Hey, If you are still hanging in there through this series, give me a shout right here.
I'm truly so glad you are here!
In the journal entry last week, I shared about making that first mark! A not so easy, at times, but so simple concept of breaking through the push back that almost always stops us from creating. A bit about fear and whole lot about overcoming in art, work, life, and more.
Painting the opposite of my pain (those glorious, life giving, 6 words), and Overcoming the push back in making that first mark have been 2 parts of my journey as an artist and a human being on this side of heaven that have informed the next piece I share with you in this journal post.
"Overcoming in Process"
I, for a very short time in high school, was a long distance runner on the track team. Let me just say that I would never ever describe myself as an athlete or anything close to that. I laugh at the thought that I actually did this when I think about it.
Heart pounding, I approached the little line on the track next to the amazons with long legs and zero body fat. I dug in the ball of my starter foot as I was coached to do, leaned in and waited for the starter gun to go off which meant that first step accelerating me into a stride and rhythm that would carry me to the finish line a mile away was about to commence.
I heard it! Off I went! My, not so tall, legs did their thing, but I was lapped by those athletic chicks who seemed to actually enjoy this torment.
I never won a race, never came in second or third unless I count the time that there were only 3 of us running a 2 mile race.
Recounting this short season of my Freshman high school experience, I smile because I now, in my mid 50's, see the value of it and a bit of a comparison in current life.
I never won or placed, but I always finished.
That's some grit that I never gave myself credit for having.
I may have been the one bringing up the rear in every single race, but what I learned in that season was so valuable.
That is being teachable, another thing I didn't value at the time.
Not only did I finish, but despite having experienced the process, I showed up at the starting line for the next race.
evidence of not thinking that what I had done before were failures
In creating art, making that first mark is a bit like hearing that starter pistol and pushing off to run. Now, you're in it! You're running....You are painting, making a series of decisions, interacting with your supplies and materials and praying all those decisions add up to the vision you began with. The goal being a worthy, sellable, well executed end result with a life giving message...that is, in my case, a visual encouragement for the one who will make it a part of their story.
This is the win for me. It's the ribbon, the trophy. It's my why.
Seeing someone connect with my art, knowing that it was uniquely created for them, even before I know them, is the ultimate.......... but the finish line, for this artist, is in the process.
The process isn't a competition against anyone but me and what might limit me, but that's my race to run.
Why would a runner who has never come in first show up at the starter line every time?
In thinking about this, I believe it's because what was happening during the run was more important to me than the ribbon I might receive at the end.
I found myself just as satisfied when I finished, having overcome, aches, tiredness, and out of breath moments, as the joy watching the "winners" receive those ribbons.
I would cheer and smile, even tear up.
I didn't think it was a weird thing until someone pointed out that, to them, it was.
It was weird to them because my ultimate goals were different than theirs.
It remains today that...yes, it's a win win when I step onto the track, get into the race, overcome the limiting thoughts, pressures, lies that sneak in, make marks, create fluid brushstrokes and see a vision come to life in a piece of art.
Overcoming in the process of it all added more depth and information to the final result.
That piece, that final resolved painting, becomes the ribbon that I get to present to someone else that is the reminder that they win.
I have been asked if I keep paintings that I've done and if it's hard to let them go.
I can honestly share that the painting is for me in the process, but when it's complete, it belongs to the one it was created for and I no longer have an attachment to it.
I can look at it in someone else's possession and smile, remember the process in which it was created, but rejoice over the fact that it belongs to the Collector.
Win, Win! Remembering the why and the win, carries us through the process and reminds us to act as overcomers because we are!
Part 4...Finishing Well