What is Stream Drawing? Reclaiming Your Natural Creative Spirit

*A recent stream drawing meditation

Stream drawing is the act of drawing freely (with eyes closed and using non-dominant hand) to connect with the stream-of-consciousness flow. It is an act that was at one time in our lives not separate from our immediate practice as we spontaneously drew on walls or other surfaces without any inhibition. This practice generally gradually developed into drawing on paper with the intention of creating what we most loved or dreamed of, such as castles, unicorns, magical friends or anything else we had a desire to create or express. This way of drawing (which is actually a way of meditating, manifesting, creating) is such a powerful act of self-determination and creative will power, it is truly tragic that for most of us, it was lost completely as we matured into adulthood.

Reclaim your natural instinct to feel, express feeling and generate options out of those feelings. These options are choices, choices on how to live, what to experience and how to go about it. Without being in touch with our natural creative drive, how are we to make choices that resonate with our best judgement and desires? Often clients will say to me, “What should I do with my life?” And this is a sacred question, but one that can only be answered by an individual as he or she connects with that original, unique and powerful inner creative wellspring that guides and informs you of your truest purpose and fulfillment. Nobody else can do this for you. Stream drawing is an immediate and deeply emotive way to begin to reconnect, playfully, with your creative spirit and ability to make things happen.

*The stream drawing above was done as a way to start the day in a meditative but creatively active state. After closing my eyes and drawing with non-dominant hand (so as not to be inhibited by trying to control the marks made in ways that might stop the process) the next stage of engagement is “gazing”. This is a playful time of seeing with imagination, the lines and forms as they become all kinds of things. This act opens the empathic senses and creative flow. It is meant to inspire reflection and surprise, a sense of wonderment. It is with wonder that our best feelings and ideas are born.

A Pug’s Guide to Happiness

My new gift book, A PUG’S GUIDE TO HAPPINESS (a bit of a humorous mind-body-spirit self-help guide, pug-style) is now out and available on Amazon. It was so much fun creating this little book because my pug is a great, hilarious daily inspiration. She’s humorous in her self-assertion, indomitable spirit and winning ways.

Here’s the link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/194596250X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1500302339&sr=8-1&keywords=a+pugs+guide+to+happiness

If you are a pug club or pet shop/boutique or would like to order in bulk wholesale do so at www.lisahaganbooks.com

New Work: Girl and Uncles

A new painting, Girl and Uncles, is now at Art/Place Gallery in Fairfield, CT through April 9th 2017

I don’t often directly paint dreams, though I am continually inspired by my dreams. This particular dream was so soothing and wonderful, I wanted to capture its essence at least. In the dream, there was a girl sitting on a velvet chair in a living room with soft off white, feathery carpet. The floor was hilly! And it made perfect sense somehow. Soft, feathery shadows of trees and things danced across the hilly floors. The girl had two uncles, and both were busy making the home lovely for her. It was a magical dream.

Jacob’s Ladder and the Symbolism of the Tallit

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Elaine Clayton  Jacob’s Ladder “Where the Sea Meets the Sky”

I became a Bat Mitzvah recently and had chosen as my Torah portion Jacob’s Ladder. I have for many, many years longed to chant Hebrew. It is one of the most beautiful things I have ever done and I guess when I turned 50 I decided was time to experience some of the things I had always wanted to experience. I have never felt happier in so doing. The depth and breadth of Torah, the Tree of Life, the conversation and love of learning, and the healing experience in chanting tones and half tones. The ancient language alone has a momentous, spiritually life changing power in it. I created this diptych for a visual component for my D’var Torah (talk on Jacob’s Ladder). It just so happened that when we brought the paintings to the temple, they fit PERFECTLY in front of the bima–as though they had been sized and fitted to be placed there. To me, that was a sign that it was all “meant to be”.

Synergy

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Detail of a recent painting/ Elaine Clayton 2016

When we come together, something happens. Have you felt that synergy–the feeling of joining with others and a momentum begins? This happens especially when we connect with the intention to create out of a sense of love and goodness for the world.

Autumn Stream of Consciousness and Painting

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Detail of a recent painting Elaine Clayton copyright 2016
As the seasons change, from summer now into autumn, the air is pleasant and my dreams have been very cinematic and the themes range from disturbing to peaceful. They are very complex and graphic. It seems dreams are this way during times of transition, there is a heightened sense of awareness or alertness in the unconscious mind. I journal when I wake up so I don’t lose the delicate threads of the meanings and feelings (meanings yet undiscovered or processed) of these astral scenes.

STREAM DRAWING AND TRUST, MOTHER GOOSE AND THE WOLF

Detail of a recent intuitive stream drawing 2016

Detail of a recent intuitive stream drawing 2016

Playing with the lines and shapes in a stream drawing is enjoyable, meditative and meaningful. In this one, two themes joined together, that of Mother Goose and The Wolf. There is a figure 8 between that that serves as a scarf tied on the head. For me the figure 8, when present in a stream drawing, is an indicator of soul purpose (prompting questions we may often ask in life like, “what is my purpose, why am I going through this”…etc). Mother Goose signifies learning in early childhood, which includes parenting and all that goes with it. We think of ourselves as complete and ready to raise the child but in fact honestly we get our life lessons through taking care of the child.
The wolf here, from Little Red Riding Hood, symbolizes many things, according to Native American animal wisdom, wolf is “teacher”. Anything we go through in life that is tricky, difficult, hard–anyone we meet who is troublesome for us–these all present as teachers for us. The wolf in Little Red Riding Hood was a real threat, posing as the grandmother. But Little Red was not fooled, although she was still very much in danger.

These two images coming together say a lot to me about the innocence of childhood, the threats we learn to protect our children and ourselves from entering in or harming our children and ourselves.

The Mother Goose here looks to the left, signifying the past. Past lessons seen upon reflection. The wolf faces future. Perhaps this is a reminder that as we move forward we will have many more life lessons to live, we will encounter “wolf” medicine (whatever is difficult) and we will, in the end, have more wisdom after being exposed to that which may seem very threatening, either in practical ways to our sense of security, or in emotional and psychological ways.

Try a stream drawing today and see what imagery and symbolism you may find!

ANNOUNCEMENT: STREAM DRAWING CLASSES

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I am offering one-on-one and small group stream drawing workshops for adults and children at my studio. Contact me here on this site to schedule your ultra-fun, relaxing, magical and surprising stream drawing time with me. I look forward to seeing you at Cottage Studio!

Sketching on the Saugutuck: Later in the summer I will return to Westport Public Library for the 6th summer in a row! Sign up for this lovely drawing event by contacting the Westport Public Library.

In the fall, I’ll be teaching workshops at wellness centers and through Westport Continuing Education and will post more info on that soon!