you live as long as you dance

Posted in: Painting, Spirit

"You live as long as you dance" was a mantra Rudolf Nureyev practiced throughout his celebrated career.

I also heard himsay in a televised interview that if he didn’t dance daily he would become physicallyill. His body was so used to this daily practice that it became essential tohis well being.

It is rather unlikelythat I will reach the heights of success and expertise of Nureyev. (I am ofcourse talking about as a visual artist. It is nigh on impossible that anoverweight middle-aged vertically-challenged women could ballet dance at all –let alone with a degree of professionalism.) But I do agree with his mantra ofdaily practice.

As I was working towards the deadline of my last show I enjoyed the daily grind of turning up to thecanvas. At the time it can feel repetitive and painstaking, but I love it.

Now as I worktowards my next body of work there is lots of time spent planning, visualising,exploring and thinking about where to next, and subsequently hardly any timeactually making. It is part of the process of course, but I do miss that dailygrind. I get irritable, cranky, out of sorts. I guess because standing at alarge canvas engrossed in the finer detail of a work, oblivious to the dayaround me, is a sort of meditation. It’s a time when I use a different part ofmy mind, and commune with God. And all the great spiritual teachings encouragemeditation as a daily practice to make living more enjoyable

So what can I do toremedy this deprivation – as I’m not yet ready to start painting? The answer: Ihave determined to do a daily drawing – small works or ideas that I want toexplore. They are unstructured, unplanned play outings, spending time with myselfand my Higher Power.

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