Yesterday, I spent the day in the studio getting ready for the art show and sale I’m in this weekend.
I love the creative process of letting go to create space for what is calling to become known to appear.
It can also be challenging.
I am, by nature, someone who likes to find meaning in all things. That includes, wanting to make meaning of what I create. Sometimes, I get stuck in my fear, it won’t have any meaning at all and spiral into a place of frustration, self-pity and negative thinking, telling myself, you are not an artist. Give it up already… and all that non-productive jazz.
To move beyond my fear that what I am doing may not make sense, or have meaning, or even be visually appealing, I need to look at my fear and let it go. In that space of being fearless, the creative has space to appear without my trying to dictate what or how it will be.
There is also another gift in that space of letting go of fear to allow what is, to be what it is, not what I want it to be.
And that gift is found in the space of creating for the pure joy of dancing with my creative soul without having to find a meaning, without having to make sense, without having to search for anything.
In that space, I am released of my desire to be defined my creative process by wanting my creative output to be purposeful.
The painting I did yesterday pleases me.
I don’t know why.
It doesn’t matter.
The process of creating it was pure experimentation, curiosity and pleasure.
Originally, I called it, “The Duality of Truth in the Garden of Eden.” The vines made me think of a rich and verdant garden, which made me think of the Garden of Eden. Like vines wrapping themselves around the trunk of a tree, however, the story of the Garden of Eden has always had a cloying affect on my psyche.
It speaks to me of the original sin, not of Eve feeding Adam the apple and thus becoming the impetus for their being dispelled from the Garden, but rather, of Eve becoming the feared seductress, the one who caused men to lose all control of their minds and bodies.
In that story, women became the one men couldn’t trust. To me, in the unfolding of the story of Adam and Eve, the patriarchal construct of our humanity became entwined with the vision of women being the one’s who, if left to their own devices, would lure men away from the righteous path of setting the world right, of doing good. In their capacity to bring life into the world, women were feared. They needed to be controlled so that they did not destroy all of humankind by elevating the act of giving birth to life again and again as a sacred act.
It became a simple equation of power and control. Men could control the sexual act of creating life, they could not control women’s bodies and thus, the act of giving birth needed to become less than the power of man’s capacity to build, construct and destroy life.
See what I mean?
I am always seeking meaning. And sometimes, in my meaning seeking efforts, I dive so deep, I come up gasping for air in the power of what I discover about my own story.
And when I create from a place of fearing I won’t be good enough, or won’t create something of meaning, I am constantly looking behind me to see if there is something I’ve missed, if there is meaning to be divined. And in my continuous need to find the meaning, I undermine myself and my creative expression.
In fear, I create… with restrictions. I express… with expectations. I love… with limits.
I painted yesterday. It is something I love to do but in the expectation my creative expression would have meaning, I stepped into fear and fear took hold of my creative expression.
Today is a brand new day.
I originally called this painting, “The Duality of Truth in the Garden of Eden.”
I’m sticking to that story.
It suits me.