Art of Mahadevi

I was doing my daily Transcendental Meditation program one morning in Fairfield, IA in the fall of 2006. I had the sudden impulse to look at my heart. So I did – internally. My eyes were closed, but with my "internal eye" I looked at my heart. And there was a most delightful gift.

The experience
Dancing on the lotus
My body appeared to be hollowed out. At the bottom of the space was a watery mist. Rising out of the water was a green tendril that waved slightly as if in a breeze. Sitting on this "stem" at heart level was a green lotus with an arbor on it. And dancing on the lotus, under the arbor, was Divine Mother.

It was very blissful, and very brief. I was so excited by this unexpected event, that I came out of the Silence that was the basis of the experience, and it vanished.

The summoning
But it stayed with me. It was so compelling I couldn't forget it. And then Divine Mother started in on me. She indicated to me that I should paint the experience.

There was a novel idea. I had always been pretty good with words, and had a strong musical background, but art? Whenever I tried to draw, all I came up with were unrecognizable squiggles.

So I figured I would create an image in Photoshop. That seemed more up my alley. But NO... As soon as I expressed that thought, the response came loud and clear. "No. Paint Me. Paint Me."

False start
OK, what to do? Well, it seemed a trip to Dick Blick Art Materials in Iowa City was in order. I figured just get some supplies and get started. Good luck! I was overwhelmed. So many options. Where to begin? I didn't even know the difference between acrylics and oils. Boy, this was too much for me. And beside, golf season was starting again, so maybe I would just let this painting idea slide. And that's just what I did. For about 3 months. But Divine Mother had other plans.

"Resistance is futile"
I was at work in the summer of 2007 when I got a phone call from a dear friend on the West Coast. She said she had just had a connection with Divine Mother. She was given some advice about something in her life, and was told to "follow her heart" in the matter. She was told to get a picture of Divine Mother that she would see each day to remind her to follow her heart and not be swayed by the opinions of others.

My friend asked what kind of picture she should get, since Divine Mother comes in many forms. The answer? "Call Doug Walker, and he will paint you my picture."

The road to fruition
You can imagine my surprise. As soon as I hung up the phone, I left the office and drove downtown to ICON (Iowa Contemporary Art) to see Bill Teeple, Fairfield's foremost art teacher, and told him what was happening.

Bill was great. He enrolled me right away, taught me the difference between light and shadow, the color wheel, and how to mix paints. Every Tuesday evening he would encourage me and teach me the language of art.

After a few months of this I was ready to get going. I set up a studio in my home, took another trip to Dick Blick, and started in.

The gift
After completing the first few paintings, Divine Mother informed me that she had given me this gift, and that meant "I had better use it". To me it is obvious that it is her hand that guides me. All I need to do is be in the Wholeness and let her work through me. The flaws in technique are mine. The Wholeness and Silence in the paintings are hers.

Some more guidance
And there were two other bits of advice that came to me serendipitously:
From my old friend David Grayson on Salt Spring Island – "If it's worth painting, then paint it large!"
And from Willy Wilson in Fairfield – "Real artists use oils." I know that's not really true, but for me it was perfect advice.