Ah, today we are having gusty winds up to 34 mph – rather common for the Hi Desert near Joshua Tree. However, I never enjoy them and wish for the quiet stillness.
Too windy to enjoy the outdoors, I see everything in motion through the windows as I write this. Each bit of vegetation is waving in sunlit motion, the patio tablecloth flaps (we long ago devised a clamp system to keep it in place) and the loveseat swings (the frame attached permanently to the patio pillar after many topples).
The wind’s ever-present whooshing surrounds the house.
Although we often resist change, our lives and paths are ever in motion. To be alive means to change, hopefully in a positive direction. The winds howl, blow up a little dust, and we see things in a new perspective.
From a road trip snapshot (gouache on watercolor paper 8x10) Backlit Sierras
How do we clear the object strewn path to creativity?
Goal 1- Carefully choose activities in line with our mission in life (prioritize and eliminate!)
I am striving to set priorities and really examine what I like to do. I enjoy painting and writing, but recently I have allowed many forces to distract me and take me on detours. I am narrowing my goals and reviewing my personal mission. Ironically, the burgeoning “artists haven” in which I live has lost much of its privacy in a competition to distill and showcase the local vibe. You may be experiencing your own version of life and community clutter or the rich adventure of family and responsibilities.
I encourage you, at least for a part of your day (week, weekend, month) to dream of and focus on what you really love. It’s not that we do not wish to encourage other artists around us, and I personally see encouragement as a part of my mission.
However, seek a time and place to develop the interests, skills, fields of knowledge that are unique to you. These interests began to grow like tiny new leaves when you were a child and perhaps have been smoldering under a dampened fire for years.
Fill in your blank: I wish to _______________________________________ (paint, sketch, sculpt, sing) every (day, week, month season…)
Study, develop your God given talent, paint what you want to paint, not what has been suggested, deemed sellable, required by an exhibit or other outside factor. A mini-vacation of creating.
An impulsive sketch from roadside (sharpie on paper)
Goal 2 - Multi-task less. Attempt to do 1 or 2 things at once (not 14!). Focus. Meditate. Be present in the activity and purpose.
I have become a master at multitasking, but in my hurry to accomplish much, my own experience of enjoying what I am observing, sensing, painting, and appreciating is diminished.
Life is a huge smorgasbord offering delicious ideas and treats along the way, and I want to partake and participate, often at the same time! I want to be creative, care for my family, give time to important causes community and stay sane.
Yet, taking on too much dries up my creative juices. If you are doing activities simply because you started, someone else thought I should do it or it was just the next step, STOP.
What do you want to do? Is there a time and place of your own (even the car on the way home or to work), a stop at a garden, café, library or and many young parents know—the (yes) bathroom.
If you feel a need to set goals and enjoy the process more, join me, on this journey to burst out-and clear a path to a meaningful and creative process. Stress, dust, fatigue, over stimulation can deprive us of our own ambitions. Take time to remember your sacred flame, your inner spark - that seed within you that yearns for direction and nurturing. Look for future blogpost describing simple colorful ways to explore creatively – in a short amount of time and with limited fuss and preparation.
Images above from creative musings: my daughter and cousin at the beach (oil on canvas), a birthday bouquet (acrylic on linen) playing with swirling shapes (acrylic on canvas) -- all sold.
4/17/2018 05:42:53 am
Beautifully written and a timely reminder to Stop. Look. And Listen. Thank you for sharing. I am going to share, as well. You hit many nails with this one!
4/18/2018 05:20:10 am
Thank you Meg for the confirmation. Sometimes we wonder if we are just calling into the wind! ~Janis
5/14/2018 11:28:02 pm
Hi Janis, Here's a few thoughts from me. I eat breathe and sleep ART. Making art is all I ever wanted to do and even though I'm a people person I could very easily become a hermit. I've got art all over the place, In my house there's only one place to sit that doesn't have artwork on it and that's the toilet. I don't put in an 8 hour day in my studio but I spend a few hours each day in there. I have couple friends in NYC and their practice is no matter what, they make one work of art every day. Jeff
5/14/2018 11:55:28 pm
Hi Janis, I think that if you really want to make art you will find the time to do it. For me the key was to kick the "shoulds" out of the way. Get rid of the unimportant things. The only thing I ever put before my artwork was playing with my kids and many times that also involved making art. You must be very protective of your time. You must be self centered and selfish with your time. They're not usually considered virtues but none the less they're a must have trait. ALL artists live with the SELF DOUBTS every day. You've got to be brave to be an artist. Jeff
7/21/2018 01:52:52 am
Hi Janis, The artist Chuck Close said, inspiration is for amateurs, the rest of us just go into our studios and work.
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This January 2023 marks 5 years of blogging about creativity, well-being and encouragement. Thank you to the many who have visited my website! I welcome comments and questions.
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