A Knocking on the Door

“Art is when you hear a knocking from your soul — and you answer.” ~Terri Guillemets

In my first Post, I talked about the difficulties of writing the first post!  But my goal is to share the circuitous, messy, illogical, frequently interrupted evolution of my art, not my angst about writing.  Whether my art is any good or not is of no consequence.  What matters to me is what I have learned from pursuing art, and sharing what I have learned with you.   Perhaps you will gain some inspiration, encouragement or insight into your own creative life. There is scant little encouragement in this world for anything other than making money.

By the 1990’s I had given up the recreational drugs of my tumultuous youth. Drugs had given my life the illusion of deep and profound creativity.  When you’re high on pot or mushrooms or acid, washing the dishes or putting on your socks will feel like the most creative, artistic, amazing thing you have ever done!

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And although there may be some Zen/Amish truth to that, I found my life Post Drugs to be lacking something.  Not being a religious person, and finding the New Age Movement of the time to be unsatisfying, I turned to art.

My journey began with reading “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain” by Betty Edwards back in the early 90’s and “The Power of Your Other Hand” by Lucia Capacchione.

Also “Life, Paint and Passion” by Michell Cassou and Stewart Cubley were helpful in overcoming my biggest obstacle: ME.

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These books introduced me to the idea of letting go and having fun with the process of art.  What a concept!  Like most of us I grew up in a world Of Nay Sayers; “No, you have to stay within the lines”, or “No, that’s not the right color for a cat”, or “What the hell is that!?” It was difficult to let go of voices that I had long since internalized and made my own.

The Voice of Reason always made an appearance too:  “you will never make a living with art, why bother?”, or “ there are lots of talented starving artists out there “, or “you have to go to college, you have to have connections, you have to make money, you have to sell your soul,  be practical, get a real job…etc. etc.”

All these voices would usually kick in before I even broke out the brushes or pencils.  Paralyzed once again, I would do something practical like get a second job or Do the Dishes.

I saw an ‘inspirational’ saying on Facebook that said, “What you do when you are procrastinating is what you are meant to do with your life” If that is true, then my life is meant to be playing Sims, or binge watching the Shannara Chronicles.  I refuse to believe this is true.

It was during the worst 4 years of my life that I finally gave up the need for art to be anything but a means of expressing myself.  Seems simple enough, but this represented a huge breakthrough for me, and the journey began in earnest..

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