Recovering a sense of Strength
As I've been pretty sick with the bronchial asthma, I didn't do too much on the physical side of the tasks but I did focus on the theory.
In this chapter, Julia talks of how artists can be deeply wounded by harsh criticism. Constructive criticism is fine because it helps our creative growth but criticism that is harsh and has no real foundation can be crippling. Teachers and mentors can often be the main culprits as they will put a blanket judgement over our creative efforts without bothering to acknowledge the creative potential that is there. We must learn to move through this painful time by acknowledging it. The trick is to convert the emotional pain into energy. We must reach for and focus on what we want. When hit by loss, we must ask "What next?" not "Why me?".
When one avenue of creativity is blocked, find another. The key to recovery is to take action.
Saying we are too old to attempt something creative is a cop out. It's an evasive tactic to avoid facing our fear. This also occurs at the other end of the scale....young people will say that they will do something creative when they retire. Again, it is a fear-based excuse.
Julia makes a good point that creativity occurs in the moment and that, in that moment, we are timeless. Our fear, not time, is what truly holds us back. The journey of a thousand miles begins with with just one step. By focusing on the doing in each 'now' moment, we live the adventure, whereas focusing only on the end result can often feel like it is out of our reach.
It can help to break a goal down into smaller steps and just focus on doing those steps one at a time and eventually we will reach the goal. Even the simplest of actions is taking a step in the right direction.
I didn't realise I was creatively talented until I was well into my late thirties and that realisation came by total accident. I must say that, since I took up art, I have had nothing but support and encouragement from my family and friends so I don't think I can blame criticism for any creative blocks I may be dealing with.
I turned 50 this year and, while I am happy with my achievements to date, there is so much I want to try artistically. As I've noted in previous posts, my desire to try out different art forms often leaves me feeling confused about which one to focus on, thereby, never taking that first step forward. From this chapter, I have re-learned that, instead of procrastinating over what direction I want to take, I should just do something in line with my art...anything, even something small! It's a whole lot better than wasting time procrastinating which only leads to me doing nothing anyway....such a waste of time!
I can take the small steps first.....I can refill the dirty water jars with fresh water, I can prepare some fresh stay-wet palettes, I can put a coat of gesso on a canvas, I can tidy up my art space, I can do some sketching or doodling, etc.....all those small actions are part of the bigger picture. I can make a committment to take one small creative action daily and live the adventure instead of just thinking about it.
One of the exercises was to choose a colour and describe ourselves as that colour -
I am blue! Cool, calming, peaceful and spiritual though, like the ocean, I have many moods. I can be soft like a dawn sky or vibrant and strong like a stormy sea. My deepest blue is my portal to the spiritual realms where I connect with my soul.
Did I do my morning pages? Every day except one due to being so sick.
Did I go on my artist date? I'm counting our country drive as an artist date because, even though others were with me, I did go exploring on my own and it was fun and refreshing.
Did I experience any synchronicity? I found it interesting that The Joy Diet topic for this same week was about taking one creative action daily. This is where I should hit myself over the head and say.....read the signs, girl! Read the signs!
Any issues significant to my creative recovery? The realisation that I need to just do.....take the small steps instead of procrastinating and wasting time.
Silly me - In this post, I mistakingly thanked one of our Artist Way members for sending me an unsigned postcard as one of our assignments from week six of The Artist's Way. I didn't realise at the time that the postcard, in fact, came from Ricë Freeman-Zachary advertising her latest book - Creative Time and Space - which looks like a fabulous book I might add. The neat timing of receiving a postcard on creating time and space didn't escape my attention. Yet another sign that perhaps I am on the right track?
Anywhoo, my apologies and sincerest thanks goes out to debra as I DID receive your lovely postcard in the mail today! It was a lovely surprise!