Monday, August 10, 2009

let it rain painting

I seem to be struggling with words a bit lately. I am in a phase where I am learning and absorbing so much and I just want to keep quiet and allow it all to soak into my being. But I really wanted to share with you something that I learned from this little guy....
He taught me a huge lesson yesterday. He taught me that I can trust myself, trust my inner artist and trust the creative process. He taught me that if I do my part, and just show up at the canvas, the universe (God, higher power..whatever) will take care of the rest. JUST SHOW UP.

Sometimes, when I think about doing something creative, I get completely paralyzed with fear. I feel like I can't get myself together enough to just start something....anything..because I am obsessed with a beautiful outcome. I am a perfectionist and my art MUST be perfect...otherwise what is the point??? This way of thinking can be completely overwhelming and kept me creatively blocked for years.

Here is what Julia Cameron has to say about this stuff...

"Our ego plays this little trick to keep us from getting started. Instead of allowing ourselves a creative journey, we focus on the length of the trip. 'It's such a long way,' we tell ourselves.

At the heart of the anorexia of artistic avoidance is the denial of process. We like to focus on having learned a skill or on having made an artwork. This attention to final form ignores the fact that creativity lies not in the done but in the doing."

Did you get that???? Creativity lies not in the DONE but in the DOING. Whoa!!! It is so easy for me to forget this, especially working in graphic design and advertising when all that matters to the client is the printed piece that brings in sales.

So back to little elephant guy. When I finally gathered enough courage to show up at the canvas yesterday he is what appeared. I took things one tiny step at a time. I had no idea what I wanted to paint, I just started with one small thing, then another and another. And he was born and I love him.

I LOVE this painting. Not necessarily because it represents any great talent, but because of it's birth process.

So now I am trying to meet authentic creativity where it truly exists.....in the process. I am learning to relax and trust. I am learning, when it rains to let it rain....soak it up!!

22 comments:

  1. Oh, I just love this--your painting, your post, the whole process. Julia C's words are full of wisdom..I definitely need to write that one down and tack it to my inspiration board.

    I've often struggled with the perfectionist problem too. I recently start participating in a "100 in 100" challenge, where I chose my focus to be 100 days of art journal entries. This process has SERIOUSLY helped my spontaneity and freedom in my creative work. I'm not always happy with every page, but it's the PROCESS that matters--making creativity firmly a part of every day life.

    Again, just loved your post. Thank you.

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  2. Just adore you work Ashley and found myself nodding through the whole post, I too deny the process and judge my work on the finished product, which isn't ever going to be the story of the work...you say it so well xo

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  3. It feels really weird to read words that could have come from myself! :-) I know EVERYTHING about feeling it "MUST be perfect...otherwise what is the point???" I still haven´t started painting again because of that.

    I love that painting and your blog makes me think and feel good. :-) Thank you!! ♥

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  4. Love the little elephant. Love your comments about the process.

    It was doing the Artist Way that got me painting!

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  5. lovely painting and post! I can relate and nice to know we are not alone. Gladly we CAN overcome it all...thanks for sharing.

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  6. Your painting is sweet, and the post is great. The Artists Way is such a great book. It is nice to read about others journey through it and to see where it is leading them.

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  7. YOU ARE AMAZING. I love this painting. I love the quote and I love that it speaks to me and to other people.

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  8. I love that cute little guy! And how great that a little elephant can teach us that it is all about the process. Thanks for this post today, I feel more inspired to just enjoy the process in my studio today.

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  9. I love this post, elephant, quote and writing.

    It is SO about the journey. And it is so easy to get caught up in the end point that you miss the journey.

    And elephants... I've been feeling them lately. They are so wise and powerful and deep....but you know what? They are also pretty slow. You forget that. They don't rush along, they go their own pace. If they are rushing, it's something to be afraid of. No one wants to get in the way of a stampeding elephant.

    But go slowly, take the path, let the rain fall. That's elephant, all right.

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  10. STUNNING! Thanks for "showing up".

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  11. Beautiful post. I think you speak to many artists. As Echart Tolle says you need to be present, breath and turn off those thoughts in our head. Looks like a little blue elephant showed up in the space of being.

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  12. You have no idea how I needed this today!
    I think I need to make a date with my Julie Cameron books again!
    wonderful.
    e.

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  13. Hi, love the blog - really cool !

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  14. This is such an inspirational post. Its my first time visiting and i love your little bubble space. :) I understand how you feel coz simply i feel the same way too. Thank you so much for this little push and a reminder. Have a lovely merry happy day and love to yoU!

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  15. What a great post! I really love that elephant - and I love rain!!

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  16. What a beautiful painting and post! It really hit the spot as what we go through as artists. I believe you are in a great path and wonderful things will be coming you way! :)

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  17. GREAT post... love this painting and the meaning behind it.. to just show up and enjoy the process! I freeze up too sometimes & need to be reminded to trust and relax!

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  18. Beautiful. Beautiful story, beautiful sentiment, beautiful painting.

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  19. That is a wonderful painting, and I love that you said he was born and you love him. :-) Its definitely true that your ego can talk you out of the wonderful creative flow. Do you sell your work? If so, you should definitely make prints of that cute little guy! He would fly off the shelves.

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  20. great article~ thank you so much for sharing! i was feeling something similar not too long ago and remembered learning about process... but it's so easy to go back in to the mode of 'oh.. it has to be this or that.' but you reminded me again that you have to enjoy the journey~ and the best past of it is not knowing what the outcome will be~ :)

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