I’m pausing to reflect on a recent art therapy experience I had in Rome with Marianne Cordier at Atelier Creativita. I had been feeling a longing to paint for a few months, to just have a tiny corner in an artist’s studio, to see what I might make with the space, time and tools to paint.
I spent much of my downtime as a teenager in the art studio at my boarding school- building a portfolio to eventually present to Art Colleges when I started to do the rounds of interviews at age 16 and 17. I was more into photography then painting though I loved art and ended up studying Fine Art at Saint Martins.
I hadn’t done any painting since my first year at Saint Martins, as my focus there became film-making.
Something in me was calling out and asking me to paint again…so I started to google- to see if there might be somewhere I could go and paint for a few hours.
This led me to find Marianne Cordier, who offers one-to-one and group “Intuitive painting sessions. This resonated with me as a great place to start dipping my fingers back into paint pots under some guidance, as I knew I would have some blocks coming up about what to paint and where to start again.
MArianne’s studio is beautiful, in a large complex of art studios and exhibition spaces. She is a practising artist, counsellor and art therapist and a super cool chiquita.
She greeted me and asked me to pick a card to begin our discussions.
I picked a card that looked at first glance to be bit ominous and fore-warning to me, but we talked about the image from different points of view and came to the conclusion that this girl in the image was lucky to walk right through into the unkown- avoiding catastrophe. In hindsight I realised that the card might have represented the Berlin Wall- as I had just returned from Berlin, celebrating 25 years since the smashing down and fall of the wall-feeling lucky to have the freedom to move about as I please and to able to walk freely from East to West.
We then had a chat about where I am currently at in life- personally, professionally and creatively. I felt very inspired and safe in the creative healing studio space Marianne had created. I then lay down to close my eyes and was led on a guided meditation through a very colourful adventure to meet a spirit guide. I have done quite a few Shamanic journeys and guided meditations wherein I have sometimes re-connected with spirit guides that I have met and known before. On this occasion however, I met a new and very powerful spirit guide- a Griffin or Gryphon.
In the meditation, I was given a gift by the Griffin and then returned with that gift in a box by boat, up a staircase and through a garden to my conscious self once more. I was then led to an alter with paint pots and a blank canvas and was guided to choose a colour and start painting with my hands. I chose gold and was at first very delicately trying to make something pretty on the canvas but MArianne interrupted and encouraged me to move, to dance and to flow- to make more of a mess and to start using other colours. At one point, I was even blindfolded and really started to make a mess as I could no longer see which of my chosen colours I was using. Then again, without the blindfold I started to play with and test out other tools, paintbrushes, sponges etc… then returned to smearing it all around with my fingers- It was all so spontaneous and so much fun!
After some time Marianne told me I only had a few minutes left to give my painting whatever I thought it needed…It needed some white and some bronze…actually I felt like it probably needed a lot of work but I understood that in that canvas had gone the energy and the gifts of the Griffin and somehow in the mush of it all I could see the Griffin’s white feathers, the fields of flowers I had run through, the mediterranean sea I had floated on to get to the island where the Griffin lived and the bronze gold of the gift it had given to me.
I was then asked to sit in front of my painting and to ask it if it had a message for me…
The painting told me this:
- don’t worry about perfection, create with spontaneity, in a free way
- dive into creativity in your daily life by dancing, painting, singing.
- Embrace imperfection and all the colours of life
All in all, it was a beautiful experience to be led through meditation and intuitive painting. It was an opportunity to merge my inner child and my higher self. It was a chance to make something that I can frame and hang on a wall and remember the power of the imagination, the power of surrender to creativity and the power of intention. I had literally called the experience into my life because I wanted and needed to paint again.
If you are feeling a creative calling but unsure of what form that might take, I would reccommend “Art Therapy” “Intuitive PAinting” and if you can- to do one of Marianne’s creativity workshops or a one-to-one session and unleash the creative potential within. You can purchase gift certificates too- a wonderful birthday or Christmas present!
Below are some photos I took of Marianne in her studio. I would definitely like to return and do some more intuitive painting with her when I return to Rome.