For the past few months I have been experiencing what might be characterized as “artists or painter’s block”. I feel as though all my skill and passion has suddenly disappeared, never to return. Fortunately, I have friends to share this with who understand and can listen. There is some liberation in that as I realize I am not alone with this experience.
I have started doing different things, like looking at more art on the web and in museums and galleries. Exposing myself to art that I don’t understand or necessarily like and expanding my awareness. This feels like time well spent if I can’t seem to find the inspiration to paint.
I do miss painting. To acknowledge that, I make attempts to pick up the brush and put things down without being too concerned with the outcome. Using my left hand instead of my right has been a fun. I am forced to let go of results as there is less control. I’m finding the outcomes a little more interesting and imaginative. In a figure drawing session I found myself creating understandable renderings that had far more character and heart because of the imperfections using my left hand. Of course I had to let go of anyone else looking over my shoulder and wondering what is she here for???? This aspect may be the root to my “block”. I need to let go and try new things so that I can “enter” the work. Perhaps it’s not always going to be “pretty” or “understandable”. And that’s just like me.
Today, I am throwing out subject or intent and will be painting with my left hand working from my heart with no outcome in mind and no expectation other than to enjoy the experience.
Painting without purpose or intent other than to bring myself to the work seems worthy of exploration. I think I’ve been doing the reverse and limited as a result. Ironically, this is also how I have approached life. I’ve had goals, intent, a mission and frequently tried to make things work based on my own limited framework.
“Your Life is Your Art” is the title of a meditation I have that speaks to the artists dream. I want my life to be my art! I think that’s where my inspiration will come from and the only way I can possibly bring myself to the work. That is part of my “artists dream”!