June 11, 2015
ways to get painting
To be clear in the beginning, I love what I do and I would, for nothing in the world, change the fact that I am an artist. A painter, most of the days. There has been one thing though, whatever I was up to, I always had been struggling with . And for many years, it made me wonder, if I am a real artist at all. Many years and even more sleepless nights. Many of my collegues explode with ideas, with energy and with pleasure when riding the infamous flow. I have never been like that. Though I love painting and, that it is the one thing in life, that makes me the happiest. Almost nothing else gives me that amount of feeling accomplished and fulfilled, but working on a painting or a project. But, of course you knew there will be a BUT, things will never run smoothly for me. At least not for long. I basically had to force myself to get in the studio and to get started. Procrastination overload every single day. It was even harder to bring up the dicipline to keep going. Because once things are running, when the paint grows on the canvas or an installation is starting to take shape, my mind would start running too. Like the heart of a marathon woman, it is pumping and spinning, more hard by the minute, in wider circles every hour. Everything that bothers me; my problems, maybe an argument with the husband, a sick family member or money issues, once the work was building up, my sorrows were too.
For many years, I have believed this has to be overcome the hard way. I've kept pushing harder and harder, earning nothing but pain. Or I'd believe, that it was a sign of things not being right. Even, that I am a complete failure, had been in the picture more than once. And that I do not want it enough, this artist life.
Today things are very different. I have met many others with similar panic attacks, if you like to call them that, and with a tendency to think too much while working in the studio. It is not that uncommon. There are simply many different types of artists and each and every one of them might have a different approach to their work. Not getting lost in the process has nothing to do with quality or with the fact, that you are in the wrong spot and that you should rather look into changing your career. Absolutely nothing.
These days I am so much more able to trust my skills and the quality I am capable to produce. And I have somehow learned how to deal with that busy brain of mine. These days when working in the studio, I am simply listening to audio books or podcasts. (Music has never worked for me, as it is far too emotional for me and will get me in the same corner, of my mind going on a rampage). Podcasts though will change my focus. Away from myself into some other topic. This way I am working much calmer, my mind is not going crazy and I can work for hours, while widening my horizon. A quite simple solution, don't you think, to a long lasting struggle.
These days, I love going into the studio and to get going. Sometimes it just is not the bigger picture being wrong, but a tiny detail. A detail that can be changed within the blink of an eye.
P.S. In case this little exposé speaks to you, one of my favourite podcasts these days, got to be Strangers by the amazing Lea Thau (it can be found on KCRW or on ITunes).
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