My First Painting Experience

My first painting experience was fifty years ago.

I prepared a large board with a neutral light brown color and then dug up some worms from the garden. These I dipped in various paints I’d got from the art therapy department. Then I just threw them onto the board and let them move around until eventually they crawled off and I returned them to the garden, hopefully to survive. Then I signed my—their—painting “W.M.”—for Worm. But when people asked, I said it was by William Morris. I framed it and displayed it over the fireplace—and wondered what reactions it would get.

Everyone said they liked it—probably just being polite. But then they’d point out all sorts of forms in what was essentially formless: birds, ballerinas, dolphins—whatever. I realized that is was a sort of ink-blot test of their psychologies. I learnt a lot about them from W.M.’s painting.

But looking back to it and then forward to my present painting, I see a connection. I would describe my paintings as having no subject, no conscious shape or form. And yet there is an experience to be gained from every one of them. And that’s all that matters.

And not just an experience—but an Experience. A sense, a feeling of harmony, of balance, of peace. Hopefully, of Love. For Love is the only True Experience.

Every person, every object, every event—every experience—is a sort of Rorschach test. On each we project a particular aspect of our unconscious. Nearly always from the superficial unconscious—a particular admixture of versions of love and hate. Some stimuli, however, can actuate our projection not from the superficial unconscious but from the Deep Unconscious of Pure Love. But, again it is the Love within us, our Souls, that we project onto the other.

Of course, the saint only ever projects from the Deep Unconscious, regardless, unlike us, of the nature of the stimulus. The saint only ever projects Love and so it is all he ever experiences.

If you feel It from any of my paintings, don’t thank me, but thank Whatever brought it about through me. I had no more to do with it than the worms. Perhaps I should sign all my works “W.M.”