This photo speaks volumes to me and I hope I'll find the words to communicate it in this post.
I truly giggled out loud when I snapped it and looked at it. I didn't intentionally set it up this way, but the annoyed glare of the painting on the left and the peaceful almost worshipful and confident painting on the right spoke a message that was impactful to me in that moment.
You see, I'm doing a new thing that is crazy out of the box uncomfortable, but super exhilarating at the same time. Talk about two ends of the spectrum and feeling every emotion in between.
About a month ago, I began a year long journey and commitment to go deeper in developing my skill and vision as an artist. The Milan Art Institute Mastery Program is what I chose to invite into this process.
They are amazing and encouraging and really believe that I can do it and impart that belief into me every time I log on and hit the play button. I believe their words! I buy in every time!
Those voices that start their chattering when your doing a new thing and stretch just a little beyond what feels good were getting a little louder during this particular exercise. I find that getting in the right frame of mind of overcoming that opposition and just jumping in and making that first mark is like a blow to those voices that makes them quiet a bit.
My first attempt at creating a portrait in oils was, to say the least, like being in a foreign country and not knowing how to ask where the bathroom was. The aim was clear, but how to get there was not going to happen. I tried desperately to follow the instructions and create along, but got
so inside my head and those oppositional voices took over and I laid paint where I thought it should go and instead of listening and receiving instruction.
This was the first layer.
Trying desperately to keep up and not fall behind and imposing burdens on myself that no one else was, I began to notice that what was inside of me was being imparted into the piece I was creating. Her face was showing my fear of failure, the pressure only i was putting on myself. No one was living in this reality but me and she was showing the signs.
I tried harder and harder over working the painting
until I had to stop.
I began to recognize and be aware of what I was doing and how I was feeling and how it was being manifested right in front of me on this canvas.
My heart sank as I cleaned my brushes and palette and left the studio defeated.
I've been an artist really all my life, I kept saying to myself..."but you've done this, you've been here, you've created pieces that have sold for significant prices, why can't you do this?!"
As I evaluated the sessions with this piece, I began to realize those voices have my tone and pitch. It's my voice that says these things and that I am my own worst opposition.
So, I told her to shut up! and I chose to go back and listen to the words of the instructors and the voice of my Creator. These voices never speak abusive and limiting things to me.
How many times do we try to drag our old selves into a new season?
When we choose to do a new thing, we cannot take the old us into it. There must be a closing of a door and a shaking off of pieces of ourselves that will be just useless as we move ahead.
So, after this experience, with a surrendered perspective, I arrived in the studio with the same lesson ready to play, put on a Lady GaGa song and danced my butt off, got in the right side of my brain and when the song was over, I hit play.
Isn't it refreshing and encouraging when we can get a do over?
With a fresh, clean, never touched before canvas, blobs of oils freshly squeezed from the tubes, and a surrendered heart determined to just be in the moment, a new session began.
The approach and each brushstroke was different because I was different.
Though she's not complete, there is peace and beauty because there was peace in me.
There is light because her creator (me) was experiencing light.
She will shine because I gave myself permission to shine in the moment.
Sometimes, we just have to tell those voices to Shut Up and Simply Shine.