Memory Painting ~ Stimulates Unison Head & Heart

plein air tuscany

Memory Painting

We live in a visual world. Visual images draw heart-felt responses. Without words or thought, the process is instantaneous. Heart beats faster, pulse quickens.

Figline Valdarno, version 1
Figline Valdarno, version 1

Yet we are taught not to trust it. Stop and think, consider all other alternatives. Question everything. In the process of due diligence, hearts disconnect.

The purpose of art is to reconnect head and heart. When the two work in unison, conflict dissolves. This painting is a tiny, yet perfect example. My first try at it, I labored to make it “true” to what I saw with my eyes. Not satisfied I took another stab.

Painting back into it I forgot about trying to make it look like something important and accurate. Instead I painted my “memory” of the landscape. The “real” landscape I had seen became merely my jumping off point for an opportunity to wander around in my imagination. Folly? Unproductive? A waste of time?

My heart’s colors spilled onto the painting. Acceptance of the way it is, in that singular moment, a precious experience of head and heart in unison. Though a short duration of 15 minutes, the experience fulfills something extremely important to any human being.

To be accepted for all that I am and all that I am not, in any single moment of the day, is a special gift I can give myself. One which helps me be there for my friends and family in ways I never could.

Memory painting
Figline Valdarno (Final Version), oil on panel, 5 x 7

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Author: Dorothy Fagan

Through the quirky way she interprets dreams, art, and day-to-day stuff ~ Dorothy’s dream of painting the lavender fields of Provence became real. Her book about painting in France, Discovering Joy’s Garden, transformed into this inspirational website.