The Art of Psychology

Solveig brings much of her emotional and psychological experience into her art

What is Psychology?

Art psychology is the study of human behaviour and its origins in the mind. What does that mean? It means there is a relationship between what you think and what you do. There is a relationship in the body mind of yourself that uses its thinking processes and imagination to create reality.

Beliefs create reality, which modify behaviour, which cause emotionality, which allows you to express yourself within the confines of your own constructed belief system. We somehow try to share that reality with everyone else and behave in a way that is mutually harmonious in a society.

Each person has their own journey

Health is recognised as an understanding of and a living in harmony with oneself. If you had good parenting, you had good role models and good examples and good demonstrations of how to maintain balance and health for yourself.

If you didn’t have good parenting or early beginnings, you may have gotten distorted, behaviourally-modified, freaked out, post-traumatic kind of belief systems running your life. Meanwhile, everyone’s psychological acting out happens around you.

It takes genius to navigate one’s own psychology well. When you are young, you are at your maximum potential but at your least resourced. As you get older, you have less and less potential but you build your resourcefulness. One has to try to understand the world and oneself early in life in order to take advantage of the best life can offer.

I had good parenting and bad parenting. I had beautiful nature-based experiences in my childhood and I also had endlessly boring, long periods of mindless soul-deadening time. For me, getting to the age of eighteen took one thousand years. Time has certainly accelerated since then.

Did you hear that?

Did you hear my psychology, based on my experiences as a child, created a time-distorting belief in me. When I was bored and dependent on others for my stimulation, I was in an eternity of space, of endless here-and-nowness, which wasn’t pleasant for me as a child.

I wanted entertainment, stimulation. I wanted comfort. So being confronted by myself as a child, and being bored for a lot of my time though unenjoyable actually had a positive effect on me in the long run.

Whatever happens to you has an effect

Pathways are created in your brain, giving you expectations. This gives you examples of how something might play out, possibilities for you to extrapolate. Your childhood is a huge bag of information for you to draw upon throughout your life, and build upon.

Depending on how you sailed or battered your way through your childhood, you end up with a distinct set of beliefs. This psychological set creates the way you look, the way you stand, the way you invite disease into your body or not, the way you eat well or poorly, the way you are addicted to substances or behaviours or fetishes. There is an infinite variety of psychological states that people inhabit.

These psychological states are not fixed. They are part of a journey. You have ways to impact and change and modify the behaviours and learnt patterns that have been laid down. You can practice other rituals to bring about other outcomes and other behaviours.

What you learn on your journey, should you care to accept it, is your mind, your psychology is wide open to your manipulation with intent. The intent to improve, to install resources and ways of being that you didn’t have access to in past.

Time to get inspired

There are procedures for accessing yourself. Rehearsing your mind, running through imaginings, singing, dancing, painting, anything that turns you on, that gets you into the moment and having a pleasurable and relaxed time, is the way in.

When you are relaxed, you are able to go directly to your subconscious mind and modify the spell that was laid down in childhood. One has to know how to do these things. One has to be willing enough to want to know. There are all sorts of ways that human beings develop themselves or not.

For the most part this information isn’t readily available to people. You have to seek it out. You have to become that seeker. That is part of the spiritual path. If you don’t get the information that you have to be a seeker you can stand outside that whole journey and wonder why you are being passed by. Wondering why what you think and feel has no impact on the world.

My emotional journey

In my story, I needed to understand why I felt and did and responded and reacted to life negatively, emotionally, in ways that were self-sabotaging. I wanted to know why the hell I was doing that to myself.

After I got past, “Do I actually deserve that to be happening to me?” I came to the conclusion that at any point, when I might have deserved it, I was a child. I was an innocent. So I at least had to give myself the benefit of the doubt. That started a journey of finding out what my particular experiences had communicated to me as a child, and the way that child had taken it on board, laying down in my mind all the ways for me to be.

I didn’t like the way I had put myself together out of all of that. I had struggled as an adolescent with self esteem and I struggled further in my twenties until I decided to be more committed to self and respectful, and to at least give myself something I enjoyed doing, that would have a positive effect in my life.

Permission to create

When I gave myself permission to express creatively I was given the means to show myself to myself. Because I was a visual artist whatever I chose to do would present me with a end result that was much more telling to me than the idea I started with.

As I sat with each of my finished works, I was able to understand myself more and more. Not that it spoke to me or described my self. It just gave me more insight into my talent or skill or means that I wasn’t aware of, that I gave myself no credit for, and that I didn’t know how to operate or use. Somehow, while I was giving myself to creative expression, it came through.

Engaging autopilot

Sometimes, it was as blatant as starting a painting, getting into it and then three to four hours later becoming aware again of my work. When I looked at it, I would be amazed. What had happened in that time when I wasn’t actually present to the doing of it.

My mind was elsewhere in long convoluted thoughts about anything and everything. But when my focus came back to the way my creativity was expressing on the board or page, it was like I was the audience, seeing it for the first time and being surprised. Surprised at how it had achieved something that impressed me or made me happy or excited or pleased with it.

That led me to believe that quite often the best of me comes out when I’m not there. When I’m not actually watching and hoping and controlling and making it happen and thinking I’m responsible for every single stroke. That was a relief, a fascination. That got me thinking ‘Wow, I need to understand my mind more’. I need to understand how this works’.

Accessing the subconscious

I took a step to the side and studied psychology. I studied hypnosis. I studied all the ways you access your subconscious mind. I got into breathing techniques, I did so much that gave me a relationship with that part of myself that could kill me or lift me up and fly off with me.

It was something I needed to have a very positive relationship and understanding with in order to co-create my life. Without its cooperation, with it working against me in the background, there was never going to be any happiness or positive outcome.

I wanted this relationship to be completely positive and harmonious. I wanted there to be complete honesty and understanding between us. The more I learned how to access the subconscious mind, I used it to empty myself of all the misapprehensions, the stories and the distortions that operated me from behind.

Gaining insight into myself

Part of my journey embraced this and because I had such joy in creative expression, the combination of allowing my subconscious mind free-rein over a lot of my compositions and works, gave me incredible insight into myself. It spoke volumes to me about my true nature and how I felt about it and why I felt about it like that.

It explained myself, painting by painting, work by work, I was in a deconstruction of old negative limiting beliefs and moving into a much more empowered and creative and joyful and inspired state of mind and being. My psychology was being revolutionised.

My art was the outlet or the channel for my psychology to just flow and spill and course through me out into the world in a way I was no longer unconscious of. I could observe it and participate and own it, and have it be creative and insightful and intelligent and true.

There is an art to psychology

It exists as a thing but when you craft it and turn it into an art in yourself, your understanding and study of your behaviour, becomes inspirational. The possibilities become infinite.nThe choices are all yours to make moment to moment. And that is in life or in front of a piece of work where you are choosing the exact colour, or the line in the exact right place.

Whatever you are doing, there is a precision and a mastery and an art that comes into any creative expression you choose. When it is artful, it is pure delight. It is easy. It is seamless. It is very comfortable and it feels like you are peaking in that human experience.

The Healing Journey Series

When I was late thirties, I used my art, my creative expression, to paint 16 paintings that took me through a specific deconstruction of the behaviours I had taken on in childhood.

In the Healing Journey Series, I was able to show myself to myself and incrementally offload the issues that most inhibited me and most inhabited me. And as I deconstructed those negative states, space and intelligence became available in my body mind, occupying those areas that they had vacated.

They had used the space to store within me and now that they were expressed that space was now available to me to occupy with positives. To uptake much more expanding beliefs systems about myself and the world and beyond.

Life is not a linear journey

Life is like a tree growing exponentially. The branches go out from everywhere and you become multi faceted, huge within your body mind and spirit. Should you develop the art of psychology, your relationship with yourself will be incredibly well-served and the quality of your life will be uplifted far beyond an ignorance of your own psychology.

When I named this discussion “the Art of Psychology”, it was deliberate. I wasn’t interested in giving a talk on the psychology of art, though that’s a fascinating subject. I wanted to come from a different and more personal point-of-view or perspective. I have used my art in search of self, observing how I became the person I am, and the process of resolution and healing that unfolded through my works.

It was possible for me to actually externalise my subconscious distortions and for them to come out in my painting. I thought I was painting one thing and then when I sat back afterwards I discovered the painting had a whole other meaning and story and metaphor for me.

My paintings began to inform me

Even in the choice of subject matter. It all seemed so logical and reasonable, setting myself an actual brief, doing the work and making sure I applied the style and was in the colours I thought best expressed the mood I was trying to create.

Afterwards, sitting back, being informed I became so much more understanding of myself. So much more able to see why I would chose the composition and the colours. Why I would use representational art to express through. All those things were personal and subjective but I began to realise that not only was painting and creating important to me but externalising myself so that I could see and understand myself mattered more than it staying all inside in a jumble, mixed up together and impossible to get any meaning out of it apart from chaos and drama and all sorts of negative feeling states.

Creating the tapestry of myself

As I painted more, especially if I did montages, using magazine cuttings, I thought I was creating surrealist images. Confronting the audience with a juxtaposition of subject matter that didn’t normally go together. In fact each montage was like a dream and I looked at it and understood the elements of it, it was as if I was in communication with a part of myself that was handing me the streams and strands of the distortions I had woven into a whole tapestry.

Painting by painting the threads came out and revealed themselves and I could see how they got laid down and where and who and when.The more paintings I did, the more I creatively expressed, the more in touch with myself I became. It was as if my psychology wanted to express through my art. It was like a perfect conduit for self-revelation.

I find it a very exciting way to express myself and to heal myself and to move along in my journey to an ever deepening mystery of myself. So when I say that this is about the Art of Psychology that is what I mean. You can become masterful in this way of deconstructing and reconstructing your personality, your behaviour, your response to the world, from chaos to simplicity, from fear to love, from difficulty and suffering to ease and comfort.

The psychological progression

This was the progression that becoming artful with my psychology, becoming in communication with it through creative expression. externalising my inner onto canvas or board or paper. In all sorts of ways that turn you on, letting your hands and eyes put it out there so you can see and respond and grow and expand from what you can be informed about in the work you do.

When I took up the gauntlet of recognising that my work was a mirror for me, I could look into it and study it and be amazed at the detail and nuances of myself. Be amazed and understanding clearly what is actually there. The Art of Psychology is this process for me where you become deeply subjectified in your own work and you use your life as that journey of discovery and expansion into a much more fully positive evolved being.