I keep on coming back and then immediately ducking out once again. Not going to analyze it or even talk about it very much. Im just going to be and do what feels right and not ask any questions about why. For now.
Self improvement is hard for me in ways that are difficult to define. I don't lack for the skills involved in introspection. I don't lack for support from people around me who love me. I don't lack for motivation (Someplace in my dna there is a code that is written clearly and decisively. It states, "Do not rest until you have found all of the ways you can be a better human being and have tried them on for size." We probably all have this actually.). My problem is that when my brain was developing, external influences repeatedly, consistently, and over a long period of time, hammered home the idea that improving too much is a very bad thing. It's so bad, my brain thinks, that it threatens my very survival.
Have you ever held a water balloon in your hand, palm up with it balanced there gentle, like it's resting all placid on a hammock? Have you ever then gradually curled your fingers inward around the balloon, gently applying pressure to the central body? What happens?
The water moves away from the source of the pressure, into areas of the balloon with less resistance. You now have a water balloon that has adapted to find a misshapen path of least resistance. It's imbalanced and unwieldy. The tension created promises of disaster. With any movement of the hand, it's position can shift in unpredictable ways. With the effort of greater possession and control comes an increased potential for chaos.
This is what it feels like for me to improve parts of my life. When I work on one issue others spin out of control. There is a kind of peace when my hand is cupped and supporting the weight of what I am. But it's not the kind of peace that allows change. It's a caged kind of peace with no hope for change. It's keeping on. It's standing still. It's still waters.
I want the water to flow.
This is the struggle with coming back to my work, back to the world of art and nature and words, and all of the amazingly beautiful people I know who embrace those things. I'm fighting for it but the path is murky and hampered with my strong willed tug of war between the need to survive and the desire to thrive.
I have been away from a part of myself for quite a long time. But I feel a reunion bubbling up.
I like to write about what I feel and experience. There's always a little hesitation on my part however, when it comes to writing about the gathering of energy toward a path. Sharing that energy in words seems to dissipate, or dissolve, it. I think that's why a lot of artist often won't show or talk about work until it's finished. Sharing it would destroy it. We need that tension to push us into the compulsion to make/do/create.
Or, some of us do.
I know that if I don't have that itchy feverish need to get the beauty I feel out of my body and into the world where I can see it, it will probably remain inside, vague and undefined. Looking at other people's work awakens that beauty, sharpens it, engorges it, so that it demands fresh air. At least, it has been lately and I'm so grateful. It's fueling a reunion with part of myself I've missed.
Made with Procreate on iPad and JaJa Hex3 (stylus)
I'm teaching myself to work/draw/paint/etc on my new iPad. I'm all set up with a stylus (JaJa Hex3) and a paint app (Procreate) - along with the one I idlely played with before the stylus (Paper).
There has definitely been some rewiring of artistic neural pathways to get my hands to do things in different ways to get the results on the screen that I'm looking for. But, the immediacy of it appeals to my instant gratification (IG) personality. It's also pretty remarkable to be able to mix pastel with marker and oil paint, without contamination or a major mess. That appeals to my IG self too, in that, when I'm done, there's no clean up and I'm on to the next thing. Love that.
I'm thinking of sharing some of the things I create here, possibly on a regular basis. I really want to call it a didgital painting a day project, but the second I do that, I'll chafe at the expectation and it won't last more than a few days. So, how about you and I both know it's going to be something along those lines, but I won't say it out loud, It will be our secret. Deal?
Don't expect too terribly much. It's been a very long time since I did any painting at all. And I'm learning to use all this tech still. And, I need to work on my drawing skills. (All of my college professors would be so pissed at my disclaimers. "Never apologise for the work you are presenting.") Sorry professors. =0)
Lately, all the energy that I would ordinarily put into blogging has been going into the "a rooted flow" project. I'm not complaining. In truth, I'd probably not be blogging much if I wasn't participating in this project. Not that I don't want to. I'm just miserable at self motivating. The project, as it was partly designed to, has forced me into writing, thinking, making art, and sharing. Thank goodness. In lue of blog posts, I thought I would share, on occation, project enteries that I feel particularly attaqched to. But, if you feel the inclination, do have a look at the project page (link above "A Rotted Flow") because my partner has had some beautiful words and imagaes to share as well.
Week 10 : Creativity
This is another one of those words which I have a hard time really pinning down it's meaning within the context of popular vernacular. Without going too deeply down the rabbit hole which is my brain working out these kinds of riddles, I will just say that I find it puzzling when people are spoken of as either being or not being creative. How can it be that a human being isn't creative? Every time we solve a problem, tweak a tool's purpose, make a friend, share an idea, have (literally create) a child, etc... we are being creative. We all do creativity, everyday.
Clearly, most people are talking about a specific kind of creativity upon uttering the word. They are speaking of an artistic ability. But, I have to say that I just reject that. I feel like it puts up too many walls between people who are supposedly artistic and those who are not. That rankles because I believe that we all have artists inside of us. We are talked out of knowing that part of ourselves and guided away from knowledge that would allow us to explore and express that artistic side, as our lives progress. The lucky few are encouraged and/or educated in a way that they are able to seek out or remain connected to that part of themselves. Or, some of us are just so infected and enamored by the love for artistic expression that we have only the choice between pursuing it or going mad. And I do mean that, mostly literally. My struggle with depression is far greater when I cannot work (artistically).
It honestly kills me just a little bit when people say they are not artistic or creative because they cannot draw. The truth is that drawing is a skill that is taught and learned. It's a skill that requires one to relearn how to see three dimensional objects and convert them into two dimensional objects in their head so that they may render them on paper. That is a tricky thing to do. It take education and a whole lot of practice. Some people learn it faster than others. That is the only difference. (This of course excludes situations wherein there may be a learning difference or cognitive issue that would hinder learning this skill) The same can be said about learning and then committing to our subconscious knowledge skills related to composition, color theory, painting techniques, etc.
Yes, I do recognize that there are differences between people who never get truly good at art and those who do. I would propose, however, that those differences have much more to do with 1. having something they desperately needs to be expressed within themselves (which might be caused merely by having a brain that focuses on the emotional consequences of life over the logical), 2. having a strong preference for, drive toward, need of artistic expression (as opposed to those who are perfectly content to keep those feelings and experiences to themselves) and 3. being taught, being encouraged and being brave.
I think that may be the bottom line for me. When other's see creativity, or talent, or art... I see a person being brave.
The image above is something new for me. I don't usually do artistic pieces involving people. This is me being brave.
I'm so excited by a new project I am undertaking with my very favorite project buddy, and wonderful friend, Cory Janiak. It's called "a rooted flow", which is akin to the quote by Virginia Woolf, "I am rooted but I flow."
It's a simple thing really. Cory provides us with a concept which have been randomly assigned, in her highly efficient scientific way, to each week for a year. We then respond to that concept visually and with words. Simple but ripe for profound discovery. It's a way for us to connect, to ourselves and to each other.
She lives on the east coast, I on the west. She had her son in late December 2013; I had mine 8 years ago. She is a scientist; I am an artist. But, we both love the sea, we are both long-time vegetarians, we love our cameras, we seek out the creative as a context in which to live our lives, we think about things in meaningful ways, we seek out an appreciation for the moment, we are supportive and generous, and we love projects. Aren't we lucky we found each other?
I hope you stop by now and again to see what we are up to. You can find us by clicking the link above or here: a rooted flow