Time to Play…
Are you hearing an invitation to come out of hibernation and play? After the long quarantine, does everything appear to be brighter, more colorful, more alive, and precious than it did a year ago? How does it feel to have the sun on your arms, the breeze blowing through your hair, the cool, fresh air filling your lungs? Does the world look greener to you? Are you noticing that the birds are singing more sweetly and there are more butterflies than there were a year ago? I am noticing my feet wanting to dance and my voice hum along with the melody of summer. I am filled with a sense of vitality and aliveness that was not present a year ago.
I remember feeling this way often as a child. Starting each summer day with a sense of joy and adventure - wondering how the day might unfold and what treasures would reveal themselves to me. Where would my day take me; visit the fairies of the woods, fishing for quahogs with my toes in the ocean, drawing page after page of magical horses in the art room, a spooky abandoned house to explore, a horse ride through the sunlit fields, giggly gatherings with friends or family? At some point, the welcoming of my new day of possibilities changed into gritting my teeth and an unsatisfactory sense of accomplishment about getting through my many “to-do” lists before an exhausted sleep.
Somewhere along the way, I got caught up measuring my artistic value according to the judgment of others. As a consequence, my own artistic voice has become more about showing off my technical skills and hard-earned knowledge. My portfolio features lots of “safe” conventional topics that generate approval, earn money or win awards. The expectation that my work has to be more accomplished than the incredible students I teach shut down the voice of my muse to such a degree that for many years I was only able to complete one artwork a year. Those few paintings felt more like a wrestling match with my subject, than juicy, creative play.
This year I am inviting JOY and FUN to fill every area of my life - especially my painting. Breaking free from the armor I created over the years is really uncomfortable and awkward. Letting go of my attachment to the outcome, embracing the messy process and being vulnerable enough to create really bad art is not going to be easy. Can I make it playful? Can I have fun? Can I let it be easy and effortless? I am excited to see how this quest to embrace my imperfections unfolds and what treasures are revealed to me.
What would make your creative process more enjoyable? Would you like to join me in creating more fun, freedom, and self-expression in your art? Please reach out to me and let’s talk. Sign up for my book club and my new art adventures to share in the group fun we can create together.
With light and delight,