Sometimes I wonder how the paintings I paint finally emerge into the world. It’s a back and a forth, a finding and a losing; ultimately there’s an image that remains. Later I ask myself “Where did that come from?” At times I feel I’m a channel through which these images flow. I always have to remind myself to sign my paintings, as I’m never sure that they are truly “mine”.
I recently finished a painting which illustrates the mystery in which a painter can find herself. After the painting, The Olive Tree, sold I went into mini-mourning, feeling it’s absence in my home. A new tree called to me, the Tree of Life.
I dove into this painting. Not sure what form it would take, I first envisioned it as full, full, full of foliage. And so it started . But soon after, I felt the need to lose much of the foliage, anguishing that I was letting go of painting a tree of life. Then I added the Seed of Life embedded underneath the middle of the tree
More foliage was lost and the stylized leaves made their appearance. By this time I was in an unstoppable rhythm. With each new color or form I added to the painting, it spoke to me, telling me what was needed next. Once again the thought “what would would make this a Tree of Life” surfaced within my rhythm.
The Tree of Life is one of the most ancient symbols of the awareness of the one source, the descent of the divine into the manifest world, and methods by which the divine union may be attained in this life. It symbolizes unity and love. The structure of the Tree of Life is connected to the sacred teachings of the Jewish Kabbalah but can be seen 3,000 years earlier in Egypt, as well as being found in Christianity, Hermeticism and Paganism.
I decided to do an internet search for a Sacred Geometry symbol for the Tree of Life.
The symbol of the Tree of Life is derived from the Flower of Life. It is composed by highlighting ten centers of the circles of the Flower of Life and the Seed of Life. Along with the Seed of Life, it is believed to be part of the geometry that parallels the cycle of the fruit tree. This relationship is implied when these two forms are superimposed onto each other.
A quick sketch of these two forms together and I was back at my easel. I added the circles that make up the Tree of Life in the correct places on the Seed of Life, whose further expansion implies the Flower of Life. I stepped back from my canvas in amazement. The branches of the tree in my painting were crossing intersection points, the circle centers, on the Seed of Life, exactly where the Tree of Life circles were added.
Once again I asked myself, who is really in charge here. Without consciously knowing what I was doing I had already positioned this tree correctly to be a true Sacred Geometry Tree of Life. Very mysterious, wouldn’t you say?