The intuition hides out in a part of my thinking that doesn’t have reliable words attached to it. It doesn’t even operate within parameters that I can get a grip on. It is beyond reason, above rationale, outside of calculations, without logic, and yet it holds innumerable gifts. It is generally dependable, that is, if I’m willing to go with its peculiar ways, and be okay without knowing in any logical fashion where it is leading me and be okay with trusting it even when I can’t put the ideas in a list, in a box, or arrange them by color, size, direction, texture, shape or line. “Intuition” is a word I hear people use when they talk about knowing something without having learned it. I remember when my son was quite young he could often provide answers to mathematical problems without knowing how he arrived at them. Intuitive knowing isn’t arrived at through conscious reasoning or manifested through deductive process. It has a spiritual quality, an insightful way about it and often the intuition is loaded with emotion. Many Christians, including me, believe intuitive knowing is a gift from the Holy Spirit.
“Operating intuitively” is the way I choose to think about the way I create. Whether I’m journaling, painting, collaging or shaping an assemblage, I START with materials that I select without any rational process. For a painting, I like to brush paint on paper or on a gessoed panel with free flowing strokes with no thought of what the final product will look like. I may choose a favorite color, or some colors on my palette that are suffering from neglect. Or I choose colors that seem to match my mood, or the weather outside my studio window. Maybe what’s floating in the atmosphere prompts color choices: could be peace, tension, sadness, expectation, joy, hope or some other emotion. After a few layers of paint I often select some papers from my huge collection and glue them into the composition.
Below are several different STARTS with notations about how many layers of paint have been intuitively applied to the paper:
ONE LAYER: TWO LAYERS:
FOUR LAYERS:I continue to add, intuitively, to the surface……adding a variety of strokes, stamping patterns on the composition, dropping in some texture (pumice gel, opaque flakes, tar gel, sand…..) Eventually what I see on the paper may call to my more rational side. A more representational image may begin to develop. Possibilities are wide open……….the composition begins to “tell me” what it wants to be! I listen, I ponder, I asses. Rarely is there one direct way to completion.