|acrylic, pencil, paint pen, water soluble oil pastel and scrap paper on watercolor paper|
Tonight was one of those nights that the couch and a forgettable book were calling my name. I didn't want to have to think about anything, particularly not what "masterpiece" I should create today. I've had my share of nights like this in the last 70 days, when I realize that it's nearing midnight and I haven't created anything yet. A few months ago I would have talked myself right out of it. "I'm too tired. I don't have any ideas. I'm not inspired to make anything," went the old excuses. "I'll make art tomorrow," I would have told myself, and tomorrow would turn into the next 20 tomorrows.
But these days, I'm learning that finding the time and energy to create something is my way of showing up for myself (and for my muse.) I'm learning that inspiration comes when I am working, elbow deep in paints and papers, or just a sketchbook and a pencil. I still have to remind myself: you get out of it what you put into it. It is worth the time and effort and energy. Showing up lets my muse know that I'm ready to take on anything she sends my way.
So tonight, despite my laziness, I realized I really did want to make art. I told myself, "Self, just put in ten minutes. Turn to a random page in your art journal, grab the closest tool, and make something."
I'm slowly getting over the notion that I have to start with an idea, or end with something that's worthy of the time I put in. These are both things that so often kept me from even beginning. I see that now!
I can't sit around waiting for my style to emerge or the next big idea to materialize. If I want to be an artist, I have to practice. I have to put paint to paper. I have to be willing to make bad art, and a lot of it.
So these days (and hopefully ever after) the focus is on the process. I show up, I play with my art tools, I make the gestures and I see what comes out of me- AND I pay very close attention to the ups and downs I am having. This piece was all rapid gestures, fluid lines, my hands and heart guiding me. My mind had very little to do with it really as it was busy processing the realization that turned into this writing.
Sometimes art is what comes out of you when you surrender to the moment, when you follow your heart and let your hands move how they will. Art is what comes out of you when you show up with the intention of...showing up. And nothing more.