Welcome to Painting from the XY Heart with Tim Lajoie!
Intuitive Painting is about the process of expressing yourself as richly, dynamically, and freely as possible without judgement or expectation. It is not about making something to hang in a museum or impress your boss. Its not about making something to sell or to win an award. Its about you getting to express what you want to and how you want to right now in this moment.
Its about radical self-acceptance.
Intuitive Painting is about having the freedom and space to create and express whatever you want, whatever you need to, whatever you’re called to express in this moment for no other purpose than to experience the freedom and joy that can come from not having any predetermined goals or expectations.
This is not to say that goals and expectations are bad things. They’re very helpful and necessary in our daily lives. However, we rarely give ourselves the experience of being free of them even for a few moments. Men in particular don’t allow ourselves to play and experiment without the judgement and evaluation that takes place almost automatically in our day to day life. Painting from the XY Heart is about giving yourself the time and freedom to be creative with no judgements and to learn how to listen to the inner voice that is always there waiting for you to engage with it and ask it what it needs.
So… why men?
We all have an inner wisdom and use it on a regular basis. However, we as men, tend to ignore it in favor of rational thoughts, learned structures, and the “good plan.” In our society men are traditionally expected to be rational, organized, linear, focused, and goal driven. We are taught throughout our lives, from school through our careers, that our efforts should always be focused on accomplishing a goal or executing a plan with an expected outcome. As a result we stop paying attention to our inner voice of inspiration that may be trying to suggest to us things that don’t seem to make rational sense but are actually what we really need.
We stop listening to ourselves and put someone else’s priorities first. This leads us to feeling disconnected and flat at best. It usually results in frustration and resentment over time as we repeatedly deny ourselves any expression that doesn’t fit into the expectations of the situation around us, be it from school, family, job or career. Ironically, we can be in the middle of a creative endeavor that we have chosen, only to find that our passion or interest has waned and we’re dragging ourselves through it just to complete it or say that we “accomplished” something. We have lost the spark or juice that compelled us in the first place. We may feel like there is something wrong with us that we are not able to just automatically love doing the same thing over and over day after day.
But you aren’t broken and nothing is wrong. You are experiencing the natural result of trying to force something into a linear progression that is inherently organic and non-linear. You have “lost the passion” because your passion actually wants to go do something else for a while. It may come back to this project but for now it needs to be fed some other way.
Feeding ourselves by listening to our inner guidance and engaging directly with our instinctive intuitive core connects us directly with our passion for being alive and re-energizes us. We find out what we are truly interested in and are compelled by in life as long as we allow ourselves to experience and express those things that may not always line up with our rational expectations. We learn how to make room for all of our experiences and desires, not just the “productive” ones.
Having a community of other men who have experienced similar pressures, judgements, and forces in their life can be a healing and supportive experience when opening to the creative process. Painting from the XY Heart is a “judgement free zone” and being accepted and seen by other men for who we are can be a very healing and enriching experience.
But why painting?
Putting paint on paper offers an immediate and highly dynamic place to experience and experiment with the creative process. Intuitive Painting can engage your entire body by painting big and fast or it can be reflective, still and quiet. Painting requires no specific skills contrary to what everyone will try and tell you. If you can hold a brush, dip it in paint, and move it across a piece of paper you can express something. The painting becomes a mirror of your inner process and is reflective of how you deal with the world around you. The painting is a microcosm of how you approach life and becomes a patient teacher guiding you into your own experience and the conflicts that you have around letting go into acceptance of your true nature.
Do I have to go take art classes to become a master artist first?
No, you have everything you need right now. You do not need a plan or idea or concept. In fact, those things will only make it harder for you to let go of your habitual frame of mind and listen to the deeper desires of your being and what it wants to express. No art training is necessary to be creative since we are already all creative. We are all born with creativity. It is not the exclusive realm of famous dead people.
Creativity is about being open to and allowing the internal world to flow out of you and honoring all of that expression. All that you need to bring is an open mind to the possibilities of what you discover as you dive into being creative. Also, we as men, often feel that we can’t engage in an activity unless we are already masters of it. We do not want to experience the shame or rejection of not being good enough or not being able to be better than others. However, the desire to master the practice is another subtle way that we try to control the outcome and avoid having to deal with our inner world. All of the mastery we need lives inside of us.
Is this going to be fun? Or just heavy and depressing?
Again, the answer is really up to you and what you need to express. Allowing yourself to let go into the process and painting whatever you need to express in the moment can be deeply rewarding and energizing even if the subject matter is difficult. You may experience joy, sadness, tension, anxiety, ease, happiness, release, etc. You are opening to the full range of human experience. Your openness to your own inner process and willingness to examine and challenge the inner blocks of your own psyche will determine the nature of your experience. Intuitive Painting is not only about having feelings. It is a type of mindfulness practice in which you are encouraged to be aware of what is happening with in your body, with your thoughts, and through your emotions. Each experience holds different information and needs to be expressed differently so the body, mind and heart are all involved.
Also, even though this workshop is for men it is not necessarily about being a man. It is about being exactly who you are and where you are in your life right now. The intuitive process exists beyond societal demarcations of gender roles or stereotypes. You may end up expressing issues related to being a man and you may not. Only your deep intuitive being knows what you need to express and what form it will take. You won’t know what that is until you show up in front of the piece of paper with a brush in your hand.
The process itself will help you be more engaged and alive in your life. It will help you listen and pay attention to what is most important to you and will, over time, help you integrate all of the competing internal desires. How you use that and what you choose to do with it in the world is up to you!
A bit about me…
I’m Tim Lajoie. I’ve been an artist all my life and worked as professional commercial artist and Art Director for over 17 years in the high pressure world of video game development. In my career I worked with a lot of extremely creative people who had gotten disconnected from their original passion for creating. I saw the toll that forcing oneself to be “productive” can have on the creative spirit and became deeply interested in how to re-engage and revitalize people’s passion for expressing themselves.
I pursued art after college because I loved the feeling I got from creating and making things. Pens, paper, paint, clay, photography, and music have always been my trusty companions throughout my life’s journey. I deeply believe in the healing power of creativity and have followed its thread wherever I could find it. I am passionate about helping people access their innate, creative, artistic, and intuitive essence to lead more vital and engaged lives.
Location: Creative Juices Arts Oakland Studio near Lake Meritt (details and directions will be sent after registration)
Time: 10am – 4pm with a break for lunch. (note, parking is very limited in the area. Please arrive 15 minutes early to look for street parking)
Dates: Sunday, May 29, 2016
All men are welcome to Painting From The XY Heart men regardless of sexual orientation or identification.
Contact me at (510) 305-2789 to register and I’ll send you directions to the studio. I’m look forward to working with you and seeing what you expresses through your creative spirit!
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