On my Art Table: Being Open to the Mystery of the Universe

What does it mean to be open to the mystery of the universe?

This is a question I’ve been contemplating since a while. And as usual, when I have a question that requires deep contemplation, I take it to my art table. Through writing, throwing down layers of paint, playing with stencils and different mediums without any end goal in mind, I work through the question in my mind.

On my art table - being open to the mysteries of the universe

My answer comes through the marks I make on the page.

I don’t always have words in answer to my questions. In fact, often times, until the page is done, I don’t quite know the answer myself. Like this painting. I wish I had taken photographs along the way so I could show you the process. But trust me when I say, it was a hot, ugly mess of random circles and triangles; of a hodge-podge of colors and disjointed marks. If you look closely, you’ll see the orange triangle below the blue of the girl’s dress. There was a white and ocher circle over this triangle with a honeycomb design – you can still see a hint of it in the girl’s face.

This stage of the painting was reflective of the mess in my head. I don’t know about you, but when I am looking for answers, my efficiently logical brain takes me on a merry go round of seeking information. “You just need to research the hell out of this question,” it says. “Let’s look for books on the subject, for the perfect article, seek out a teacher or authority in this area, because of course, you know nothing!”

And off I can go, spinning around in circles, frustrated, feeling like Jon Snow.

What I forget is that if I do some research and then let it marinate, my inner wise self will lead me to the answer.

And that is what I found with this painting. I would follow my inner promptings while I was at the painty table. But the minute I stepped back, my inner critic, Prissy Missy, would go, “Yeah, that looks like poop. What the hell are you doing? You may as well just tear this up and throw it away!”

So I did the only thing I could – I walked away from the painting for a few days. I just stuck it in a drawer and went on to doing different things. And when I had all but forgotten about that hot mess lying in my drawer, I stumbled onto an article on combining two media that I’ve never combined before.

Excited, I decided to experiment with it. And without thinking, I grabbed that ugly ass painting, and started playing with my supplies.

And lo and behold, I was open to the mystery of the universe!

As I layered watercolor pencils over oil pastels in the circle above that orange triangle, I suddenly realized – that’s a face! And the triangle is her dress! And in all of 30 minutes, that hot, ugly mess came together into this painting that I adore!

So, what does it mean to be open to the mystery of the universe?

I think what it means is to trust that the answers will come. Instead of obsessing about a particular outcome, it asks us to listen to and heed the signs that we are sent, and to trust that the answer may bubble up when we least expect it. And the best way to make this happen, is to feed your subconscious. Read wide and deep. Allow what you read to percolate within. Write down any insights that arise. And approach everything with a sense of play!

How do you find the answers to your deepest questions?


Posted in Mindset for artists, On My Art Table and tagged , , , , , .

I’m an artist and art educator, podcaster, tarot reader, and writer. I share my discoveries along the path to inspire you to live a more creative, soul-centered life. Receive my love letters for more of my musings on life and creativity. P.S. I love Instagram - join me there?


  1. That’s such an amazing way to find answers to the questions we have. Often, all that we need to do is to give ourselves some time and some clear mind, the answers will automatically come. Loved this painting!

  2. Love this method of finding answers. Actually when I saw your question and the painting, the thought that came into my head was “we are not alone”. and I also thought she was calling you from somewhere.

    • Oh, wow! We are not alone, that’s for sure! She’s adorning the cover of my moon journaling book; maybe she’s calling me from my wiser/higher self? So beautiful – thank you for sharing this, Suzy! <3

  3. I never really thought to use an art form to ask that question because it’s such a huge but vague question but I have used writing to figure out things in my own head and that has lead me to trust in the universe without me even asking this question. I have asked questions about the universe and of the universe though and I usually find my answers through writing. I love this question! #MondayStumble

    • Oh yes, writing is also a great way to get answers! I tend to dismiss some of the answers that come from writing, so when it’s a bigger question, I approach it from a lot of different angles! 😉

  4. That’s the truth, Shinjini. The answers will always come. We just have to trust the process. I enjoyed reading your post and your logical progression into the positive. And peace. Hugs!

  5. I love the way you described the process. I agree sometimes we just need tow all away, to let something sit with us before we are open to discovering the message we need. I truly got so much from reading this xx Thank you for linking up #abloggingggodtime Also Catie from Spectrum Mum will no longer be hosting with Katie and I, we have a new co-host starting this week. So pop by on Thursday and join us xx You can still link up through me at reflectionsfromme.com

  6. I did not realise I did this but I do. I doodle words and poetry rhyme and verse. I walk and talk aloud.I do not talk about the thing until I am sure I am there. In fact I physically shut my mouth in company that maybe waiting for the answer. Once I have decided and said it aloud that is what I do or say. Once a descision is there nothing will alter my view. So I believe answers come to you you just have to listen and believe.

  7. Shinjini, I love this post of your. I think I could have used it 18-years ago when my journey with watercolor painting started. I knew I loved the medium, but it took me 18-years to really find my niche – far too long. I think about all of the years I could have been practicing; improving upon my skill.

    Your mention of the “universe” piqued my interest as I’m reading “The Secret” right now. Have you read it? It discusses how the universe is there for us – that we just need to know how to access it. The book discusses the law of attraction – specifically – and how positive, purposeful thinking can bring us positive, purposeful results. Maybe this is a little of what happened with your beautiful painting.

    I absolutely love the soft lines, bright colors, and light patterns you have incorporated. Such and soft and sweet work of art. Thanks for sharing!

Leave a Reply