Melinda Blair Paterson grew up in Adelaide in a typical Australian family and had a career of twenty years in the corporate world before becoming an artist. From an early age she has been able to sense and feel the energy of other people and in her late twenties this emerged more fully, resulting in the creation of a range of vibrational essences. Now a committed artist she calls her work Soul Essence Art, and her greatest passion is painting commissioned intuitive ‘energy portraits’ of other people. These are not portraits in the normal sense, but abstract and symbolic representations of the person’s soul. The artwork is contemporary, using vivid colour, texture and layering.
Was there any specific incident or event that inspired you to become an artist?
“Yes. After my mother died in 2002 I experienced what can only be called a spontaneous awakening of the artist within, as I had had little exposure to art in my life and no formal training. When Mum died I went into a five month grieving process. All my spiritual beliefs and practices fell away. Then just before my mother’s birthday I was drawn to meditate again. I heard the words “I am love” over and over in my mind. I felt a strong urge to draw, so I scrambled for some coloured pens and paper and began this erratic, chaotic, movement over the page. The energy was intense - exciting and passionate in expression.
The chaos soon settled into form and symbols such as I had never seen before. It was an extraordinary time of awakening and communing with my soul. With the help of a friend I came to understand that I was drawing pictures to help people connect with themselves at a soul level, encoded with information that they could access during meditation. The drawings became known as Light Codes.
Eventually I began to feel a strong urge to express my creative talents on a much larger scale. In early 2004 I picked up a paintbrush and for several months I experimented and explored. Then one day something happened. It was Easter Sunday, a beautiful autumn sunny day and I had the house to myself. I was playing with paint on a large canvas, pouring the paint on, splashing it on, brushing it on. And it just wasn’t working. So I decided to cover the canvas with white paint and start again. I used my hands to spread the paint every which way, enjoying its gooey feeling. The colours from the underlying paints began to mix with the white: soft pinks, greens and yellows emerged. It felt so delicious! I stepped back and was amazed at what had been created. In my mind’s eye I saw a large cross in the middle of the painting. I grabbed a roller and emphasized this symbol on the canvas. Immediately I felt an energy surge through me. It was palpable. I knew I was on the right track. I looked again at the canvas and saw angel’s wings coming from the base of the cross. I grabbed the brush and lightly created the wings. Energy surged through me again and I knew it was done. I called the painting ‘Angels Wings’. I knew that day that I had connected with my soul essence.”
How did you come to create Soul Essence Art?
“My first paintings hung at home for about nine months until a visiting friend asked if she could purchase ‘Angel Wings’. Because it was my own soul essence I declined to sell it and offered instead to paint one of her. This wonderful woman and friend went on to buy a number of my artworks and commissioned Soul Essence Art for friends and family. I feel deeply grateful for her faith and support in what I do. From that beginning I have now created soul essence paintings for many clients in Australia and overseas.”
So what do you do when you paint someone’s soul essence?
“Ever since I can remember I have been able to feel other people’s deeper level of truth. With life experience and a lot of practice I have developed this gift so that just by using their full name and date of birth I am able to attune to a person at the soul level.
I light a candle, close my eyes, intend a connection with them and immediately feel their energy. As I open my eyes and look at the canvas the feeling appears to me in colour and patterns. In a step-by-step process I see what paint to apply to the canvas, when and where. It is always a journey of discovery. As I paint I also feel what the soul is wishing to express through the physical.
The painting assists the person to open, trust, and allow the deeper knowing their soul offers in guiding and inspiring them in their life. Many clients have told me that they cried when they saw their soul essence painting for the first time, and that it has changed their life.”
In addition to commissioned paintings you have also created several collections. Why did you choose the theme of Consciousness’?
“I’m not really sure if I chose the theme of ‘Christ Consciousness’ for my first collection or it chose me! It just seemed to be a natural progression of my spiritual growth and awakening. This collection is about the conception, birth and form of the masculine, feminine and androgynous expressions of creation coming into human form and consciousness. It sounds a bit complicated I know, but it is an amazingly clear and specific experience energetically. It is my intention and experience to explore this theme in a much broader sense than is normally associated with Christian teaching. What I have found within myself has been a level of consciousness that has not been confined to the form of one teaching, but rather Universal awareness of divinity, creation and energy, as it comes into human form. As I paint I often feel it as perfect and pure, nebulous and penetrating, vital and joyous, nurturing and passionate.
As I wanted to bring the awareness of Christ Consciousness into my everyday life as a real and embodied expression, I have chosen Erotic Consciousness as my next theme. Erotic comes from the word Eros, which means the drive to unfold, and isn’t that what we are being in sexual intimacy - unfolding ourselves to another? Taking it a step further you could say that what we are really trying to be in sexual intimacy, and all of life, is to unfold ourselves to our divinity. This has been a journey that has taken me deep into the explorations of my own erotic consciousness and I have found the joy of passion. My life has been more real ever since.
Where to from here?
“The end of 2006 and early 2007 bought about an enormous amount of change in my personal life. I sat down and asked myself - what is really significant to me in my relationships with people? What qualities of human expression do I really value? I wrote a list and at the top was Joy, which became the first painting in a new collection: ‘The Significance of Joy’. These paintings break away from my usual abstract style as I am now exploring landscapes. I have completed ‘Joy’ and ‘Kindness’, and am currently working on ‘Compassion’.
I hold a vision of taking this my gift to a large scale, where my artwork is available to be viewed by many people. I believe the uplifting vibration felt through my work can assist people to remember who they are beyond the physical form, to know the beauty and joy of their soul.
To look at more of Melinda’s artwork she invites you to visit her website at www.melindablairpaterson.com.
Read the full article in the Artist Profile in Vol 3 Issue 20