“Attunement” Part One

I have not painted in a number of months, even though its one of the things I love to do most. In part I think it is because I have been stuck with the piece I had been working on. It’s a purely abstract piece without identifiable subject matter which is actually so much more difficult for me because I always want to convey a message to the viewer. I know what I want to do with this piece but I can’t seem to get it unstuck.

Instead of trying to dive back into that painting, I went back to one of my favorite subjects..trees. I needed a hug from this majestic tree to push me forward. The one I had in mind was a tree I was standing near when I received my level I reiki attunement several months ago. All at once I knew in my mind what I wanted it to look like in my painting and I excitedly bought my canvas and spent a couple of days pining for when I would have the time to get started. Just walking out of the store with the canvas in my hand was a thrill, like a small child holding their favorite toy.

Usually I sort of prime the canas first by getting rid of the unforgiving white and at least give it a coat or two of background before laying out my drawing, but this time I set the charcoal stick right on the canvas and drew my tree. I wanted to hurry up and get it out because it felt like it had been waiting for me for months and I didn’t even want to spend the time to lay out paint and then wait for it to dry.

I drew it out in a few minutes and set to paint immediately, putting it together like pieces of a familiar puzzle.

With all the interruptions from a full time day job and family obligations, it took me several days to even get this far. I had to steal time, a little here and an hour or two there, but it felt alive to me already. I really wanted to capture this swirling, pulsing energy and it just sort of seemed to rise up from the canvas, and from me.

Its hard to express in words the excitement of seeing on a canvas what is already complete in my mind’s eye and it was just such a relief to play it out. That other abstract painting is SO much more work. It demands a decision constantly and feels like I have to be a conductor to a whole orchestra but this painting was more like playing a single favorite instrument, familiar, fun and comforting.

I put on my ipod and just pressed play. I listened to a lot of classical music, but also some of my favorite from the Indigo Girls. The whole experience is so spiritual and once i started plugging into it I didn’t worry about the whole picture at once, I just played within each piece. Mindfulness painting perhaps? I don’t know if that is an accurate expression, but I was having such a great time that it was frustrating to have to lay it aside and cook dinner or help my little one with her homework.

But each day I sat down with it I was drawn right back in where I had left off, like the picture was patiently waiting for me.

Painting for me is such an adventure! It is like being caught up in a really good book that you don’t want to put down, only I am the one writing the ending!

The finished painting will be displayed in my next post. The plus side of having to wait and not get it all out at once is being able to appreciate right where you are and not worry about what it will look like when it is over.

The journey is so much more fun than reaching the destination.


Please do! Just be sure to include this complete blurb with it:


I am a 42 year old mother of 3, living in Florida with my partner and youngest child. Like the mythological phoenix, I have been reborn out of the ashes of my former way of life and have, for the last several years, set out on an exploration of self expression through visual art and creative writing. I am immensely grateful to feel a part of every living thing in existence and the emergence of a growing evolution of consciousness within and throughout. I am interested in all aspects of energy healing and spiritual transformation and have just recently become a student of Reiki. I understand there is always a choice and I try to choose love over fear at every turn. I am grateful for all of the other women in this group and for their ever present support and guidance. Jennifer Bothast



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