blessing of time

Of late I have been stuck at home recuperating from surgery. What a strange blessing this has turned out to be. Suddenly I have time to listen and reflect. Most recently I listened to Amy Tan speak about where creativity comes from. It got me thinking.

Why is it that I can paint? What purpose does this meet? Is it just a random thing, a quirk of my DNA or is there a reason for it?

I have spent many hours over the years thinking about my role in life and what I am 'meant" to be doing, and how making art fits into this. All I ever got in the end was a headache and bit depressed (because I couldn't figure it out).

Relating to this is a part of Amy’s address I particularly enjoyed. She spoke of how her writing process starts with a question or moral ambiguity and how she uses the process of writing to come to some understanding of it. Tied into this she spoke of how she can’t focus too much on what the book is about (ie the moral ambiguity she is investigating) because then it becomes about the idea and not the idea itself. She says “what you were supposed to find is no longer there”

That is how I feel about painting. I don't know why I have to paint the things I paint; why I am drawn to what I am drawn to. It is in theprocess of making it that the answers become more known - not through the thinking. Somehow in the making the idea starts to run through my fingers and becomes tangible, slowly takes shape as it presents itself to me. However the minute I think I have it understood and proceed to represent the idea it constricts,chokes and dies – leaving a flat two-dimensional vignette of itself.

So after all these years of using logic and reason to figure'it' out I have to come back again to the point of faith; Faith in the artistic gift that I have, the desire to create, and in the idea itself that is asking to be made manifest. My job is to be faithful, to take the action and stop tryingto figure it out first. 

It matters most what I do, not, how I feel.


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