5. Painting For LIFE workshops

Where: Union Square Studio, 1417 Hollins Street, Baltimore MD 21223 (near Hollins Market)

When: Every other Saturday 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM.  For more information e-mail Noelle at: noelleimparato@gmail.com  or call: 443 202 7692 .  $10 donation suggested

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You don’t need to be an experienced artist to participate in Union Square Studio Painting For LIFE workshops. All you need is to show up, body and soul. Let your spontaneous creativity awaken!

The main object of this work is to create a healing practice. We focus on the emotional layers buried in our body and rarely touched. With the upmost sense of honesty and integrity we allow whatever image wants to arise to arise. Letting go of control is the most difficult thing of all. It takes courage to disclose our deepest secrets on a large canvas, but bringing the dark into the light is an essential part of becoming whole.

With PAINTING FOR LIFE you paint for process not for product. You start facing a large blank page, not knowing where you are going, not knowing what’s going to come up. You free yourselves from all learned techniques and ideas about realism, proportions, or color combinations, knowing that you can’t make a mistake if you are open to how you feel here and now.

You ask yourself, “how do I feel right now? Heavy, light, sad, happy, angry, confused, sleepy…?” You physically get in contact with that feeling. You feel it in your body. You let your body move the way it wants to. You let the images come up. You move with that image. It could be your mother, your dog, your lover, an angel, the victims of Iraq. Whatever wants to come up, you let it come up.

As you release unnecessary control, you can more fully engage in the creative act.

“You go into yourself, touch center, bring up whatever detritus there is, and spew it out. …You shape it. You do it again. Doing this is a spiritual practice. It’s healing because you’re detoxing.” – J. C. van Itallie

The act of painting might bring up emotions–old emotions repressed since childhood, or fresh ones triggered by our daily lives, or deeper feelings erupted from our sense of interconnectedness with the world and all its suffering. To feel grief, fear and anger is natural. It can be appropriate. PAINTING FOR LIFE is a safe place to express those dark feelings. Just as it is an appropriate place to express your joy and blessings, if that’s the way you feel.

The only rule is a true sense of integrity to what you feel in the moment. Not this morning, not yesterday, not what you dreamed even. Your dream may influence the way you feel right now, and in that respect they may influence your painting, but this particular approach to painting is not about painting your dream itself.

Usually the dark and the light keep each other in balance like communicating vases. As deep one is willing to go is the measure to as high one will eventually return. PAINTING FOR LIFE is a spiritual practice, a full-bodied, full-souled process.

“I am interested in the healing power of art, in experiencing where art and meditation meet.”–Noelle Imparato, facilitator of Vipasana Meditation practice, and Painting For LIFE workshops at Union Square Studio

Noelle started practicing Vipassana meditation over 30 years ago with teachers of international renown such as Shinzen Young, founder of the Vipassana Support Institute (VSI),  Jack Kornfield, co-founder of Spirit Rock Meditation Center In California, Sharon Salzberg & Joseph Goldstein, founders of Insight Meditation Society in Barre Massachusetts, or Christina Feldman, founder of Gaia House Retreat Center, U. K.

Noelle has practiced process-art painting with Michelle Cassou and Stewart Cobley, field pioneers in California and authors of “Life, Paint & Passion: Reclaiming the Magic of Spontaneous Expression.” She has led painting workshops since 1998.

Noelle has a doctorate in Mythology & Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute, Santa Barbara, California.

A few books and audio tapes about Buddhism, art, psychology, and spirituality are available on request.







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