Paintings can be complete surprises and this one certainly maxed out in that category. It started with a headache. Not an ordinary headache but a completely head-busting blinger of a headache that went on all night.
I got up in the morning and it eased slightly, but not a lot. A great white light was in the center of my head, surrounded by pain. I could see it was a major energy shift happening, but it was going far too slowly to suit me.
I wondered what would happen if I put my awareness in the white light in the center of my head instead of just watching it. When I did so, I saw this image and immediately wanted to paint it. I thought the process of painting it could move me through this latest shift more rapidly. My aching head liked that idea a lot!
I went into the studio and started hunting for a stretched canvas I could use, but none were the right height/width proportion for the image I had seen. I started sorting through a stack of panels leaned against the wall and found one that looked like the right shape. When I pulled it out and turned it around, it had one of my canvas giclees laminated on it. I had not yet gotten around to hand embellishing the print.
That poor print was doomed. I put it on the easel and painted it white with my acrylics. While it dried, I laid out tracing paper on the table and drew the outlines of the image I had seen. By the time I was done, the paint was still wet.
Annoyed, I got out the heat gun and played it across the paint. I am happy to say I did not set it on fire. The paint hastily dried and I took it to the table. A sheet of graphite paper let me trace the outline onto the canvas and I soon was painting.
My head still ached horribly, but somehow I was really enjoying painting. I kept at it like a woman possessed and the headache gradually eased. The last of it finally disappeared by 3 p.m. I finished the painting at 6 p.m. and was just cleaning my brushes when my artist husband came in the door.
I asked him to go down to the studio to see something. He assumed I was going to show him my progress on When A Flower Dreams, a painting I was in the midst of creating. When he saw this unexpected abstract on the easel his immediate response was, “Where in the hell did that come from?”
As he looked at it I explained how the painting came to be. He said I should have headaches more often and that he wished he had painted it. He likes most of my work but I have never heard him say that about any of my other paintings.
I had not told him the title was Metamorphosis. So I was delighted when he said, “If there was anywhere to put it, which there is not, but if there was and if it was me, I would paint a butterfly in it.” Abstract or not, it had clearly communicated to him.
That, along with the fact my headache was completely gone, was quite enough for me.
Copyright © Lexi Sundell 2010. All Rights Reserved.