Realising pure potential

Pure Potential, painting of lilies by Helen WhiteAt surface level, I was fascinated by the purity and light-holding quality of these lilies and wanted to capture the waxed velvet consistency so that, even “just” with your eyes, you can imagine what they feel like to touch. But that’s not all…

The title “Pure potential” suggested itself after it had been hanging on my wall for a while and I kept finding I was losing myself in it, experiencing it way beyond the three-dimensional. The plunging depths of those seemingly bottomless portals at the core of these blooms, combined with the pristine white layers that unfold from them, remind me of the endlessly flowering source of pure potential that lies at the core of every living being, unfolding and unfolding without beginning or end…aways delivering more to us as long as we are prepared to take hold of that potential and run with it towards…well…whatever we choose. But then that potential must come through us; is realised via the unfolding “story” of who we are otherwise it has no edges, no form. Those petals are the form that flowers from the core of our potential; they tell us about ourselves and we see in them the kind of “bloom” we have become. In fact, potential can only be realised when it is channeled through a living form; a truism I seemed to be playing with across more than one of my artworks at the time of painting this (see “Reflection upon Life” for more on this theme) and there, in front of me, I seemed to have painted two very distinct portals of potential realised in subtly different yet similar or complementary ways, one more outward seeking..reaching out expansively…the other a little more immersed in its own physicality; could they be the left/right, male/female distinctions that I was also playing with elsewhere? The more I have come to allow this painting to show me what it has to say, the more this has felt like something it is conveying to me along with the beauty and synergy of  both ways of looking at things.

There are so many other layers of meaning in there for me, ones that delivered via the subject as I focussed on it with such delicious attention to detail for so many weeks, allowing it to speak to me on multiple levels as I “pained” over the fine points. Like life itself, the great unfolding happens while we are concentrating on other details and this was the case for me. As ever, the painting process became a meditation and, especially now, this one is still delivering to me every time I allow myself to relax my gaze upon it…especially, since it is currently opposite my bed and the first thing to see when I wake up in the morning. I like to think infinite layers (not necessarily mine) are held “in potential” for anyone who comes to look at it, especially if you open to the possibility of something flowering beyond what is delivered through the the intellect and what you are expecting to see. In this way, the painting mimics the potential it represents, giving and giving whatever you most happen to need to “see”.


www.helenwhite.orgPure Potential can be seen in more detail on my website www.helenwhite.org

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