INESSA GARDER
Painting Indian Landscapes
with the Subconscious Mind
I went to the North of India, took a course in meditation, a big piece of glass, acrylics & about 20 sheets of paper. Thus I've discovered a wonderful way to paint that expands one's imagination.
I was born in USSR, Siberia ( Now Russia ) and I am someone who is a traveller at heart. A CItizen of the planet, so to speak, which was unimaginable in the conditions I was born into. I felt limitations and borders very strongly and was planning an escape since childhood.

That is why I was always excited to explore and understand what does freedom actually mean and how one may break away from the conditioning of their childhood upbringing and culture. That is why my journey led me to India.

I don't think it is only my problem or my country's problem. The conscious mind in general can not create freely, because it literally is the puzzle all put together by conditioning.

Now it is more obvious than ever. "What got you here, won't get you there" is the motto of my life and art since 2020 and I see so many people are now struggling with the old or the "rational" ways no longer working for them. It is now rational to believe in the irrational. But HOW does one make this shift?
What would be the way to connect to that vast irrational part of the mind that we may call the subconscious? Meditation is the way, and painting can be a meditation too: bear with me.
Starting with the monoprints on paper from glass allowed me to paint the surreal and the cosmic landscapes I would never have discovered otherwise.
These landscapes live somewhere deep in my heart or in another dimension and this process allows me to bring them here. It is meditation, it is discovery, it frees my mind and gives me peace.

The good news is also that anyone can try it and enjoy it. It could be even valid to leave it at stage one, but personally, I prefer the dance between the subconscious and the conscious. There is a certain elegance to that movement.

Surrealists used a somewhat similar concept in their "bulletism" technique of automatic drawing. The goal was to provide inspiration and free imagination. Ironically, I've learned that after making these paintings. But I think it is just a very natural process for the human mind to look for shapes in the formless.

This technique also helps me remember that small "quirky" ideas can expand beyond expectations if we act upon them. The idea of monoprints came to me in the kitchen when I took a small piece of paper and placed it over a tray with liquid paint to make a "print". Then I've made a study, then a large oil painting.

This technique shows very clearly how ideas come from the subconscious. But actually, it is always the case, only sometimes an idea can come through another person, through a random phrase in a book, etc.

The subconscious is looking incessantly for ways to assist us in the creative process and in the process of creating our lives in general. 2022 may very well be the time to take that leap into the unknown and discover the new ways that will work for us.
Try meditation/painting or damn go for both: it's 2022.


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The artworks above the fold and below are called "Cosmic River" and "Meditator".
They have been made using the same technique.