Following this weeks theme of P-R-O-C-R-A-S-T-I-N-A-T-I-O-N I had “no time” for creating this week. I spent most of my free time preparing for a bake sale. We are raising funds to support Turning Points Network . This organization works to end domestic and sexual violence- tis a noble cause and it is also, perhaps, sugary resistance.
Last week I started discussing the book The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. You may recall Steven tackled his subject by dividing it into three main parts. The first section is about resistance “the enemy of creativity”. He discusses the many ways resistance can creep, seep and even ambush an artist. Self deception, (“no time”) self sabotage, ( I have to …fill in the blank with anything other than create) and self corruption ( I will just watch one more episode of SVU) something most folk refer to as a writer’s block is what he calls resistance. Resistance can bring on subtle behaviors that may be hard to recognize for what they are. Noble causes, like baking 🙂 or taking care of the others or saying yes to more one more thing, can be signs of resistance at work. Resistance can also be one hot mess of appalling behaviors that anyone from far away can recognize. What our loved ones may not know about is why. Artist may be drinking too much or moving all the time or eating to excess? Resistance to our true calling may be a part of these behaviors. Steven talks about resistance as being ” like the Alien or the Terminator” is cannot be reasoned with it is implacable and insidious. The lies we will believe about why we are not creating are immeasurable! Steven has a long list of the characteristics of resistance “impersonal and infallible ” are two that might be dogging you. He says “the more important a call to action is to our soul’s evolution, the more resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.” Steven writes that “resistance is also universal, plays for keeps and never sleeps. Resistance aims to kill our most priceless gift-its target is our being: genius, our soul, the unique gift that we alone posses.” It is what keeps me from getting into my studio which can seem like such a chore but is indeed a mere 15 steps away. Steven writes that resistance in an inside job which is fueled by fear. I remember the first time I heard this statement I was at an AA meeting. A big part of the AA program is taking responsibility for our actions. Remembering that the only thing I have ANY remote chance of controlling is myself. Simple and profound and I use it’s wisdom often but had not yet made the connection to my periods of little to no creativity. I think Steven brings up some topics that are worthwhile considering especially if you have “always wanted to write a book but…have a script half written…. or have been meaning to finish that song”. A word to the wise, be vigilant because when the finish line is in sight resistance may just “hit the panic button and marshal one last assault and slam us with everything that it’s got.” If you read this book you can familiarize yourself with some of the lesser known procrastination tactics we and our loved ones deploy on our creativity. Perhaps you will be able to recognize resistance for what it is and stay the course! Next week I will review the topic Steven refers to as “turning Pro”.
Below is the painting I got to this week.I found myself with no enthusiasm for painting the live model. I am struggling with my drawing skills-I think I will use charcoal next week. I worked on the demo for art class while waiting for the paint to dry on the live model. Serendipitously Studio 360 had a podcast about resistance called “Finishing School” Check it out!
Until next week- Peace- Bec
Exersice for class- Study of Ida Ten Eyck O’Keefe’s Banana Tree Leaves 1939
The first day of spring is a little bit loaded for me, it is similar to the way I used to feel on Christmas eve. The world feels full of promise everything is reaching towards what might be and where am I? What surprises will this spring bring? Last night saw me at the ER as my partner saw flashes and floaters. He was resistant to going to the hospital but I “have read enough to be dangerous” and knew he should get this checked out. We called the ask a nurse line which led to a call to the on call doctor and a trip to the ER. What grand new presents will be out there for me? Chris is going to be fine-the eye doctor came in on a Sunday to double check what the ER doctor saw. He has to go back to see a specialist in a couple of weeks. The eye doctor says this happens a lot as we age and that our brain will adjust and we won’t even notice after a while. Insidious this aging process. Everyday that goes by has me wondering more and more – how long do I do the secure thing at the expense of doing what I know I should be doing? Take a big bite out of the Christmas cake and the sweet promises of “working for the man” at the cost of using my youth to line the pockets of others and now to try to make the world a batter place. Life is short and before I realize it will be Christmas again and where will the promises of spring be? I hope they will be witnessed in my paintings! I keep coming back to the need to paint. I am reading The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. He writes about how blocks can be worked through. The book is divided into 3 parts- resistance, professionalism and “The Higher Realm”. The theme I keep running into is -paint- paint everyday- paint-paint- paint. The muses smile on those who put the work in….resistance comes in many forms. I will come back to The War of Art as I want to talk more about this book but I have already written much today and I still need to show you what I have been up too!
I got my google account straightened out-so I have some picture to show you! YAY! In Fraser Point Flowers you can see I added a few trees in the foggy back ground. Then I am trying to pump up the vibrancy in the flowers as I thought the water was jumping in front of the flowers. It is still not quite “right” and I am not sure I can get it to do what I want but I am going to try one more trick to see if I can neutralize the aqua just a wee bit.
WIP- almost done just want to tone down the aqua behind the flowers a bit…then heading off to Cindy Vezina as a thank you for all the great worh she has done over the years!
WIP- this was last weeks post.
This painting is a study to I am doing to help demonstrate to my students how to paint barns. Class ended last week- it was happy/sad. I really enjoyed working with these folks but I have been sick and staying out late has
left me exhausted. I wish I had half the energy I had when I was 30! The reference photo is from a book- Shaker Life, Art, And Architecture – Hand to Work and Hearts to God by Scott Swank. It is a picture of the Church Family Horse Barn. Built in 1819 and restored in 1990.
Lastly weeks ten and eleven of live model. Peace- Out till next week!
I have had to most exhausting week-it started with a low grade fever last weekend and has gone down hill from there…in between doctors appointments I wandered into a book store and was surprised to see hundreds of adult coloring books. My partner made the comment that those were for the non-creative people and I found myself defending the movement- “therapy blah-blah”. After thinking about this for a while I think in way he is right what is wrong with a blank sheet of paper? Why the need to create something that is pretty or nice or even identifiable? If I had a nickle for every person that has told me they can’t draw- I could pay the electric bill this month(inflation). Seriously it pains me to think how many people do not “do art” because they had someone tell them, pick on them or otherwise that they could not draw,paint,sing, etc. Sure great artist probably have an innate ability but most of us just need to put in the time. To practice what bring us joy.
I thought I was done with this painting but after looking at it for a couple of weeks I decided it needed some more work. I will have to show you that work next week as I am locked out of google photos and every other google product currently :). I signed up for better security and I secured my self right out of everything ! More to come- I am also working on a barn picture demo for my watercolor class and a winter scene and the let us not forget the almighty live model sessions week ten. Next week is sure to be packed with art.
On the Media today is a book called Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. It came out last year and while I would not recommend buying it as it is not particularly well written. I would get it from the library and skim it if you are someone who has always wanted to draw, paint, write, sing. I think you will find a tid bit or two to help you move in that direction. One thing she writes about that has stuck with me is that creative ideas have a life of their own and if they come to us and we do not work with them they will wander off to another artist who makes the time for them. This is interesting to me-and I wonder if it is true. I remember Shawn from grade school she was making these vegetable cartoons characters. As an adult I saw veggie tales and realized that these were Shawn’s characters. I have no idea if she has anything to do with them but I have looked for her name and have not found it yet (she could be using her married name- I hope). I have an idea that has been haunting me and I need to get on it before it moves to another artist. Ok-Over and out for this week- Peace- Becky
Normally I bury the “On the Media” section deep in the blog today I want to be sure that you all visit this website ArtLifting. I am enamored with their mission. They are a for profit business that is helping artists who are homeless and/or differently abled. Good stuff!
I have had a busy week here are the finished fruits!
Below is week 9 of live model- I have no idea where I was going with this! 🙂 I was using Holbein paints Quinacridone Violet and Scarlet Lake.