. Maybe the large head was the point not the thing to stop you (you know how when you are younger and freer with painting you accentuate what's important rather than what's correct?) I love those 'simple' five points (could maybe do with having them tatooed somewhere accessible for weak moments). #4 is the killer - to be present in every moment. Also something I fight with. However, if intention is there and is strong, even if you stray I think your 'recovery time' or recall comes quicker to get back on track.

Lynn said...

I'd like to use a quote from what you wrote about being an artist on my blog if I may. With giving you credit of course.

The kids drawing is delightful. I can feel the water play, and their glee in being busy and involved. I love your lines that flow.

Flying girl is busy too putting her life together. She seems to be quite well focused, and has plans.
I imagine her making good choices for her self and for her kids.

sukipoet said...

Your water babies are so sweet. They look like they're having fun. Interesting to see a drawing in color as so many of us do bandW. I do have some colored pencils though. Should give them a try.

Rowena said...

mim, I too loved that squooshed alice. It might have been why I had so much anxiety when the rest of the painting didn't turn out the ways I wanted it.

kate, good point. And I do love the kind of naive, primal look of, say cave paintings. It's the idea of the thing, not the thing itself the drawing are trying to convey, and maybe that's where I will go.

Lynn, I hope you're right about those choices, because I'm taking some chances here. And I don't mind if anyone quotes me as long as they link back. A heads up is nice, too.

Suki, thanks. I was feeling the play, too. It's true about the color, but I was a little desperate to fix it when I added color. But I also am finding that I am taking up my prior experiments with drawing, as if the intervening 4 years hadn't happened. It will be interesting to see where it goes.

mapelba said...

It will take me a while to get to sleep as I mull these rules over. I've known them, but forget them often. Everyday in fact.

Karen Mowrey said...

There is a reason for a person to be born with talent, the soul of an artist communicates through that talent. Those 5 intentions are pretty much how I live my life, not always the case though. We are only as strong as our weakest thought. It takes focus to "beelieve" we are on the right path. I threw out the "how and when" and put trust in the path. "it's all good", just beelieve.

There is more room for kisses on a big head and Flying Girl apears to be on the right path.

BelleEnchanted said...

This is a beautiful post. I love your Intention piece (your drawing, too). Living with intention is a beautiful way of life. About step number four in the process, something that works for me is to move beyond intention, straight to identity. Who do I want to be? Because internally, I can always choose to be whoever I want to be. Using the power of the imagination, I can settle into Being Me inside, and when I consistently make this choice, my external world shifts to come into conformity with my inner choice.

Robynsart said...

I have come to love flying girl, looking forward daily to see what lessons she could help me to understand. This one is huge, and will take quite a bit of thought. Thank you!

cliodhna said...

hiya! beautiful painting and I agree with you about number four, sometimes the choice is to relax take a break, go for a walk, play with the kids and yes, trust that we are always perfect and always moving forward. Good luck!

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