Episode 10: Meeting the New

Oct 4, 2014

In this episode, Stewart Cubley explores what happens when something new and unexpected appears in your painting, or your life.

An excerpt from Meeting the New . . .

Often we feel like were just coping with the inner critic or judge. We’re waiting for it to pass; we try to ignore it or not give it energy. We say it’s not our true selves and that we just have to let have its way with us for a while. But I think there’s much more to it than this. I think the arrival of the inner critic points at something important. As I’ve spoken about in other podcasts, these are potentially transformational moments, if we really look at what’s happening when we find ourselves judging so strongly. When something comes to us in a painting that feels unacceptable, what’s really happening is that the new has presented itself to us.

The painting process is playing on the boundary of the personal and the impersonal — the boundary line between the self that we know and the larger dimension that we really can’t control. The painting is a play on that interface, and when we find ourselves in a very judgmental place, it’s often because something from the other side has expressed itself. So of course the small self, the little me, finds it unwanted: Out of here! No way! You do not belong! We treat it as a foreign object, almost. We get armored and hardened around it, and very harsh judgments show up. Then we start contriving ways to get rid of it. We’re going to cover it up! We’re going to fix it! We’re going to abandon the painting and start over! We have all sorts of strategies for protecting ourselves against that which is truly new.

I’ve become curious about these moments over the years because they show up again and again. I think we sometimes have an image of painting freely, authentically, and joyfully — of having these incredible paintings show up while we’re in some sort of transcendent dimension. That dimension is available and possible, but it doesn’t happen without really getting curious about the reactions we have when we meet the boundary between our known self and the new.

Listen to learn more!

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