Intention vs. Process

Yesterday, I set the intention of painting at my leisure. It was the first time I could set aside chores and mostly what-not in order to have fun time creatively and specifically to paint/collage. After my breakfast and feeding and walking the dog, I decided to buy supplies at my favorite artist supply store and reduce costs as they were having a huge sale (70% off my favorite brand of paints). It also stirs my creative juices to walk aisles of color possibilities sitting in tubes and chalks of paint.

Since it is a thirty-five minute highway trip, I did my usual packing as if I was prepping for a trek to primitive territory for days on end with no place to buy water or other essentials. This is a holdover from youthful backpacking and camping trips when and where there really were no stores let alone malls and marts to make basic purchases. I made lists for purchasing paint and some food items for a late lunch. A phone call next (that I initiated), and I was off and running after I set my IPod to a good driving playlist.

Once I got to the store – it was my artist playdate – I took my time browsing and feeling the handmade paper for collaging, compared and handled various size and brands of canvas and brushes until I was ready to journey within three whole aisles of paints. I could end the story here and and you would get the point that in order for me to paint, I enjoy a languid (some would say procrastinative???) process. But I won’t end now because after I left the art store, I managed to squeeze in so much more before actually painting:

Feeding and walking the dog (again).

Cooking and eating lunch (broiled flounder, salad and chocolate).

Clearing out some stuff in my studio.

Unpacking new supplies.

Setting up the IPod and a playlist to inspire painting.

Meditating on the studio floor to set a serious intention to paint which lasted all of two minutes because I was inspired by the light to take some photos first.

Dancing next because the playlist inspired dancing instead of painting (note to self).

Taking out an old painting and setting it on my easel to ponder.

Dancing again and changing the playlist to a much slower tempo.

Finally, finally, finally (late-in-the-day now) starting to catch a glimmer of a new possible image within the existing splash of color on the existing collage to expand on!

YAY – NOW I was into it – “the flow” where time ceases being Time. Paint and color and line take over, and I am lost to the music and space and dance of creation and play.

This process of flow took such a large chunk of time simply because of a rare opportunity to “paint at leisure”. I probably painted fully for only an hour, and yet it was worth all the sidelining. It truly was fun and expansive. I learned that my non-linear process (despite initial intention to the contrary) was part of the day’s whole creation – at least for this one opportunity. The meandering pace really took hold early in the day, and I willingly followed sans guilt. I had a great Time.

A long blog for me. Just a final note on a great day. A big thank you to Fiona and Kaspa over at Writing Our Way Home ( for encouraging and motivating me (and so many others) to write, practice presence and therefore gain insight into my own circuitous yet whole and tender process.

this pearl
brushstrokes of silence
in her eyes


5 thoughts on “Intention vs. Process

  1. I LOVE this post (well you know I can relate 🙂 And the photo-well amazing!!! I need to take a visit to that art store I think because I have my paints and need to get going!! Love your descriptive explanation of the day-sounds wonderful.

  2. I can very much relate to this – a circuitous but enjoyable route to getting into the creative groove. This post made me smile on so many levels. And the results in your haiku and painting are lovely. Thank you.

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