large black loopy line with a yellow centre in a sea of trellis blue with magenta square acrylic painting by phoebe thomasson art

Art, The Great Disruptor

Art is my meditation
My medication
It anneals my soul
Enlivens my spirit
And informs my intellect
As to where I am
In my process
Towards enlightenment
For that, really
Is all that matters;
The cessation of suffering
And the opening
Of the doors to Nirvana.

What you see here
Is the result of that process;
That striving towards
Something greater
That release of pressure
And the relief of understanding.

That
Is
Art.

large black loopy line with a yellow centre in a sea of trellis blue with magenta square acrylic painting by phoebe thomasson art
Before Infinity

Part of the growth process must involve self-analysis. The above prose poetry is what emerged when I analysed my relationship to my art and my creative process.

What it means to me is what drives me, and this is an important understanding for anyone looking to employ the techniques of disruption to their life, business, project or self development.

For more on Disruption and innovation see Whitney Johnson’s book “Disrupt Yourself“. I highly recommend it if you are looking for positive change in any area of your life.

Art Projects

Space Beings & Imaginary Friends

The Human Boundary

Supernatural: Surreal Shapes of Nature

 

Follow me on Twitter @phoebethomasson

 

 

acrylic painting of blue swirls of energy or frozen life forms by uk artist phoebe thomasson

The Regenerative Power of The Creative Self

Sometimes we need a concept about what we are doing to help us through when the going gets tough. Here are my thoughts on how our creative life is in fact very resilient. We need to learn trust, patience and to understand the nature of the thing.

ESSAY: The Bryophyte and The Muse

 

How Making Art is a form of Magic!

Creating a piece of art is like pulling invisible threads out of the air and translating them into some strange language that finds itself flowing onto the canvas; it’s all about breathing life into the offerings of the imagination. We as artists learn to weave these threads so others can see what we see; sort of!

a seated woman bare backed flows electric blue white light through head chakra from divine light into the white floor of blank canvas room in which energy is poured like water. a creative word and picture by pt phoebe thomasson uk artist shamanic iconic images of art and photography blended by adam white photography dorset dorchester uk england western art painting photo blend on photoshop genius love and peace.

And just what are we pulling? The dead aspects of ourselves ready for rebirth? The pulsating tributaries from which our aliveness stems? The dreams, desires, hopes and fears searching for resolve perhaps. It’s hard to say what the ‘Mind stuff’ is from which creation arises, but we all know it when we see it.

Why Create?

The psychic pull to create is in effect no different from the urge to have sex. We don’t know how it’s going to go when we engage spontaneously with the magnetism of the moment, but we enjoy the interplay of polarities that excite us, cleanse us and somehow move us forward into our deep sense of rhythm, our primal need for movement within.

In terms of the energy centres identified by eastern traditions, the creative second Chakra is located in the same area as the reproductive organs. This has always intrigued me but it makes perfect sense. Unless our creative energies are engaged in producing life, then what else can they be used for? Exactly. That’s why art exists at all!

Art makes life into a celebration, of living, of growing, of dying and being reborn into unlimited possibility.

It is a map to tell others of the territory and landscape we inhabit, both internally and externally throughout our lives.

Art is the primary road-map. It is a cohesive document of what it means to exist.

Art is many things to many people; each of us will have our own relationship with certain forms of art, whether we realize this consciously or not and we learn to value art as we pay attention to it’s effects upon us. We can soon see that our wiring is built for it! We are a design in negative; evolution grows from the results of our actions, and what does that mean for art’s action upon us?

As artists we are in the dark with our creations until we can find a way to complete the loop, which is to share with others and we learn our sharing strategies on the way, or we study others findings and emulate the latest trends, the internet being one such explosive movement of the present time.

Whatever way we learn to make art, or make love, our glow of ‘belongingness’ should stay in our possession and be continually crafted until it becomes uniquely ours. True to ourselves, as we strive to be, is the only way to become that which we crave we were.

Let us be that now. Let us define that which would make our lives work now. Let us sketch on the canvas of our minds and make love with the ideal vision that resonates with our true happiness.

How do we know when we’ve found it, and not some phantom?

Well the colours become bright, definite, focused. And perhaps most importantly, there is no stress. There is only presence and the knowing of our own supremacy. We are at one with life amidst the rhythmic movement of art and sex and the sweet release of our pent-up life-force.

Make Art
Make Love

acrylic painting by phoebe thomasson abstract blue brown winter colours

To Do List: Cultivation

Today I need to….

Cultivate Strength, one hour at a time.
Cultivate Bravery, to meet my own weaknesses.
Cultivate Determination to overcome my limitations.
Cultivate Fitness I wish, that I may lift you up.
Cultivate Perspective that this is my journey; destination unknown.
No-one else is on it with me unless I share it.

I hit a bit of a crisis today. Things went pear shaped for a minute, but I remembered that I could choose how things went by my response. I remembered that I have a choice, always. I can respond negatively or creatively.
I chose to allow myself my full gamut of feeling, as insane as it was for a minute, then throttle back and consider what was being said to me. Consider how I could change my perspective and see things in a more hopeful way.
I ended up giving myself the pep talk I was looking for externally. The thing is that it’s never as good from someone else. Our own reassurance or ‘inner sense’ is definitely tailor made for us if we can muster the space to talk intelligently to ourselves.
I also realized that I don’t need to tolerate my acting the fool, inside and out if it’s not productive. I can tell that stupid voice to shut up if I think it is being unreasonable. In short, I can control my own mind, then no-one else need do it for me.

….Cultivate trust in myself.

Photo Credit: Roger Kirby

Dreaming of Destruction….again!

Just before my last waking this morning, I had a series of dreams. They were very strong in their imaginary.

See what you make of them and I’ll tell you what they mean to me at the end.

Dream#1: Nothing Left to Eat…

We are a small tribe/community living in a glade type valley and we are foraging for food and living our lives.

There are mini dramas going on, just as in any culture but something ominous was looming. It becomes clear that we were running out of food and that before long we would have to find more or we were all going to starve to death.

A group of us took off to search whilst the elders stayed behind and took their chances, unafraid for their survival unlike ourselves. We were hungry!

We came up a leafy hill and everything stopped. The massive strip of ground before us was as bare as could be.

Tilled soil was all that stood there as far as the eye could see up to the brow of the massive hill. My guts went weird as a ferocious sound hit us. Although we knew we should run now, we were transfixed.

Dogs came running over the hill towards us. They didn’t look like the type of dog to be fierce, they were golden retrievers! However their appearance did nothing to allay the reality that they were protecting their site and we were clearly trespassing!

That’s the end as far as I can remember.

Dream#2: Trouble in The Air…

We were driving to my friend’s house up the Weymouth Avenue and just at the top by the traffic lights we spied a sight that we had never seen for real in this area. A twister!

We debated  for a minute how serious it was. It was soon clear that it was very serious indeed and headed right for us.

My first instinct to carry on in the direction I was going, which may have actually taken us beyond the path of the wind tunnels, was immediately over-ridden by a strange mix of ‘I have to get home!’ and deep panic.

Home meant doing a U-turn in the road and I was aware of traffic all around…and home was where it was headed. Where should we turn, and how fast could we run without contributing to the general panic?

Time for the general synopsis…

Dreams are multidimensional and usually contain at least two levels of understanding, one cultural (global) and two, personal.

On a personal level both dreams seem to say to me that I’ve hit my nemesis.

In some sense I am up against the ‘survivalist’ dream. The ability to sustain myself is somehow under threat, either for real or metaphorically.

This could have always been the case, and something I am now discovering (new territory) or something that is coming upon me as new realizations dawn (threatening circumstances). On both counts the message is quite clear.

ACT! Now is not the time for contemplation…for me this is clearly a call to clear and concise decision-making.

Trust your first instinct! If that is to run, just choose the right direction. If that is to stand your ground (more appropriate with dogs than tornadoes!) then do that!

The worst thing I can do now is vacillate in self-doubt! Making the wrong decision is the fear but making no decision is fatal!

Global Interpretation…

(Remember this is my own!) OK. So we are at some ‘event horizon’ and all we see before us is barren land and…the dogs of war? We know not what is beyond the horizon and all we can sense is despair at our uncertain future.

Let me give you the alternative ending…

(Penned in my waking hours!)

A New Perspective

Immediately we all sink to our knees, drop our gaze to the ground and stretch out our arms. The dogs pick up on our non-resistance and almost simultaneously they become our friendly welcoming committee. They run up to us licking our face and wagging their tales.

They communicate that they’ve been waiting for us and protecting the land. They lead us over the bow of the hill where we behold a Golden City before us. We know instantaneously that before us lie the treasure of abundance.

The Golden City is replete with good food, shelter and companionship. We make plans to go and fetch the rest of the tribe to bring them to the city. The city exceeds all our expectations. It’s golden hue is a sign of its enlightened vibration.

Mankind has finally learned to live in harmony with nature. The barren field is merely ready for us to plant the seeds if our choice, and we are welcome into the city as long-lost sisters and brothers. We are home.

Now that’s much better!

a face is obscured by black shards mixed media collage by uk contemporary artist phoebe thomasson

The Silent Killer; Get Down You Inner Censor….

The inner censor is the killer on the loose in our psyches.

How do we know it’s there?… Well we don’t to start with, but if you have tried to be consistently creative and failed to keep up stamina then it might be that, like me you suffer from a strict inner censor.

The censor is very much alive in the outer world at the moment. I won’t go into it because either you know what I’m talking about because you listen to the news and it’s not my focus here.

The inner censor is the real enemy and the outer manifestation is the proof that the energy is alive and kicking in our culture.

Why does the censor do what it does? Why does it kill the creative impulse?

Because it hates imperfection. Because it loathes chaos. Because it detests the uncontrollable.

Any time we have an idea that we just can’t do something about may be a symptom that the censor is in control. The gateway is very narrow if the censor is in command as it is a mean gatekeeper that only allows the acceptable through. It has a long list of what is acceptable, but an even longer one of that which isn’t.

In the creative life we need to channel the crap as well as the good stuff. This is for the creative zone where putting our thoughts on paper is a safety net for our fears. What we do with it afterwards is another matter but unless we can get it through the gates in the first place is a matter of re-education.

We need to gently take the censor to one side and give it a bribe.

If you let more through the gates, I promise, the quality and standard of my work will improve and increase in ways you never thought possible. Do me a favour mate and look the other way when I have a crappy idea. I can’t get to the good stuff hiding underneath unless you let this through.

The censor will probably consider this a feasible option. Just make sure you make it work for its living and don’t let it rule the roost.

You’re in charge!

a blue hand exuding rays of golden and rainbow light by artist phoebe thomasson

Transitions Into Joy

How could I have lived this morning differently?

I could have given Ewan my undivided attention this morning instead of rushing into doing the washing up. I could have sat and centred myself before running headlong into working on anything other than my state of being. I could have left the brown envelope unopened until I had done my morning ritual. I could have let Dru have his morning smoke before I told him the bad news. I could have seen things differently instead of crumpling into helplessness and despair. I could have been patient with myself for feeling upset about it all.

I feel I need to get a morning routine that is more helpful to me. I want to enter the day in a conscious state of peace and joy not barreling around trying to catch up and missing so much.
I don’t want Ewan to feel left out and like he has to protest by weeing on the carpet. I don’t want to be angry with him any more.

Why despite a great night with friends do I feel so negative? It’s almost a default setting and I guess I need to spend plenty of time resetting my habitual mind.

I have a ‘poor me’ nature that is entirely outmoded in this new way of being. I need to get back my natural bliss. It has been hidden for so many years, so I need patience with myself.

Seeing as how I find difficulties where there need be none, it behoves me to pre-plan for these inevitable downers. What do I do when I feel confused, disappointed, dissatisfied or dissociated? What strategies can I put in place to help myself out of the darkness?

Time and again I must remind myself that I AM strong, I AM resilient, I AM tough.

I need to break through this layer of false weakness and find the real substance I know is there. I can bring my vibration to a high place if I practice and practice like I mean it. Remembering to do this must also become second nature.

Raise it up!
Don’t drop it!
We are riding waves
Of vibration
Simply put
It’s the only real issue
That matters!

I am the Jedi Cleaner

I am all the cleaner for being a Jedi…unless I’m experimenting with dirt…which happens when I don’t shower for a week…mmm…sink washing is so austere…

I learnt to clean like a Jedi by first becoming a cleaner. And at the time I was already doing my training, so they informed one another in a curious way. Cleaning is like dancing, when you do it right. The dance is most exciting when it is effortless. It can be fun and absorbing. Me, the cleaning girl, liked the experience of being efficient anyway and this was instant gratification. Me, the trainee Jedi, was always bunking off (being mindless) but would come out when the drugs were around…ha ha….Jedi’s like to partake in mind altering professions and cleaning turned out to be just that….

I don’t digress…I merely clean.

Phoebe Thomasson

The great thing about Jedi training is that I can clean an oven with no fear…but when my Jedi lights are dim even I can give the greasy box the cold shoulder.

It takes rubber gloves for some. For me it takes Gary Numan and a tight black zippy top made from recycled plastic (you laugh…have you checked your Nike label lately?)

Cleaning and Religion

Cleaning is a curious profession. You get to revel in others’ left-overs….some of which are good, most of it is unhealthy. I came away with so much more than a bad case of ‘addicted to anything I can find’….coats, bikinis, scones and margarine…you know, holiday maker fare. Maaan, some of those places had really been enjoyed.

I must get on with the cleaning. Back Soon.

Find out what happens next…..later….. x

Want More Time? Stuck In a Rut? Then Slow Down…

There’s something about my approach to painting that I have only recently understood and it very clearly serves to explain why I’ve been frustrated and frequently blocked, even when I’ve been prolific. For ages I’ve thought my paintings suck, or lack, or just don’t quite do it for me. I’d like to share this with you because it’s a common problem with lots of areas in our lives. Apply my theory to any area in your life and see what happens.

Here’s my theory…

It’s not what you are doing It’s HOW you are doing it!

Now that may not be a major revelation for you if you are a careful person who instinctively takes their time but for me, when I discovered I was simply rushing, this was my moment of breakthrough. Ok, I knew why I was rushing; because I don’t have much time to paint and I’m trying to fill a canvas or whatever and get a painting ‘done’.

What I had forgotten was the process. I had become goal oriented…oh how strange!

Just like the vast majority of my life I had unwittingly transferred my frantic search for ‘more’ to my creative life as well!

You know the scene…rushing through the boring jobs to get to the one you love and then when you get to that important one you really give a damn about you are so strung up you botch it by overworking a piece, going too far, too quickly, your mind completely out of the moment and in the idealized future when….oh dear, another unsatisfying result which leads to further feelings of frustration and reinforcing the ‘I’m crap’ belief system.

Sound familiar? Well it does to me.

Recently I’ve been doing a lot of guided meditation during my chill time with the help of a few inspired apps like Insight Timer instead of reading or searching on eBay. This is paying dividends in my attention span and my ability to choose thoughts. Its been a while since I rushed headlong through a painting. I’ve been close but the process has been loosened out a bit from my previous habits and there is a bit more time to choose the next move. As a result my work is starting to deepen, and this pleases me immensely.

Ok, it’s been frustrating to have to wait so long to actually paint something, simply because I am taking longer to get round to it, but again, the quality over quantity bug is starting to itch me more than the one that just wants more, at any cost. I get the feeling we can all be a bit fixated on the more and not the less, so it’s a bit of a minimalist thing I suppose. I guess you could say it’s minimalism in action, not in stuff terms or to put it another way, simply pacing our activities away from more to less.

It’s not just our most important creative pursuits that need pacing. Due to experiencing ME/CFS for the past few years, I’ve had to learn how to pace everything! Literally…

My walking, my talking, my breathing, my eating, my cleaning, even… well you get the picture! Even getting dressed used to get me wound up in the morning and falling over my jean legs; I was always trying so desperately to get somewhere, but where?

Somewhere Else!

The thing is, the grass really does look greener on the other side because we’re not standing in it looking down at the gaps! In psychological terms when we are rushing we are living in non-acceptance of the present. Why is this? Why is the present moment such a hard place to be?

Our culture for one encourages the vision to always be scanning for bigger, better, brighter…it actively fuels our discontent.

Indeed, many a time I have observed myself walking through town scanning, window shopping, desiring, planning my next spend. It doesn’t matter how much we have, the habit of spending as just one example is indicative of our collective inability to slow down. Yeah, there is also the background pressure to keep the economy going, but this is rhetoric. We are the economy! If we slowed down to a human pace and not that of a machine, the economy would adjust. But lets face it, I’m being utopian here and humans are no more going to slow down than I’m going to become Buddha in the next five minutes.

Wait a minute. …

But I could you know! I could become a Buddha in an instant if I really believed it was possible, and so could you. Likewise, it’s as hard to imagine we are even able to slow down, but I’ve seen it is possible and probably necessary for lots of reasons that we all know. Stress for one.

What if we spent a whole day watching our breath, watching our thoughts, watching our endless list of needs and desires play themselves on loop. What would happen if we could see clearly?

What if we became mindful, ethical, peaceful, slllllooooooowwww down just enough to take care of our creations and most importantly, our relationships, for they might just be the most important things we ever create.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

‘What if……………………?’

Namaste

🙂

The Weaning Process Of Life

Anyone who has ever been a devoted breastfeeding mum will probably relate to this easily but I think this may be relevent to many more such scenarios so bear this one out if you will.

Weaning     This is not a straightforward process. What in life is? If it’s a process at all it usually involves many convoluted twists and turns, backs and fills and sometimes the odd devil’s Switchback.

Like any process I am finding the only way to keep my head above the choppy waters of chaos is to really live in the moment and in my feeling body, not my thinking head.

I am learning (finally) that the head, or the thinking self at least, wherever that’s really located, is great when it comes to following prescriptive routes to a destination; turn left at the corner shop and go straight on till you come to a white office building etc.

However, when it comes to matters of timing, especially with a little one who has no mood filter, control management or desire modulator, it’s a whole new ball game.

Just like the ones you used to play throwing the ball against the wall, you never quite knew the angle it would ping next when it hits a different brick or paving slab.

Every throw is different, every catch unique and if you remember it took a lot of mindful attention in order to keep catching and throwing the ball in some sort of rhythm without losing momentum.

Becoming Minimalist

The same goes for my process toward minimalism.

There is no way I’m going to get there in a straight line. Forget it! This is a deeply intuitive process that has no complete end goal in sight. Only an ideal.

How does that work? Well, by now I have done a few years work on defining my wants, my needs and my desires and now I’m onto the dirty work of actually letting stuff go, culling the excess and purging that which no longer suits, all of which is correct and tickety boo.

But oh is it a long drawn out affair for me.  The clothing pile has once again appeared on the landing floor and I’ve actually arranged a car boot with my friend who is accompanying me in the purging process. I’m only doing it if it’s not raining (we both agree on this) and if I can’t get out of bed that early then, well, back to the charity shops.

I have a nasty habit of putting stuff out to be ‘donated’ and not doing it immediately (it’s Sunday, or half past four…whatever) and the clothes suddenly look oh so attractive and I find a use for them for the first time in 15 years! Yes I really do keep things forever. Entirely sentimental.

How are these things similar?

Well, inasmuch that they are both highly intuitive processes that involve a definite outcome (baby not on boob and clutter not in-house) but will take their time and winding ways to get there.  The processes both involve quite high degrees of emotional growth and resilience to avoid pitfalls and unwanted consequences of not following through (thirty year old having ‘bitty’ and living in paper mountain!).

Both processes, however, do have their natural progressions that would be hard to miss and thankfully nature will lend a big hand if I can simply trust the path that is opening before me as I step into the latest abyss.

Sometimes it’s as if, like Michael Jackson in his Billy Jean video, the way lights up beneath us, but only when we step on it!

I think there’s another song in there somewhere.

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