It’s easy to get caught up & weighed down. Sometimes, I get carried away in dark thoughts and deep sadness and before I realize it, I’m like a mysterious version of myself, poised and ready to strike. I’ll hit a wall and get struck by the sudden realization that I’m caught up in some mind drama or just going through the motions, answering to the chirping of my phone. I get moody, distracted, overwhelmed & can’t completely comprehend why. This makes my work suffer.
That is why I have the need to write this one out. I’m not feeling that way today, but I have found it’s imperative to take time for my self, because I do that more often. I take personal time. I think it’s critical to take time and to let the self be & observe, removed from the need for validation and approval. I’m positive that what I’m saying is nothing new to very many people. But this is just a little blog where I am returning to some self-ness and try to mix it in with some information for those curious or desiring to fuel their creative pursuits. So here, I’d like to go back to some basics: The Pause. Pausing to take time for one’s self. I fear that with the constant news, incessant smart phone usage, computer time, and hustle bustle to get through the day, it’s becoming more difficult to remember to just pause and check in before you’re staring that wall smack in the face and you’ve crumbled to it’s feet in self-hatred, wondering why you didn’t see it coming, and how could you have done this. Well, let’s just take a deep breath now and quell the self-shaming a little bit. This is life. The sun rises and falls, and life has ups and downs.
If you don’t hit walls, then we’re dying to know your secret. But for me, it feels as though there are so many more distractions that easily take me far away from my creative self. I’m starting to catch on now, more than ever before, that it is important to stop for a second each day and check in with my personal needs in order to fully care and take care in the relationships around me. Even if that means pausing to drink water. I’m writing about this in relationship to my work as a painter because I whole-heartedly find this creative personal time has forced me to slow down and has provided one way in which I can start to see that people have the ability to make a grass roots, positive impacts on the world, just by learning how to check in and address their personal needs before it gets to be too late and you’re pissed at [so and so] for [this and that] so it’s ok if you do/don’t do [this thing you’re not suppose to be doing/not be doing]. Feel free to fill in the blanks.
Secondly, I have found that it’s important to keep hope. The world gets heavy if let it all in. Everyone is suffering in some way or another. There’s so many things going on that are very painful to sit with. Color and paint, for me, provide a place of refuge. Here amongst the smell of sanded wood and daubs of brilliant, wet color I find a place to meditate on possibility & hope. There are no mistakes here, just opportunities for learning, and hundreds of years of masters to be humbled and inspired by.
I’ve been tossing around the question of why I paint and feeling guilt wondering is this time selfish? Is it me running away? I don’t believe anymore that it is for many reasons I won’t go into here. Simply, this is the place my spirit drinks. This is how I connect. I want to support others in finding that place of nourishment, and today I believe that way is through living example. One reason for this is because no art teacher ever said I could make a living doing this, and I hope to smash the idea that artist have to be starving. I believe we can be thriving. It’s not my job to tell people how to live, or why to live, or what to live for. It is my job to try and be the best version of me I can be. That’s all I can do. And damn, if that’s not really hard for me to do sometimes! Painting, studying the masters, & making has truly provided a foundation.
I hope my work brings contentment and a sense of peace. Life has big, uncontrollable circumstances and I hope these compositions of color create some pause buttons. I continue to use this work for myself as a place to strengthen, rebel, accept, risk, be vulnerable, and be bold. I hope to provide places of reprieve.