|Just a sneak peak at “My Sacred Garden” a work in progress by Rachael Shores|
People ask me, “What is a vision painting?” I wish I had a name that would describe this idea better. Tell you what, I’ll explain what I paint and you can let me know what I should call this type of painting, please!
I paint an image that illustrates a series of thoughts, feelings, beliefs, a personality, something that is hard to sum up in a few words. I have painted my happiness, my business plan, even a life guide to help me in making life decisions.
|My happiness mixed media by Rachael Shores|
|My Business Plan watercolor by Rachael Shores|
|My Road Map by watercolor and acrylic by Rachael Shores|
I get hung up on words -hence the issue with what to name this concept. While everyone is arguing over semantics, definitions, double meanings, I am trying to see the point. I suppose I could fill the rest of my life painting what unity looks like, what love looks like, etc but my favorite thing is people. Their ideas and thoughts are so unique and individual. These aren’t just fancy paintings of some definitions, these are abstract portraits of an individual and not just their features but their thoughts and ideas, hopes, dreams, etc.
So far I have sat down with people with a plan. People usually know what they want when they ask for a painting from me. I can go on very little so I don’t need much inspiration but let me help you start thinking about what your vision painting might involve.
First, there are some words to think about to get you going.
Do you have a life motto?
A favorite quote?
Is there a song that inspires you? That sums up who you are, what this life is about? Do you have a theme song?
Do you have a purpose? A mission statement? Business plan?
You can also list goals. Maybe you have a more specific vision. This doesn’t have to be the all encompassing “Life is grand, don’t forget it” sort of message. Maybe you want to be healthier, have peace in every day life. Write those down.
The exciting vision paintings to paint are those that we are too scared to display, maybe too scared to even say as sentences but that we want to believe. What about “I am beautiful”, “I will make it through this”?
Brainstorm it all. Now, that you have a page of hope, exciting inspiration, think about what the purpose of your vision painting will be. This doesn’t have to be treated like a vision board. It’s not necessarily a wish for a bunch of stuff. Is this for your life? A reminder for one goal in life? The purpose and feel of your business? Maybe you simply want to see a fun inner portrait of you.
What do you need to remember? What will change your mood?
What will keep you in the right direction?
What do you need to hear over and over?
Can you think of a time that you were clear in your direction?
Can you think of a defining moment when you said, “this is what it’s all about”?
Put Imagery with some select words
Were you able to select one key phrase that you would like to see envisioned? Then focus on that to paint around. Otherwise, take a look at all the words and phrases. Circle words that come up a lot for you or words that mean a lot to you. I’d like to see what someone’s personality painting would be just by taking a list of their favorite words. My favorite words are barefoot, rain, firefly, create, purpose, shine . . . I’m still working on my list.
Do you have images from your memory or dreams that seem to define or illustrate these words? Like the word “delicate” what do you think of? A butterfly? A rose? A sleeping baby? Try to put positive memories with words that are significant to you like “passion”, “love”, “peace”, “success”.
Now is the time to go wild. Get as abstract as you can. Think of all the meanings a word can have, all the ways to illustrate it, all the moments in your life that could define that word.
What is the color of the emotion you want to feel?
Now, comes the simplifying part. This painting, this mantra, this goal, this quote, how do you want to feel when you see it? Excited? Calm? Serene? Happy? What color is happy? What color is your happy? I saw a woman that painted her whole house a beautiful fuschia/hot pink because it made her happy. I had never thought of a hot pink as such a happy color until I saw it on every wall of her house. I think my happy color was influenced by Sunday school. It’s bright yellow, “let your light shine.” Don’t get me wrong, there’s tons of happy colors.
If it’s too much to see an emotion in color borrow from symbolic references. Like the chakras, there’s plenty on energetic color and the meanings of colors online. Think about others that have used color to express themselves. Johnny Cash wore black, Van Gogh had that whole blue phase. I remember a report saying that inmates in prisons were more subdued in pink rooms. Think of any reference to color that has given color a meaning or feeling decide if you agree and go with that. Is this a warm painting? A cooling and soothing painting? Is this occurring like a season? What are those colors? How you feel about colors is what will determine what color your painting should be. When I was little I hated the color orange, that bright orange-Popsicle orange . It would not have made it into a happy painting.
Compile it all
Now that you have some words to illustrate – maybe you even have a complete sentence, you have some memories or images with feelings and meanings attached to them, and you hopefully have been able to select a color or color group. Don’t worry, you don’t have to have just one color. In designing a painting it’s good to think about 3 colors. You can either pick 3 that go well together in the same family and you’ll have a nice monochromatic painting, Think warm or cool. All this talk about happiness has me thinking about bright yellow, Barbie pink, and a deep sunset orange. To keep a palette uniform it’s a good idea to pick 3 colors to represent the primary colors. You don’t have to be limited to just those three. It’ll help maintain uniformity. I’m having issues right now with a vision painting I’m finishing. It’s a night landscape and I thought it wold be more interesting and entertaining to use every blue I own but it was a bad idea. Think of picking a light, a dark, and medium color. That will help your painting have some balance as well. In our head color seems to shift and move all over.
With these colors go back through your images and words and narrow things down to what will fit with this coloring. Try to see your imagery in limited colors, merging together, remembering that main feeling you want to have throughout.
You may need to sit quietly and think about all this that you wan to see. Let it swirl, let it settle. If it doesn’t want to settle, pick your favorite snapshot to focus on. Maybe the movement is important. Try to see the shape or the pattern of the movement. Is it bursting? Spiraling? Ebbing and flowing? Try to picture your images becoming those patterns of movement.
All right, got that?
You should have:
-A phrase meaningful to you, or collection of words
-images, stories, memories, dreams, to illustrate your selected words
-emotions that you want this painting to conjure up
-3 colors that illustrate the feeling and emotions
Now you have your own vision!
1.Remember it whenever you need to. Sit with it quietly and dwell on it’s positive message for you.
2. Share it in the comments! Share this blog with your friends and get them to comment about their visions. I would love to hear a whole collection of visions and inspirations. Was this article helpful to you?
3. Is your vision crystal clear? Paint it. Hang it up where you can see it everyday. Put it somewhere that it can share it’s message with others. The fascinating thing about vision paintings is that they speak to others with different words. Someone else’s interpretation of your painting can give you insight into yourself.
4. My favorite: Let me paint it! I love the imagery and I love bringing it into reality. How would you like to make your mantra tangible and physical, like say, a painting?
Plan a vision painting the easy way:
If none of my steps have worked for you, if you’ve drawn a blank, then I can suggest a miracle worker: Sophia Ojha of Reflection Pond. She provides group and private meditations. She will bring you into a discussion of all of this and then lead you on an intuitive guided visualization where you will be encouraged to stretch your imagination more than you ever thought possible. She has inspired more paintings than I can keep up with. “My Sacred Garden,” the one I’m working on completing is my newest from one of her sessions. I hope you get a chance to check Sophia out. She also does connections over the internet. You just need to be able to hear her voice.
Check out my Etsy store SparrowsHand for available high quality giclee prints of vision paintings.