Friday, 31 August 2007


Compromising is a topic that came up during the March 2007 Santa Barbara art workshop I took with painter *Nancy Reyner from Santa Fe, NM. Nancy talked about compromises and how they can affect us in the studio when we are painting. It all starts with our first choice, and when we compromise that, we set the stage for compromising everything.

Let’s say you want to paint a really big painting, say 40” x 50” but you already have several smaller sized canvas in your studio. Remember the big painting is a metaphor for whatever you want to create – a new business, a tidy & organized kitchen, a restful day, write a chapter of your novel, a better relationship with your partner, etc. The big idea is the real dream.

So, in the case of the studio artist, you decide to compromise and use the smaller canvases you have in your studio. You justify it to yourself that you’re saving money not getting the bigger canvas, saving time for the trip to the art store, and the underlying belief that accompanies these non-actions is; “that it’s Ok ‘cause I’m not really worth it anyways”. You tell yourself a good little story about why you’ll just make do with what you have. So here is your first compromise.

Now you have set the painting session for compromise, what’ll it be next? You don’t have the exact shade of yellow you envisioned – you wanted to use Naples yellow but heck that’s special order historic color so you’ll just use that old tube of yellow ochre will do? The pallet knife you have has a broken handle, but oh well, it’ll do. See what’s going on here? Compromises and Energy drain!

So we end up with a half baked painting that really wasn’t what we were dreaming at all. Or a day where we had planned something special for ourselves, but let other things get in the way…We let the compromises win out and the energy drains away…

And it all started with our first compromise with ourselves when we didn’t really follow our heart, the spiritual direction, our inspiration i.e. in-SPIRIT-ation – we were sent initially about what we were really supposed to do.

So, it takes guts and bravery to learn to go for what we really want from the start. It takes trust that the original thought came from a higher place and are orders to be followed, not ignored, compromised, or worse – utterly case aside. And it takes belief in ourselves, that we are WORTH IT – worth the big canvas, the best paints, the new pen, the 10 minutes of writing time towards that novel….Because we lose energy every time we waiver from our original inspiration and compromise our true desires. We also lose trust in the Great Creator who intends us all to create abundantly and follow our dreams.

So, on that note, I’m off to follow through on my intention for today of my artist’s date with myself to visit a new gallery in town here in Santa Barbara. If there’s anything cool worth mentioning I will let you know! Thanks for reading. Keep painting. Love, Deb

*(Nancy is the author of The Acrylic Revolution a great book for starting to learn about mixed media painting with acrylics.)

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