At the time this paper was written Patricia Norris PhD, was Clinical Director of the Center for Applied Psychophysiology, Voluntary Controls Research Department, at the Menninger Clinic, Topeka KS.
Brain Wave Analysis of the Artist’s Medical Clairvoyance
This document reflects the observations of Dr. Norris, a biofeedback professional, while David was connected to biofeedback equipment as he created shamanic healing paintings for a client and for Dr. Norris’ college-aged daughter.
"One of the most interesting observations of trance creativity that I have witnessed was when David Paladin did some healing paintings in our voluntary controls lab at the Menninger Foundation. David and his wife, Lynda, had come to visit me while they were in the area to attend a conference. Lynda suggested that it might be interesting to observe David's brainwaves while he painted with the purpose in mind of painting something that might help restore a balance in another person’s health. He normally did these types of paintings while he was in an altered state of consciousness.
"David had brought his art supplies with him to the lab. I asked him to do a healing painting for my daughter and for a client of mine. We decided that it would be interesting to hook him up to brainwave equipment while he was doing the paintings. He had described the state of consciousness that he was in while doing healing paintings for others in which he connected up with their consciousness, "entering their space" during the entire process of the painting.
"David assured us that the equipment would not distract from his concentration as he painted. We hooked him up to an EEG using left occiput as the active site. The occiput is the site of the visual cortex, the source of imagery. We also had the EEG attached to a strip chart recorder for the duration of the experiment.
"He seemed to be unaware of the equipment while he worked. Although David painted with his eyes open he produced about 65% theta brain rhythms the entire time he was attuned to his subject. This was high amplitude, clear theta, mixed primarily with beta. His brain rhythm had little alpha waves while he was painting. He primarily moved between beta and theta. It is rare to see someone with their eyes open producing theta. It seemed as if he was connecting with the subconscious and normal reality at the same time. He normally manifested beta when he chose paint colors or mixed colors.
"Theta is the brain rhythm associated with deep reverie. It occurs most frequently when people are falling asleep or waking up and is associated with hypnagogic imagery. Beta is associated with problem solving and with attention to the environment.
"Both of his subjects were well known to me so I was able to note that David correctly identified the conditions and attributes that were previously unknown to him. He discussed his impressions with me after he had finished the paintings. It seems like a clear indication of his tapping into the larger unconscious, possibly the collective unconscious, while he was doing his work. It is an interesting form of medical clairvoyance.
"The painting that he did for my client continues to be important to her since I gave it to her three years ago when he completed it. She keeps it in her bedroom where she sees it upon retiring and arising. It has enriched her life and continues to have a favorable impact on her.
"I did not discuss my client's history with David before he began the painting. I had simply mentioned that I was worried about this client in particular. As David reflected upon the finished painting he told me that this woman needed to believe that she was loved unconditionally. He believed that the painting could connect my client to the love and unity we all share. She later related that she was quite impressed by the connection to the artist she never met and his expression of love for her through the painting. I was impressed with how well what he told me fit with her character as he seemed to experience her during the process of painting.
"My daughter meditated upon her painting and seemed to sense an improvement in her condition. The "tension demons" depicted in the painting seemed to be released and transformed through her meditation upon the painting."