I have been invited to participate in a group art show in May. It is my first, ‘public’ showing of my work and while I have sold some pieces, I’ve never really focused on my art-making as a means of making a living. I love to paint — I’m just not prepared to commit myself to living off my work!
And then, I laugh. At myself. Again.
It’s not about the destination. It’s always about the process. And painting, expressing myself through my creativity is always about process, not product or even end purpose. The only purpose to my art-making is to allow myself to flow into that space where time and place and playing small evaporate into the mists as I enter into trusting that whatever happens, I will be okay.
Art-making has taught me that. Writing a blog every morning for almost seven years taught me that too. To simply trust in the process. To have faith that the words will appear without my cajoling them, corralling them, rustling them up into sentences and paragraphs. To simply, let be and let what is emerging, become.
These are hard lessons for me. I like to be in control. I like to take it, keep it, use it, be it. I like control.
Which is why the creative process teaches me so much about letting go. When I immerse myself, there is no room, or space, for that voice which would have me believe I can’t do it. I’m not good at it. It’s a waste of time. Why bother?
In the creative process there is only me and the muse and the space I fill where when I let go, anything can happen.
Yesterday, as I painted with my girlfriend, she suggested a new aspect to a painting I had thought was already completed. I liked her idea, but in my desire to hold onto control, I hemmed and hawed and hesitated. Thought about how ‘perfect’ the painting already was. Told myself painting into it could ruin it.
And then, I decided to let go.
And, in letting go, I let flow the wonder and joy of creating something that makes me happy become the happiness I feel in the process of creating.
And what could be better than that? To simply feel content. Satisfied. At peace. To revel in the joy of creating something that gives me pleasure. that feeds my soul. That stirs my creative juices and sets my entire being on fire with the passion and wonder of making art happen in my world.
I had an amazing day painting yesterday and along the way, I learned a thing or two about being present, and in the process I was reminded, when I’m present, magic stirs, wonder appears and miracles happen.