What is Spirit?

What is Spirit? Is it the inspiration you get when you are trying to accomplish something that you haven’t done before, and you ask in the middle of doing it… "How do I do this?” Have you ever wondered where the answers come from when you ask those questions in your mind? Is that Spirit?

When in my studio working on a painting, I have learned to place it in a spot where I can sit back and see it from a distance, giving a different perspective. When I do this, I hear a little voice telling me what to do next but I ignore it, thinking it unimportant. One day I began to wonder how this questioning process worked. When I sit and just ask myself (or whoever is in there with me) where am I going to go next, where does that answering voice come from? Is it the voices of my past art teachers that have been subconsciously stored in my memory, and now, when bid, come flooding back? Is it intuition that can just ‘feel’ a color and know where it needs to go? Is it knowledge of all I have gained through life lessons and the learning process, or is it a wonderful mixture of all of the above?

Once I started to wonder about this, it had a deep impact on my thinking. What it did for my art was to give me the courage to just do whatever that little voice said, and at the end of the day (if it was wrong) to tell myself "Oh well, it was only a piece of paper.”

Oddly enough, it seemed to work out. As I started getting to the place where I could trust that feeling, or thought, or whatever it was, I also started enjoying the whole process so much more. It was exhilarating to just let myself go and try something, and not make myself be too concerned with the outcome. It became a personal journey where I imagined a cherished friend guiding me to the right color, or the right subject. The more I let myself follow it, the more exciting it became. Where before I had asked myself how did one create inspiration, now it was flowing through me so quickly I could hardly stop it. I cannot tell you what that means to an artist!

Perhaps it is Divine intervention or perhaps it is Spirit leading me into a perfect arena to work with inspiration personally and up close.

I am fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to teach art lessons to children.. I get excited seeing the kids hearing what I say and then trying it their own way. One idea leads to another, and some of those ideas find me lying in bed at three in the morning, too tired to get up, but too excited to sleep. While I work on the lesson plan, I always try the ideas so the children can see the completed project, and to make sure it works. What starts out as simple research, soon takes on a life of its own. Pretty soon there are ideas everywhere. Then when we take an idea in class and each person does it in their own way, pretty soon there are future ideas! Is this how Spirit works, one idea leading to another and then sharing and finding even more ideas? I don’t know the answer for sure, but I strongly suspect it might be one way.