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Rust as Spiritual Chemistry

Rust as Spiritual Chemistry © Lynne Buchanan
Multi Media: Photo Transfer and Acrylic Paint
For the past couple of months, I have been working on a new process combining photographs and acrylic painting.  This process has been highly liberating for me and also affords a way to combine what I see in the world with my spiritual unfolding in a way that I was unable to achieve through straight photography alone–no matter how much post processing I did. 

This piece was made starting with a photo transfer of an image I made in Cuba of a rusted piece of metal attached to the outside of a building.  Everything in Cuba is being worn by the elements in a truly fascinating way, in large part due to the fact that a can of paint can cost as much as a month's salary.  Consequently, many materials are left to be weathered by the elements with no artificial chemicals or preservatives.  A natural process of decomposition occurs and particularly with respect to metal, the process is incredibly beautiful.

There were many amazing patterns within the rust and I carried those through to the borders.  The edges of the transfer broke down and the separations began to disappear, so that the process of creation was simultaneously one of decomposition–just as the evolution to our higher Self involves the destruction of many past stories of ourselves.  While painting around and within the transfer, I became lost in my own process, as colors and patterns evoked more feelings within me, feelings that bordered on the numinous.  

At the same time I have been working on this process, I have also been doing a lot of meditating.  During these mediations, I have realized that the vast blank slate I always sunk into before is actually filled with pulsating potentialities–shimmering moments within the timelessness that bear no resemblance to any realistic forms but are more like lighting bolts, arrows, and swirling passageways to a realm that is unknowable and yet reveals hints of its existence in a tapestry within my mind.

My journeys into this strange universe have been occurring so frequently and my explorations have deepened so profoundly that I now catch glimpses into this other world by looking at ordinary things like this piece of rusted metal without even needing to meditate.  I know the fragments of the known world I begin with will evolve into a whole universe for me during my process, although how it will evolve is not clear until it happens, moment by moment.  Nothing has every focused my attention so clearly on the present moment, and yet at the same time everything I have seen and experienced, every painting, every natural element, every revelation I've ever been gifted with are also present.  Yet, I am not consciously thinking of these influences while I am creating, since I am so in the moment.  Rather, they have burned so deeply into my being that they exist in my unconscious waiting to be called forth and shared.