The Beauty, the Fire, and the Walk of Self-Actualization

Laura Basha

“The Priestess,” 2007 | Painting By: Laura Basha

In terms of the creative process being expressed as form through all the fine arts, it has always for me brought with it some moments of respite, some moments of joy, some moments of angst, some moments of peace. For a painting, I begin with an inspired context, an insight, a concept, a simple sense, a poem, a memory, a quote, a dream.

I design the basic composition, then I allow the painting to unfold itself through me. This takes a quieting of the intellect and a deep listening for the unknown. It also takes a tenacity to deal with the resistance which emerges from within when confronted with the creative unknown.


The painting emerges, often with an unpremeditated symbol, which captures the process involved in the creation. The palette is composed of whatever materials inspire the process. In working through the process which the painting presents, I wrestle with its demons, its confrontations, its perplexities and riddles, and when they are sorted through, the painting is complete.

It is the conduit for its own essence. It stands on its own as a koan for the viewer. At this point I let the painting go, to bring whatever it will offer to another.


The painting is loved by another or not because of its resonance to their inner life. It will speak something entirely different and it will elicit something entirely personal for each viewer. They will see what I did not. To another, the painting has its own presence that will live through their eyes. It has its own color and meaning born of their life. It reflects back to oneself one’s own truth. This is the beauty of a painting.

The same can be said of a created and completed book.

When embraced by an individual, this process symbolically and literally illustrates the beauty, the fire, and the walk of self-actualization.

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