The Intuitive Art Game

Yesterday my dreaming friend Maureen shared a dream with our small online dream group that included a magical cat. As I read the description I was reminded of a small watercolour I made once of a similar cat. Where is that painting? I plan to scan it and show it to her but life interrupted. The following day she posted a second dream and tagged me as there is singing in the dream and Michel appears,  so perhaps I’ll understand some of the imagery?

In fact, a portion of today’s dream about a red dress reminds me very much of a dress I bought just this weekend. I was so happy to chance upon it as it reminds me of a dress I made and wore all through my first pregnancy. The floral paisley pattern, the shape, are all very similar. In Maureen’s dream, her friend tells her she wore a dress like this after her pregnancy, a little flip on the detail of my pregnancy dress. Thinking about the dress and that time period reminded me that I wanted to find the watercolour of the cat. I jump up to get it.

I head to my office cupboard, thinking, don’t I often come here to find old things prompted by Maureen? I grab a green document folder that might contain the watercolour but it isn’t there. It contains five drawings I made once when playing an intuitive game with my mother many years ago. She was working intensely with Carl Jung’s book, Memories, Dreams and Reflections and a Dictionary of Symbols, all while teaching drawing in new and inventive ways.

The art game we played that day involved taking 3 paint tubes and working intuitively with them on a big piece of paper. Don’t think too much or try to draw something specific, but let the energy of your hand and your intuition guide you. That was the process. Afterward, take a small matte board with a rectangular hole cut out of it. Move it around the big drawing and select parts. Cut the parts out and write what you see, rapidly, with just a few words. What is in the brushstrokes you threw in there so quickly? What symbols, images?

The first two drawings are familiar to me. In one, a woman is standing at the beach and her shadow looks like a faun. There is blood nearby. It reminds me now of how I would give birth a few years after making the drawing. And the second drawing, using the same red as the blood in the previous one, is of a red dragon (see above).  And as it turned out a few years after I made this drawing, my first child JJ was born in the year of the red dragon. I would never have guessed that when I painted this. When was it exactly?

The notes are dated … June 5/6, 1997! I stop, look at my computer and realize, it is twenty years exactly to the day today. And it started yesterday, so June 5/6 is a good way to express it. How uncanny is that? And as I think about this detail, I feel honoured by the energy that presents itself so beautifully on a kind of anniversary.  Maureen is so often behind these syncs within my office archive. It was a question she asked that propelled my Chan Chan story with my dream journal a few months ago.

The third drawing makes me hesitate. Will I even scan it? My note on the side is that this is a couple on a snowmobile on water or perhaps a peace sign greeting. It reminds me of a tragic snowmobile accident in our circle of friends. I once saw shadows of that story in a dream Maureen had, with details that were again startling in their accuracy. Seeing traces of it here raises so many questions for me. Is it possible that this is all tied into these random brushstrokes from 20 years ago?

The last two drawings are still a mystery, no doubt waiting to reveal themselves in the years ahead, that is: if the years ahead really are in front of us and not perhaps coexisting with us right now, in this moment. My mother’s notes are copious, a bit like my notes today. She writes that my dragon has a proud nose (underlined) just like my son. The blue is femininity, fecundity, meditation and serenity. The shadow shows the darker side of the soul, a vital part of herself. There is much water – that the Chinese consider water the abode of the dragon. Water also carries the symbolism of intuitive wisdom. She definitely had plenty of that.
As I scan the drawings I am about to file them in a directory with other drawings. The first one I see is a lovely painting of a red dragon, made by my dragon boy’s baby brother. He doesn’t hesitate or play intuitive games. After being taught how to draw by his attentive grandmother, he just goes for it. But I should try the game with him anyway, and feel sorry I haven’t played it more often. I’ll try it again soon.