It’s funny the timing of the universe because just as I was in process with what would turn out to be the last six paintings of this series (time constraints and a show deadline helped determine this) I had just started taking an online/teleclass class on becoming a Kaizen Muse Creativity Coach. In the first class one of the instructors, Jill Badonsky, talked about how it’s common in when we immerse ourselves in creative endeavors – like painting a body of work, re-decorating our home, writing a novel, new job, new relationship, etc.- to be excited in the beginning and then mid-way loose interest. She was saying this because it might happen with the class we were just starting.
I laughed internally as she spoke these words because it was happening to me right now, in the middle of this body of work. My show deadline was fast approaching, I had six paintings in process but not completed and I was ‘bored’, ‘no longer interested’, ‘out of inspiration’ and whatever other word you can come up with for basically not enjoying the process and not being able to finish the job.
The solution, Jill explained was in understanding the excitement often carries us through in the beginning of a project, but good habits and positive self talk will carry us through the end. I resolved to get in my studio every morning and look at the paintings, *even if it was just for a minute. I also embraced her catch phrases; “Close enough! Good enough!” These helped tremendously at hte very end to get the paintings out of hte studio and h ung at Sojourner Cafe.
[*Note – doing something for one minute a day is an extremely powerful way to over ride the resistance, fear, boredom, procrastination, etc. How this kaizen theory works (Japanese for small step) is explained beautifully in Dr. Rober Maurer’s book One Small Step Can Change your Life the Kaizen Way.]
So, one morning, I went into my studio first thing and looked at all six of those last paintings laid out on the counter top. I worked on two of the paintings but I was stuck on the two diptychs. It was then that the words flew out of me and I ‘wrote them’ in gesso on the red ground I had pre-painted; “I must not get too caught up in all the details.” As well I was stuck with “ I need to let go and go deeper into the wild unknown of abstraction”. After writing the words and letting them dry several days later I still felt stuck on how to progress. I think part of me knew inside what I wanted to do, but part of me was afraid to let go and go for it. Scared to move forward, Ever had that feeling?
A couple of days later I went hiking with two friends Lisa and Lori. Lori Katz is a friend of Lisa’ visiting from San Fran whom Lisa had been telling me about for months. She’s been painting for well over 15 years and is a dedicated studio artist. I figure I’d ask her opinion with being stuck on this work while we hiked. She suggested putting the work aside. I told her I didn’t have time. We then talked about other more interesting girly topics like Prada hand bags and jeans that make your ass look great since if you do 5 classes of yoga a week or hike regularly or whatever you are doing to keep your body trim and fit you might as well show off your great ass. We all laughed it was a great hike. Good times. Girlfriends rock.
I got home and I had the courage to finish the paintings. Pouring black paint all over those nice little white squares. It was liberating. I love those two sets of paintings!