Because creating a video is a very intense (read ‘exhausting’) process for me, I like to take a day in the studio to just ‘play’.
Yesterday, I rewatched part of the courseware from the Laura Horn Art course I’ve been savouring my way through and decided I’d create some botanicals.
Ah yes. You know that saying about how we make plans and God laughs?
Well someone was surely laughing as I lay down watercolour onto the page.
It became one big mess.
“What’s there to lose,” I asked myself, “if I throw some acrylic white ink on top of the areas that are really yucky? If I don’t like it I can cut the sheet into squares that eventually can be collaged into other work.”
Even that didn’t help calm the mess before me.
So, I decided to do some monoprinting on top to ‘assist’ in the page’s development. Whether I’d keep it as one piece or cut it up was still a big unknown.
And then, I pulled the first monoprint and the muse within whispered, “Keep going.”
So I did.
I didn’t know I was making a little booklet that would become a birthday card for someone special. Written on it are the XX number of ways they make the world a better place. (X = their number of years on this planet)
Words are my love language. One of the ways I love to share words is to celebrate the people around me.
As an example, recently a young friend, my honourary daughter whom, because she is much taller than both my daughters, I call my TaDa (tall daughter — I’m her ShoMo (Short mom) 🙂 For her 35th birthday, I committed to write a song for her every day for 35 days – believe me, they’re not great but I record them and send them to her and they make her laugh (I think). They’re all very silly. (PS — I am not a songwriter)
Anyway, back to this card – It began as a 27.9 x 38.1 cm (11 x 15 in) piece of 300gm (140lb) watercolour paper. Its finished size is (approx) 10 x 14.5 cm (3.75 x 5.5 in) 8 pages including front and back cover.
Filling it with words, specifically, the X number of ways this friend makes a difference in the world, and my life, was pure joy. I got to spend an afternoon creating in the studio, and a couple of hours thinking about my friend and the ways they make a difference. Time well spent that felt absolutely delightful.
And here’s the thing.
I’ve never created a card like this before. Had no ‘thought’ of doing it. It just appeared.
I didn’t know this was what I would be creating when I sat down at my studio table yesterday to ‘play’.
I didn’t know the muse would whisper her sweet delicacies about giving a gift of art and words to someone very dear to me.
And, I had no idea how much joy I would experience in the process.
And that’s the point. We do not know what we do not know until… we allow ourselves to get present where ever we’re at with whatever is happening.
For me, that meant making some ‘bad’ art to get to something I love. It meant being willing to ‘keep going’ even when I felt like throwing my hands up in the air and screaming at the muse, “This is crap! I’m going to go watch something vapid and forgettable on Netflix.)
It meant risking myself to the unknown.
One of the greatest lessons I have learned about being in the studio is that somewhere within me is this place where, inevitably, I want to quit. The critter loves to jump in at that point and tell me how non-creative I am, how bad I am at ‘this art thing’. He wants me to stop making a fool of myself pretending to be something I’m not.
I would be lying if I said there aren’t days I desperately want to listen to him. I mean seriously? I’m no Picasso or Monet. I’ll never make a living doing this…. yada. yada. yada.
In those moments, when the critter is ranting and I am leaning into his assertions of my limitations, the voice of wise knowing within me has to be very persistent in her exhortations to ‘keep going’.
In the keeping going, she reminds me there is no judgement. No comparison. No criticism. No capitulation. There is only the will to ‘keep going’.
I’m grateful I heeded her wisdom yesterday, and everyday.
In the act of being willing to ‘keep going’, to keep exploring whatever is happening, magic unfolds its wings and joy expands on streaming ribbons of fancy dancing in the air. It is always there that I find myself breathing deeply into the gratitude of being creative by nature.