In this chapter I present the words of the artists who participated in this research as they describe their own experience of being creative as a spiritual practice. The descriptions are presented in their entirety, with the experiential expressions, or those statements, which seem to have particular importance, highlighted in italics. A breakdown of each artist participant’s experiential expressions and the affinitive grouping of emergent themes can be found in the Appendix.
In many ways, when I am drawing or painting, it feels like meditation. It has a similar variety of moods. What I mean to say is that sometimes I feel like I’m really getting it, I’m there, connected to the Source, being fully in the experience, and sometimes I struggle trying to get connected, I might judge my state of mind or the work that I’m doing. I guess my point is that being creative as a spiritual practice has less to do with how I happen to be working or feeling and more to do with the context within which I am working. It is the intention that my process of painting be a spiritual practice that makes it so. Again, to compare it to meditation … You sit on the floor with the intention of meditating and it will be a spiritual practice, or you can sit on the floor and space-out with no intention at all. The latter may indeed be spiritual, but not necessarily.
But in art as in meditation, sometimes you ‘get it’ and sometimes you don’t. Given the understanding that to me creativity as a spiritual practice doesn’t mean always being in touch with the spirit, I will comment on how it feels when I experience this connection with my higher self, or God.