Yesterday, I spent hours giggling and laughing as I dived into creative expression, drawing and painting and adding whimsical touches to what I’m calling a ‘Self-Portrait’ of C.C. and me. He’s the taller one. 🙂
What I didn’t do was what Eric Maisel, Ph.D. suggests in his book, Fearless Creating – A Step-by-Step Guide to Starting and Completing Your Work of Art — paint naked.
Georgia O’Keefe did it. Chagall. Victor Hugo – they all worked naked. According to Maisel, it’s the path to unleashing the wildness within. He writes in Fearless Creating:
The wildness has many faces. It is an amalgam of passion, vitality, rebelliousness, nonconformity, freedom from inhibitions. Think of this wildness as “working naked.”
The thought of working naked makes my heart beat fast… with fear.
I get what he’s suggesting. I’m just not there. Yet.
It’s a fascinating and tantalizing idea. I can understand its premise and how it could free me up to ‘the wildness’ – that place within where my aliveness is made manifest with purpose and calmness. “A wild person with a calm mind can make anything,” writes Maisel. “A hushed, wild person is a god, a marvelous actor, a marvelous cellist, a marvelous writer, a marvelous sculptor. Creators are hushed wild people.”
I want to be a hushed ‘wild-one’. I yearn to live from the wildness within me, to set myself free of living by norms that tame my self-expression and do not invite me to run with scissors in my hands into the fires of life calling my heart to run wild and free.
And I hesitate to paint naked.
I also recognize that in my hesitation I am making visible the strings that keep me tied to living my life ‘by the rules’, not taking risks with my art-making, and not being 100% committed to my creative expressions.
Ridding myself of my inhibitions, curbing my need to ‘fit in’, to not rock the boat has been a life-long process of undoing lessons learned as a child and cemented on the road to adulthood on how the world works best — i.e., Don’t rock the boat. Be a good girl. Don’t speak up unless asked. Do what you’re told. Quieten down. Follow the rules…
Yesterday, I painted a whimsical self-portrait — just for the fun of it.
I may have kept my clothes on but I did let myself off the hook of worrying about making ‘good art’ and fed my soul with colour and whimsy.
It was a day of pure delight, my senses flowing with the muse and my heart leaping with joy as I let myself get swept away in creative expression.
Yesterday, I painted.
Maybe one day, I’ll be free enough to paint naked, or at least, as Maisel suggests, do what feels hard to do. Start with doing the dishes naked and work from there.
Perhaps it’s time to put blinds on the glass doors of my studio…