Continuum Teacher and Artist Suzanne Wright Crain teaches how to create Living Water Art in this video created for Watermark Arts’ Somatic Movement Summit: The Creativity of Health, Mirroring Nature held at the Omega Institute 2019. Edited by Prue Jeffries.
How to create living water art (video transcript):
Okay, I really hate being videoed but I promised Elaine. Sorry I can’t be with you.
Theodore Schwenk said, “water everywhere is one connected organ of intelligence.” And it’s with that in mind, that I’m inviting you to try the living water art making process. This came about when I used to be a regular painter, and then having studied Continuum there was just so much resonance that one day I was just fully connected with the water on my painting, and it just took on a whole other life. So, I started painting in this way, like being in a dive and then at some point feeling called to the work to express. You know, we are doing all these impressions and then at some point we want to express. And this is really a wonderful resource. I want to open that up to you.
We do not put brushes on the table. I’m working right now with the canvas pads so you choose a size of canvas pad and the side that we paint on [is the one facing you] when you open up the pad. So there’s a front and a back. It’s not rocket science. If you paint on the back it’s just kind of a different texture and a different color, so don’t worry about it. But the first thing you’re going to do is turn it over and mark your name on it. Because it’s a real bummer if you make an amazing painting and somebody else thinks it’s theirs or there’s confusion so with so many people in this retreat I thought, put your name on it. You know, Kindergarten 101.
Alright. Now you’re coming to the table already from a resonant place. So I’m just inviting you to find that again. This water on your table was collected from the lake, I think yesterday, so inviting you to take a minute and tune in to the water, the water that’s from a living source. Then give your canvas a good bit of water, and then take a step back and just take a moment to feel how the water in you and the water there is connected. And you’re invoking dialogue with the paint, with the water, with the canvas. Then without going into the thinking part of your brain you glance over at the table of colors and feel which one kind of tickles you, like wants to play with you. And then you just grab it. Okay, now, a little goes a long way. You’re welcome to use as much of the paint as you want. But in my experience it’s better to kind of limit your palette when you first start to three or four colors. And then I like to move a little bit when I’m doing it and just see what wants to come out.
So it’s a dive, it’s just you’re creating art while you’re diving. Ooh, what do I want, who’s tickling me. Oh no, I can only do three – always exceptions to every rule. Not that that’s a rule. Okay, red, who do you want to be with you?
Okay, now I’m just gonna play around with it a little bit, turning it, feeling what I’m feeling in my organism. Taking it, smearing it a little bit. What does it want to be, who’s it becoming? And then I like what’s happening. It’s like, ooh, I see a face.
And we the ideas, it’s on the process, not the product and as you’re making King it. We just want to move with it maybe do a little sounding topped Hi, are you play have fun, enjoy it at some point you want to step away from it finally We step away from the painting, have a pause. feelin is there, you know it’s going to continue to move and shift. You can add a little water. You can also take your paper towel or your rag. I like to have a fresh edge on the paper towel wadded up like this. And then you can remove a little bit of water. So you have too much somewhere and it was cooling and you’re like, oh well I get the way it was. So you can take a little bit off. You know, I prefer not to use brushes because that takes you into a different part of your brain. And some people have been shut down through our trauma or whatever and it’s just better not to do the traditional thing. If you want to find a lead, excuse me a leaf or a flower or a stick or something you can play that way but Try not to bring in that part of your brain. What else you take as much time as you need and when you’re finished, inviting you to take it to the ground. Put some pebbles or some rocks on to hold it down from the wind. And you might want to do several if you if you feel like you’re in that flow or spread them out.
Art is your birthright. Have fun. Enjoy your day of silence. I’m Suzanne Wright Crain. I’m sorry I can’t be with you. I love you.