Episode 12: Transformation

Dec 4, 2014


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In this episode, Stewart Cubley talks about how we can open to the process of powerful transformation through painting.

An excerpt from Transformation . . .

The word “transformation” is often bandied about. It’s been used superficially to the point where it’s become rather meaningless but, in my experience in the painting process, transformation is very real. Transformation through painting is something that happens regularly in the experience of process painting. By transformation, I mean that there’s something that happens in the act of creative expression that brings you back to a sense of wholeness. You come back to a sense of being fully present without struggle, without striving, and without trying to achieve something.

There’s a moment that occurs regularly in the painting process where the struggle disappears and there’s just the movement itself. There’s a creative flow; there’s action without ambition. This is quite profound, though it’s without the fireworks and flashiness of the big breakthroughs that we love to associate with the idea of transformation. But to me this experience is equally profound and also more integrated into our very lives, and therefore more approachable.

Transformation is something that creative expression seems to bring us to when we get out of our own way. I’m thinking about the way people experience impatience, because the interesting thing about these breakthroughs is that they are often preceded by tension. They are often preceded by a struggle and a conflict of some sort. It’s almost as though the ego is becoming aware that it’s about to lose control of the situation and that something is going to happen that’s not under its purview. It stirs the pot and tries to bring up some sort of familiar conflict to distract you. So when struggle arises in the painting process, I don’t see it as something to get over. On the contrary, that struggle can be used. By meeting the conflict, the transformational moment can take place.

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