VISUAL ART FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH
As few years ago as part of my spiritual journey, I began to feel a desire to be creatively expressive. Not only did I have a desire, I was constantly being told to "Create!" in tarot readings (my own and professional ones) - the goddess Brighid was calling. In my teens, I was able to fulfill this by playing the clarinet in high school. While I did not compose music, being able to create beautiful sounds (even if it was composed by someone else) using an instrument was fulfilling in itself. While I missed the music and desperately wanted to buy a clarinet for myself, I never had the money saved for it, as I wanted a higher quality clarinet than the one I had in high school. Because I missed playing music so much and because I loved the sounds of African drumming and thought it was so free-flowing (i.e., one could just let go and drum), I decided to get an African drum. This was quite fun for awhile, but it was a bit of a pain to go out to drumming groups and circles, carrying a fairly large and somewhat heavy drum around with me when I already had a busy schedule. Suffice it to say this didn't last long and couldn't really satisfy my need if I couldn't go drumming. In addition, soon after, I moved home briefly with my mom and my brother, and did not quite have the freedom as I did living on my own to practice drumming (though I'm thinking I'd like to drum again sometime since I have my own place again). I wrote quite frequently though, having maintained a personal journal for most of my life, so it was natural that I would turn to creative writing (primarily poems and prose) as an outlet. This, however, did not fully satisfy my needs and I began to want to learn to paint.
Fortunately for me, a friend of mine is an artist and when I explained my situation to her she (being very pagan- and spiritual-friendly) suggested I first try doing watercolours first before getting into oil painting. I wanted to work with an art form that was very free-flowing and non-structured and thought painting would be that way. I took her advice and about a year later (it took me awhile to get around to it, busy bee that I am!), I bought some watercolour paper, some watercolour pencils, and some watercolour crayons to start with. At first, I spent some time colouring with whatever colours suited my feeling and intuition just getting used to what the pencils, crayons, and water do on paper. Eventually, I was able to come up with some themes for my pictures and upon reflection, I was able to name my earlier pieces.
In the following pages, are scanned copies of the watercolour artwork I've done so far - not alot compared to some prolific artists. The main reason that I have decided to put my artwork on the site is because it really does reflect a spiritual side of my life. Also, if I can learn to create art, I hope I can inspire others to do so too! (I'm sure many people are much more talented artists than I am.) Artwork used for creative expression is excellent for spiritual growth. It allows you to be open and honest with yourself (sometimes you can't help it as your subconscious/unconscious self takes over) providing an opportunity for you to really see yourself. I'm sure my artwork has much to say about me, myself, and what was going on with me at the time I created a piece. My artwork has helped me grow spiritually and for that reason alone, each piece is a source of small pride for me.
Currently, I do not have alot of time to engage in artwork - though I have come up with some ideas lately. Hopefully, I'll have some time to get them down on (watercolour) paper. So, it seems I have finally found another form of creative expression (aside from writing). I hope you enjoy the artwork. (Interesting note: aside from grade 7 and 8 required art classes in school, I have never taken any formal classes in watercolour or painting.)
Copyright C.J. Chow September 2005, revised March 2006