Heavenly Beings, Oil on Panel, 40 x 40 cm
I have tinnitus. It started during lockdown. Apparently it’s common and there seems to be no cure, so I’ve decided to listen into the high frequency, to allow rather than react to it: to be curious and see what I can hear.
Now there is an interesting expression for a painter – see what I can hear!
I am listening through the sound to find space – for space to bring wisdom and ideas. I am listening as though for guidance, listening for whispers from intuition, listening for the next step. I am listening as though heavenly beings are ringing to communicate.
It makes me think of horses, whose hearing is so much better than ours, sensing vibrations from afar, and how riding a horse is about listening with ones whole body. Communicating through the senses.
Body listening is a skill! Simply listening with our lugs is a skill!
Horses in the sky and sea have started to show up in my paintings again. I don’t set out to paint them, they appear in the body of the paint, so I go with it.
Anyone who has horses knows that horses are teachers of the highest order. They teach us things we didn’t know we needed to learn. Riding a horse is being atop a highly sensitive spirit.
Listening is a skill we can all improve. Author Dr Wayne Dyer says most people listen waiting for the other person to stop talking so they can have their say, rather than simply listening and acknowledging the other, or worse still they interrupt to have their say before the person has finished talking. So true! We are as a species pretty bad listeners.
When I taught musically gifted children I would teach a class on listening. 3 dimensional listening. Being in the sound. Whole body listening. It was amazing how the children came easily into balance, letting go of tension and stress and experiencing life and their instrument with more ease and awareness. The quality of the sound they made improved too. Now, when children have had to listen to so much ‘fear’ talk, there seems to be a pandemic of anxiety amongst them. I regret that after over twenty years teaching Alexander Technique to children that I am no longer teaching.
As I listen into this high frequency in my ear, to its strange music I wonder whether I can find a way to teach Alexander Technique through art?
I listen to paint too. Paint speaks, telling you what to do next, guiding the hand, if you let go of trying hard and just let yourself be present. I paint what I hear. The painter becomes a conduit. When it goes well paintings flow. The art develops a life force that hopefully create a space for others to listen into too.
Thanks for reading.
Some recent paintings…