Thursday, February 12, 2009

Goals and the subconscious

I used to listen to hypnosis tapes by Dr. Lee Pulos, the
only motivational type person my mother could believe
in, so I still have a copy of his Deep Relaxation tape,
which is fantastic. Here's a link to an interview with Dr. Pulos:

What was, and perhaps is ( yep -- he's still out there)
great for artists about his creative visualizations was
that they were absolutely beautiful.
He'd walk you down a hill in your favorite park,
or down a set of stairs in a gorgeous villa (ahhh -- you'd
start to see it right away). Of course going down the
stairs, or the hill was the induction, and at the bottom
when he asked you to put all your worries in a huge,
magnificent jar you were willing, your eyes were closed,
and you were ready to walk between high rose-covered
hedges, and lie down on one of the earth's power spots.
Hey, if you are an artist you "see" all of that and are
delighted to enjoy it.

Okay. So Dr. Pulos said on every tape "your
unconscious mind is very powerful," which
is the segue into tonight. I was painting a
little landscape -- pictures to follow if it works --
and while I was waiting for areas to dry, I started
a painting of my cat Simone. I was painting away
happily, when I realized that it was either Simone's
birthday, or her birthday week. Strange and cool.
I've been planning a very little painting of her
for months -- probably six, but tonight on her
birthday week I did it. Simone has been dead for
a year and four months.

We mourned that cat so severely -- you would
have thought she was flesh and blood -- not
from the cat family. I had to get a new Siamese
(the beautiful Fiona) almost immediately so
I could get up in the morning. Thank goodness
I did, because Fiona is one of the complete
gifts in my life too. But tonight Simone
called to my powerful subconscious mind.

Simone -- the wonderful cat
acrylic on canvas
2 1/2 x 5 inches

How do goals fit in here? I was reading articles about
goals tonight, because I'm teaching my students
about goal setting. One of mine is to try to paint
more often, even on teaching days, when I come
home longing to crawl into bed with a book and
a mug of hot milk. So I did paint tonight, and my
conscious goal was to paint a landscape, while
my subconscious gave you the painting you see.

Have a loving-the-cats-in-the-world day.


Melinda said...

This is a very touching post, Barbara. Dr. Pulos sounds wonderful and his guidance in creative visualization seems well suited to artists.

The painting of Simone is very expressive, full of emotion, and full of love. I know just what you mean--how a beloved pet's death feels like the death of a beloved family member. I had a dog who died too young. He was like a guide dog for me during recovery from a traumatic brain injury. I, too, was inconsolable (couldn't get out of bed) until my husband brought home our new german shepherd, Loki.

It really does look as though you've had a visitation. The colors are deep and intense, much they way our subconscious sees, yes?

Elegant rendering too.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Melinda,

Thanks so much -- yes we love our
animals. The three we have now are
as crazy as we are, and they entertain us all the time. I have another friend whose dog died, and it's still hard to talk about it. I understand. In your case Loki, and in ours, Fiona really helped us get over that loss.

I think my subconscious may drive all of my paintings. What a great

I've used guided imagery a lot in my art seminars. I think artists "get" it so instantly that it's a powerful force in both healing, and creativity. When we're told to see something in "our mind's eye" we're there in an instant. I think that makes artists lucky, blessed even.

Liza Hirst said...

Barbara, this is so beautiful! I think its my favorite painting of yours - yet, it is difficult to decide.

Barbara Muir said...

Hey Liza,

Each time you put a painting up I say to myself that's my favorite painting
of Liza's, and the next one is my favorite too! I'm glad you feel that way about my work, the feeling is completely mutual.

Happy Valentine's Day

David Lobenberg said...

Very fine feline painting, indeed!

Barbara Muir said...

Hi David,

Thanks so much. She was certainly a fine feline.

Take care,


Portrait Artist

My photo
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I paint and draw on commission and for shows. To commission a portrait, or purchase one of my paintings please contact me at:
A major highlight in my career? Drawing Oprah Winfrey live via Skype for her show "Where in the Skype are you? Galleries: Studio Vogue Gallery, Toronto, Canada. The Amsterdam Whitney Gallery, New York City. Gallery at the Porch Door, Kingston, Canada. Your positive comments on this blog mean the world to me. I'd love to hear from you!