Art Brain, Word Brain ... Psychic Brain

Two parrots watercolor
First watercolor class assignment! I did it!

I’m a word person. I write books. I used to be a newspaper journalist. Ever since a traumatic comparison of my coloring technique with that of my best friend in kindergarten, I’ve said, “I can’t draw; I can’t paint; I’m not an artist; I’m not a designer.” So naturally when I turned sixty last February, I set out to reconsider that assessment. I forced my Word Brain to try Art Brain. This slammed me straight back into those childhood traumas.

I chose two free classes at the local community college: a watercolor class for “seniors” and an online graphic design class for college students. They both had excellent, encouraging teachers.

The watercolor class turned out to be an ongoing gathering of silver-haired students who were so warm and friendly to this newcomer, I couldn’t use them as an excuse to drop out. Oh, but I wanted to!

It wasn’t a class for beginners, but the instructor chose a work for us to imitate and would demonstrate technique, then let us work on it for the next couple of weeks. On the days I drove to the three-hour watercolor sessions, I felt nauseous all the way up to the classroom door, just like when I threw up on the first day of kindergarten. I was terrified. Of what? I’m not sure, but my body had all the symptoms of psychic trauma.

The online design class was led by a woman so enthusiastic about her subject, I quickly fell in love with her presentations. But the stress! I couldn’t find peace each week until I’d finished her challenging assignments. Excruciatingly foreign to me, this idea of designing posters or brochures. That’s what my publishing company should hire professionals for!

Gradually I discovered that, much like ballroom dancing, there are graphic design steps and rules to follow and no, you don’t have to be a “born talent” to create useful and appealing designs. I’m still scared of what I learned, but if I actually make myself sit down and do this sort of work, put my focus on it, something magical takes place. To my astonishment, I did as well as any of the young people in the class. I have a theory about why.

But meanwhile, I was horrified by the first assignment in the watercolor class, a pair of parrots to copy from someone else's painted version. So much detail! This was not for beginners! But I soldiered on, slowly, and managed to trace and paint the copy you see here. I astounded myself!

Art Brain vs. Word Brain

At first, I still believed there was a difference between Art Brain and Word Brain. Doesn’t research say we use different parts of the brain for these tasks?*

I certainly felt as if I had to flip a switch. Words are so familiar to me, they come pouring out (as you can see). But when it comes to anything graphic like painting or designing, so many obstacles must be overcome—all of them forms of inner doubt. Yet once I flipped that mental switch, I experienced the lost-time phenomenon, a state of total bliss and absorption I’d previously found only while writing.

The second assignment I loved so much, it started to show in my work, even though once again I was tracing and mimicking someone else's painting. Joseph convinced me to post it on Facebook. People responded. They could feel the joy I felt painting these flowers! That finally jolted me into realizing that the medium doesn’t matter!
Poppies watercolor

I am a psychic transceiver, as I have said many times about my writing. I work with what I now call my Cosmic CoAuthors. So why wouldn’t I have Cosmic CoArtists?

I started listening more carefully to their inner instruction, as I had learned to do while writing. Much more difficult when it comes to art—all those ego hang-ups I’ve reinforced over the decades. But I made the choice to drop out of the class and pursue subject matter that would spark my personal enthusiasm.

The class did allow people to paint whatever they wished, and the students were so chatty and welcoming. But I found it hard to maintain my inner link in that setting—which literally looked like a room full of slightly larger and more wrinkled kindergartners. Paints and paraphernalia were spread all over bright work tables in the big room. Outside the windows, we could hear the happy screams and chatter and see the day-care kids frolicking on colorful slides and jungle-gyms. Took me right back to elementary school. Recreated the scene of apparent traumas. (Just this life? Or further back? Both, I suppose.)

But at home, I found the same inner peace I use when writing. If I listened carefully, shoving aside my insecurity, I sensed direction and guidance. I hadn't finished the third trace-and-paint assignment because I truly disliked the original painter's deserted, cold, and stormy lighthouse. But Joseph, ever the encourager, convinced me to add my own touches in order to make it fun.
Lighthouse fairy
"They'll Never Believe Him!"

Cosmic CoArtists

I must confess, back in the early 80s, I took an art class at the spiritual school I was attending. We played with pencil, oil pastels, and oils, but never watercolor (“Too hard,” they said). The point was to prove to ourselves that you can, indeed, psychically transceive art far beyond your training or experience. And I did it.

Here’s an oil pastel I somehow managed, terrified all the way, copying a classical portrait of a French aristocrat by an artist whose name I’ve forgotten. The various teachers who taught this class, students themselves, would come around with advice now and then, but the main point was to “use your attunement to the Artists in the higher worlds of Light.” Miracles did happen, attributable to the interdimensional science of human consciousness.
Oil pastel of unnamed lady
I should have known after that experience, but like I said, I’d already boxed myself in as “a professional writer,” working for The Los Angeles Times. That made my choice irrefutable, right? The art class was fun and scary, but I knew it "wasn’t my thing.” Others were so naturally “gifted” at art. I kept up the negative inner monologue. “I can’t,” said Ego Brain. I considered this oil pastel a messy fluke. I started but never finished another pastel portrait, and for decades, I have avoided art. This oil pastel has been living in an old portfolio under my bed.

Tch, crazy me.


Why would this lesson I’ve been taught about writing not apply to art? Yes, it is true that I have trained in certain word mechanics and that means I’m ready when literary inspiration strikes. But I can also train my hands and eyes to work with a brush and paints, can’t I?

And in both cases, I fall in love while I’m doing it. I may never achieve what an individual who trains their entire life can achieve—or can I?


That was the other lesson I’d been taught. So if I simply do as I’m prompted, do whatever I love while I love doing it, then I can only reach one conclusion, now in my sixtieth decade on Earth: I am not a writer. I am not an artist. I am not an architect, city planner, museum builder, dancer, or sculptor.


I can work with more advanced Minds than my own to bring through something that will carry an added energetic, healing power and transcendence that affects, first me, and then possibly my audience, whatever the medium.

The Secret of Psychic Reception

In fact, Joseph does this in the kitchen all the time, creating the most marvelous concoctions that I feel guilty for not sharing with the world. They are inspired. They are delicious. To create them, he does crazy things because he, too, is a psychic transceiver and if someone prompts him to put two bizarre ingredients together, deep in his heart of hearts, he hears it and he does it, knowing it will all turn out right in the end.

That’s the secret to using your Psychic Brain: Trust, and knowing how to tune into a higher Source. As my spiritual mentor Ruth Norman taught me, “If they say, Let cows eat grass, then that is what you say, without question. It will all make sense later.” And by golly, it does. My Cosmic CoAuthors often use words I don’t know and I dutifully speak or write them. When I look them up later, they turn out to be just right. Or they will ramble on in a long sentence that, for the life of me, I can’t recall how it started so I’m not sure I’m finishing it correctly, but in the end, it all turns out right.

It’s my Ego Brain that has to take a back seat. So I approached my art from a new angle: I will learn from my Inner Instructors.

I had a book sitting hopefully on my shelf. Dreamscapes: Creating Magical Angel, Faery & Mermaid Worlds In Watercolor. Perfect! I decided to work my way through it in order, learning all the techniques. Right off, I discovered that the author’s approach to watercolor was entirely different from the seniors' class. I needed, not big fat #10 brushes, but tiny #’s 1, 2, and 00. I loved her glazing technique and fairy style, but my inner instruction kept guiding me away from the exercises in her book.

Still, I wanted to see what the natural sponge technique would look like on paper, so I blotted a bunch of color on a small scrap. Immediately, I noticed a winged figure had formed in the middle of the paper, so vividly I only had to sketch a few lines to make her appear. She was holding a blank scroll; I saw her clearly as could be. What else could I do? I started painting her on this tiny 4-inch by 6-inch scrap of cheap paper. I had no idea how to paint drapery, so I thumbed through the book and found some pixies to practice with on tiny scraps of paper. Ugh. I was terrible at it.

I grabbed another scrap and managed a few skirts, but I kept trying and failing to get dark shadows yet remember to leave untouched light areas. So I flipped over one of the pixie paintings and finally had enough success to give me courage. I was eager to finish the figure whose scroll and wings kept urging me to make them appear on the paper.

Only later, after I framed it and gave it to Joseph for our anniversary, calling it “Anticipation,” did I realize that I had, not only painted the Receiver of inspiration, but my last practice piece, dashed off on the back side of the pixies, was the Sender!

She’s looking down and she’s wispier—she lives in a higher dimension, so of course she’s less material. She is wearing an electronic crown, and she is holding the translucent book she is dictating from. Or in this case, the painting she is projecting to the Receiver? Is it a book or a painting she’s projecting? I can’t quite make it out. Does it matter? I did all of this unconsciously, following no model.
Watercolor "Sender" and "Receiver" portraits
On the other hand, my Receiver is looking up expectantly, holding her open parchment, waiting. She will psychically receive from the Higher Mind, and re-transmit this information in her own dimension, onto her physical parchment. Hence the term psychic transceiver – transmit and receive; receive and transmit.

And that’s all there is to it.

Art, literature, music, dance, poetry, sculpture, cooking, building, leading others, running a company—you name it, you can transceive it.

And so my Inner Instructors had conveyed their lesson. It is not Art Brain versus Word Brain as I’d thought. It is Ego Brain versus Psychic Brain. In fact, it’s not brain at all.
It’s all Mind.

* * * *

 *When I researched this, I discovered that the generally held belief that different parts of the brain perform different tasks has begun to erode. More recent studies with stroke victims, for instance, demonstrate that any part of the brain can be conscripted to perform the needed tasks. In other words, mental activity is not localized in the brain. D’oh, I knew that! Because I do not believe that my mind exists in the circuit-board functions of my brain, any more than I think my car can drive itself because of the equipment that’s under the hood. It takes a driver. Silly humans. I’m sorry but that old “left brain, right brain” mantrum has to go. This is 2015, after all. Welcome to the new era!