The fabric stretched over the frames. The canvases were primed and ready for painting. It was late but something was driving her forward. A little voice in her head kept saying ‘just put some paint on the canvas and then go to bed’. She had prepared a dark purple color to work with, something to reflect the traumatic time she was going through. She felt if she put some paint on the canvas then she would feel she had accomplished something and would be able to sleep. She poured a small amount of the paint on each canvas then turned off the lights and went to bed.
The next morning as she picked up the first canvas she noticed there was an image of a woman. The image was an expression of everything that she had been feeling. She knew there was no way she could have expressed all of what she was feeling in such a perfect and complete manner. But there it was emerging on its own from the canvas; the random blotch of paint that she had applied the night before had taken form.
In this time of despair she knew the only way to move beyond what she was feeling was to paint and draw her way out. In that moment something magical happened, a door had opened to a wholly new type of artistic expression. She added a few lines and a bit of color, but for the most part the painting was complete. She later described the image on the canvas as being ‘raw’. The painting is so personal that she keeps it only to herself. The experience was an ‘aha’ moment, the gift that she came to receive in this magical land, Egypt.
Cosima Lukashevich trained as a classical artist in Philadelphia at Tyler School of Art. She then studied at the New York School of Design. She learned that ‘the canvas provides length and width but that it is up to the artist to provide depth’. How does the artist find that ‘depth’ and express it? She did not find the answer until she came to Egypt.
Not only had Egypt given her depth as a human being and as an artist, but it also gave her the opportunity and freedom to explore other mediums that are very common in the art of Egypt. In Egypt she studied silkscreen and collage which would add yet another layer to the unfolding; create even more ‘depth’. Cosima’s art is not only a progression but an exploration of mediums, each expressing its own message and journey.
After some time exploring these dimensions she began to draw for others. The drawings seek to express the ‘depth’ of their souls. She calls them ‘Spirit Drawings’. The process is very similar to her journey. In the presence of the subject she begins with random blotches of color and allows the images to emerge on their own. Without any previous knowledge, images relevant to her subject begin to emerge. She channels her skill as an artist to bring other people’s feelings and energies into form. Individuals have the unique experience of viewing their inner selves from a completely external perspective. A very illuminating experience!
The Author: Leslie Zehr is the Director of the Centre for Sacred Arts in Cairo, Egypt. She is the author of the book The Alchemy of Dance: Sacred Dance as a Path to the Universal Dancer and has written numerous articles on Aromatherapy, Sacred Dance, Alchemy, the Mayan Calendar, Spiritual Astrology and the Al-chemia Remedies. She has three websites, and a blog called Contemplating the Universe.
(Originally published in The BCA Chronicle, April 2012)
Copyright © 2012 by Leslie Zehr
See Cosima’s artwork at http://www.lukashevich.com