There are times when I just don’t feel like painting. I don’t know what to paint, and I lack the energy to commit creation to canvas. These times can last from a day to two months.
My mind starts to wonder if I have lost the desire or the talent to paint. My mentor, Rassouli, says that I am building up bewilderment. It feels like a teakettle. You don’t sense much happening as it simmers along on the stove. Then all of a sudden things burst forth with a trumpet blare and a release of imaginative action.
In the beginning, I worried about how long my creative juices would lie dormant and when the teakettle would sing. Now I just go with the flow. I have seen these down times as periods of major growth in my technique. While I continue to create and develop myself, I know I will never arrive at what some may call perfection. I choose to define mastery as the art of seeking perfection knowing that you will never get there. The soul must be willing to pursue the destination as well as the result.
This has been the first time in my life that I have given myself permission to let the work come at its own pace. In my business, I drive and direct and take constant action to make things happen. In my painting, art is in the driver’s seat. It’s as though I live in two different worlds that each run parallel in my existence. They must have been there my entire life and I just didn’t know. I think often of Frost’s “The Road Less Traveled”, and I feel that both those roads exist within my spirit. Sometimes I choose the one less traveled, and that fuels my creative side.
I am so grateful to have found access to the other side of myself, to my inner road less traveled. It gives me the freedom to express myself without having to meet a standard or reach a goal or be good enough. I really don’t even have to have done my best.
This week, look for your own road less traveled, and take a few baby steps toward your artistic destiny. Relish the rest and rejuvenation that comes with not knowing what to paint. Allow yourself to be led by your spirit, and let the journey inspire and delight you.