Facets of a Diamond - Blog

“Painting as Guided”

Michelangelo was aware of his “I,” his ego, when he painted, just as we are when we look at his paintings. But when we go back and look at Paleolithic art, for instance that of the Lascaux caves, we realize that these were not the result of people’s conscious thoughts. Not “Look at what I did,” but “Look at what was done through me.” Everything just came to the painters as Guidance.

In my own way, that’s what I’m trying to get back to with “my” paintings. I put the board, or whatever it may be, on the floor, and then I feel guided, directed, toward one brush. There may be ten brushes in front of me, but I feel strongly directed to use that one particular brush.

Simple abstract black and white ink painting for healing by John Diamond, M.D.

Painting by John Diamond, M.D.

I dip it in the ink, and then I somehow get a sense of a movement: it will be this sort of a stroke, or that sort of a stroke. I do not consciously think of this or summon it up – it is somehow Given to me. And I have no idea what follows after that. When I look at the painting when it is done, I am as surprised as anybody else. I so obviously didn’t do it. It was done through me – by Guidance.


Excerpt from Art for Healing: Guided Painting Then and Now

Art for Healing book cover