The Art of Veil Painting … Seeing with the Heart

“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret; it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
Antoine de Saint Exupery

Our material world, and its proponents, have deluded us into seeing only with the eyes, enticing and distracting us with ever bigger, better, shinier, more complicated “things” that we absolutely must have (or do) in order to embrace, in their eyes, the total life experience.

What a croc!

Be still for a moment and embrace being. In that quietude is the way to the heart’s eyes.

And, if you like, meditate your heart’s eyes upon this, one of my favourite, veil paintings. I call it “Wise Old Equus.”

If you feel inclined, feel free to share with me your experience. … Or not.

The world is too much doing, and not enough being.

I am. You are. It is enough.

Be well,

Dorothy 🙂

Copyright Aimwell Enterprises 2012

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The Art of Veil Painting … What do you suppose?

In past posts featuring my veil paintings I’ve been in the habit of sharing with you my own interpretation of these works. This time I’m going to leave it wide open to see if our vision is shared without me hinting at anything.

Again, with this watercolour technique nothing is “pre-meditated.” Everything happens on the flow of the breath and in the moment.

So … what do you suppose is going on here?

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy 🙂

Copyright Aimwell Enterprises 2012

The Art of Veil Painting … Cowboy Culture

Veil Painting: a meditative art form involving the painting of thin washes of water colour on a dry canvas, allowing the colours to dry between applications. There is no preconceived form in mind. Whatever appears, appears.

***

I have mentioned this art form in two previous blogs. The best way to look at the art is to stand back from it and observe with a soft eye.

This is a painting I completed a couple of years ago, and there’s so much going on here for me I hardly know where to begin. But then, it’s open to your own interpretation too.

Horses. A cowboy. Dogs. Big sky country. Heart. These are notions that pop into my mind when I study this image for a while. But then, I’m a country girl at heart and have always had a fondness for cowboy culture.

What are you seeing? I’d love to read your interpretations. Please feel free to share them with me …

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy 🙂

Copyright Aimwell Enterprises 2012

The Art of Veil Painting … Spirit of Australia

The Universe is full of mystery. I marvel at how connected we all are and how this manifests in so many different ways.

This became a very real concept for me a few years ago while meditating this painting into being.

I was almost ready to put the paint brush down for good on this one when I stood back  to contemplate what might be emerging. And there it was …  the incredibly clear outline of a kangaroo that appeared to have literally just jumped into the painting. (Perhaps you can see him.) And then behind him the faint outline of his keeper standing about his shoulder somewhat off in the distance.

Remember, in the art of veil painting there is no pre-determined destination. It’s all about being in the moment and allowing the washes of paint to work their magic over time, so when I saw this it simply floored me.

Getting back to the Universe and connection … the interesting thing about this painting is that it was completed the day before Lloyd’s daughter returned home from Australia where she’d been working as an intern at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo. That’s why this painting is called “Spirit of Australia.”

And the reason this painting comes to mind today is that C arrived yesterday from Sydney, where she now works full-time in her dream job at the zoo as an exotic bird trainer, to spend a week introducing her Australian husband-to-be to family and friends before their nuptials in November.

I’m strongly considering giving the original of this painting to the happy couple as their wedding gift.

Copyright Aimwell Enterprises 2012

The Art of Veil Painting — “The Artist as Singer”

Veil painting is a meditative art form based on the work of Austrian philosopher, social reformer, architect, esotericist and developer of the Waldorf education system, Rudolf Steiner. He believed in the healing qualities of colour, the nature of this colour “therapy” being to stimulate different emotional responses for each individual.

In veil painting, watercolours are thinned to a very light value and wet colours are applied one at a time only over dry colours.

With no preconceived idea of the final result, the artist patiently layers “veils” of colour one over another in varying patterns, never repeating exactly the same shapes in the same place. Ultimately the veils of colour will reveal an image or motif which the artist may then bring more into consciousness.

I took up veil painting several years ago during art therapy and fell in love with it. I loved its mystery which reminded me of my fondness for the semi-precious stone, Labradorite. At first glance the stone looks grey, but move it about under the light and it comes to life as a miracle of colour.

And so it is with veil painting. At first glance it looks to be only a mess of colour, but as one meditates upon it the shapes and patterns and colours start to come to life.

This is one of my early works, done when I was a member of a vocal trio called “ChoirGirlz.” The image reflected in this painting, to me at least, is a light silhouette of the profile of a female singer holding a microphone, her dark hair swept back as if the wind has blown through it. The woman is me and that’s why I call this painting “The Artist as Singer.” This image was not intentioned into the painting — it simply came into being as the work progressed. It is a reflection of the journey to self-awareness — ever-unfolding and enlightening to those who can see with a soft eye and an open heart.

I invite you to engage the singer, but encourage you to be satisfied with whatever comes into focus for you.

If you find her, let me know …

Copyright Aimwell Enterprises 2012

Work In Progress

This is another poem I wrote many years ago as I was beginning my journey to self-awareness. A painful time, it was of some benefit to remind myself I was not the pain I bore, but caught only in the shadow of it. I began to think of myself as a work in progress. This made the nature of any discomfort more present and passing and far easier to bear.

Still does …

Work in Progress

I am a work in progress.
The canvas of my life
Stretches across the easel
Of time, anticipating each nurturing
Brush stroke by the Masterful Artist.

I am a landscape ~
An ever-unfolding vista of colours,
And shapes and light.
The shadows of clouds
Float in, and out,
Dispersed by bright sunshine,
Irreverent and true.

The Masterful Artist reveals
Mysterious patterns and
Miracles with a
Flick of the conscience, or
A long, deep stroke of thought.
The brush of a shadow ~
The sweep of radiant light ~
Depth to denote character,
And dappled sunlight to
Delight the soul.

The Masterful Artist’s strokes
Are sure, each measure
Of the art-child completed
In its time ~
Contemplated and recorded.
Mistakes are washed away,
Remembered no more.
Flaws are embraced to
Profess a perfectly natural appeal.

I am a landscape ~
Time rolls across my verdent fields,
Tickled by morning dew drops ~
Each tender blade of
Life reaching beyond
Tomorrow ~ to grow ~
To stretch toward the measure
Of its creation.

I am a work in progress.
The canvas of my life
Gradually reveals a story
Spun by the Masterful Artist.
I am a Masterpiece.

*

Copyright Aimwell Enterprises 2012

Four Seasons

Dormant Season Photo: Dorothy McDonall

Winter, dormant season.
Where Mother Nature
Takes her rest,
Waiting for the
Warmth of Spring’s,

Sowing season.
Where Mother Nature
Blossoms bright,
Waiting for the
Heat of Summer’s,

Growing season.
Where Mother Nature
Nurtures all
Waiting for the
Coolness of Fall’s,

Reaping season.
Where Mother Nature
Harvests all
Waiting for the
Dormancy of Winter.

*

We forget, sometimes, that life goes in cycles.

I am reminded of verses from Ecclesiastes in the Old Testament that tell us “To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under Heaven …”

This truth has held me through many of my most challenging times. It has also taught me there is a purpose to the arc of the cycle in which I find myself — it is preparing me for what’s coming next. And it also tells me that at some point there will be a period of dormancy — the bliss of rest.

Nature’s seasons serve as a powerful metaphor for the cycles in our own lives. Sowing, growing and reaping are popular concepts. However resting, in our stressed society, seems to take a back seat though it is every bit as important. For it is in restfulness, when we are still, that we create and germinate the ideas we’ll sow in our spring, and so on.

It is important to acknowledge the cycle of our own personal four seasons and live a well-balanced life. Our health and welfare, and the kind of  imprint we leave on the world around us, depend upon it.

Cheerz!

Dorothy

All rights reserved. Copyright Aimwell Enterprises 2011