It’s not lost on me that the way I work goes in cycles, patterns. It’s good in someways – I love “projects” and I am best when saving everything in “piles” to pull it all together, powering through. There is that commitment, attention to detail – that burst of energy that sustains me. But the last part is fought – the editing or tedious little decisions, taking the time is definitely a weakness. I will do it if it feels “worth” my time. But there is always the pull of doing something else and that I’m wasting time.
I honestly marvel at the perfectionists (like my soul sister, Jamie).
But doing something little by little seems ruthless – agonizing! But I understand myself well enough now to just ride that out. Without hardly any fire in me (I’m mostly air, water, earth), it’s such an empty game to pysche myself out to (a miracle!) finish anything. Lots of air tends towards lots of indecision, weighing and doubting, reflecting and thinking, and then . . . flying to something else. I oftentimes wish wholeheartedly that I had lots of fire (like the rest of my family) that just propels you forward, drives you to just jump in without thinking (sometimes it’s rash, yes and you get burned that way) but utter fearlessness.
But alas, we must accept ourselves for who we are and where we are NOW. And appreciate what we’ve got – because there’s no one else in the world (or the Universe) like us, right?! Once I make up my mind on something, I am determined and then it is difficult to dissuade me otherwise. I will never really be outspoken about it or in your face, but you will never know what I REALLY think if I’ve already decided.
But when it comes to art – it’s the indecision that kills me! I am a painter. But I haven’t really painted in about a year. That doesn’t mean that much to me except that I should be “producing, producing, producing.” Once I get going though, I have burst of energy, wave after wave that I ride until I’m spent and another wave hits me, and I have to take a breath and wait until it comes around again. In this way I’m grateful for my process. I don’t fret or worry since I’m always thinking, imagining and visualizing artworks. Once I decide what series to do. Before that, my indecision oftentimes gets the better of me. And then I just tell myself to stop thinking and just START. Sometimes your body responds intuitively in ways that you could never except and I love that. To let go, I then have no problem trusting the process and finding new imagery in my work that just appear.
It’s also never far from my mind – my head is always full of visual imagery. Now that I finally truly understand that I’m a visual person – it did not take me long to train myself in that language or be able to literally think in images. It’s truly fun! And I don’t get bogged down with trying to paint exactly what I’m envisioning – it’s more like “impressions” and the details work out for themselves. You will never be satisfied if you try to paint what you envision so perfectly. Sometimes it works, but most often you get too obsessed, like only seeing the goal and you forget to enjoy the journey that you are taking to get there.
It’s exactly the same in creating a painting. You do have to enjoy each stage, each layer, each decision and most often those unplanned events that just happen, those decisions you didn’t plan –the accidental glob, the smeared finger print, the sprayed dots that go flying, the thick plops, the watery stream of paint running off the page and the pooled paint running into one another like that gravy or syrup that invades your other piles of food. THOSE are my FAVORITE! The serendipitous moments that you could never do on your own. Allowing those to be left in your painting makes it unique, could you do that exact mishap again ever? Probably not – ESP if you tried. Letting go and being surprised, that’s literally what oozes beauty, spontaneity and freshness.
And then I’m reminded on why I paint!