Life seems to get away from me. Since getting married almost 2 years ago, it's been a struggle for both Mac and I to figure out some sort of balance in our lives between jobs, kids, church, appointments, daily life grind, and caring for ourselves. Honestly, the "caring for ourselves" has and remains one of the hardest parts! Somewhere along the line, over the past few years, I gave myself permission to put creating the "just for me/ from my heart" kind of art into a 'want' position instead of a 'need' position. I'm not sure how it happened. Perhaps it has just always been an internal battle and evil won. I was believing a lie. I'm confronted with truth when I walk into my studio, just stand and look at my art supplies or pick up a brush and tears just flow from the ache deep inside me. And then I feel afraid. Afraid that I am so lost, I forgot. What if I forgot how to create beautiful pieces of art from my heart? What if I forgot?
What if I forgot? That is like asking if I have forgotten a part of who I am. Amnesia. Yet, the question is still there, deep down. I look around my house and see 95% of my walls covered in my own artwork. I walk in my studio and unearth works in progress and the memory of working on these pieces begins to emerge. I realize, I am not lost. I have not forgotten. I have been stuck. Very dry and stuck.
For the past two days, I was blessed to be able to attend two workshops at Art Unraveled. The Journal Fodder Junkies, Dave and Eric passed out a business card at the beginning of class. One side says this: "INITIATIVE- This card grants the bearer the readiness to begin, the ability to create meaningful work, and the decisiveness to take individual action." The reverse sides reads: PERMISSION- This card authorizes the bearer the make, experiment, and explore with all the rights and responsibilities that come from such acts of creativity and imagination." I needed this card. I wish I had gotten two so I could see both sides at the same time. This class with these guys was about this.... freedom to play and laugh. And oh my gosh, laugh we did. So hard my face hurt! I left feeling a huge weight lifted from my shoulders.
This class was followed by an amazing evening listening to Danny Gregory speak. His story and his encouragement are so inspiring. I'm grateful I had the opportunity to listen to his wise words coming from his mouth!
Yesterday, I had the incredible privilege of taking a class with Seth Apter. This man is an amazing instructor. Just gifted to teach. As I sat there slapping paint down as fast as I could, I felt tears welling to the surface and I choked them back. I realized how much... OH HOW MUCH I have missed having a paintbrush in my hand and just painting with no purpose. Just putting on paint. The act. Just the act. The movement is cathartic. I still hear Seth saying, "Don't think. Don't think." I fought my head for a good part of class. I have done mixed media work for a good 15 years now. That being said, most of the techniques were not new to me. They were things I've done hundred or thousands of times. BUT, Seth does those techniques using them in new ways. And, because it's been WAY LONG since I've done mixed media work, I felt 'rusty' and forgot some things... like firing my brain in the creative process. It is not my friend when I'm trying to create with abandon. I learned about myself during this workshop. And Seth was gracious in taking bits of time for me to process that, out loud. If you ever have a chance to take a class with Seth, don't even hesitate. In fact, don't even care what the class is... .if he's teaching it, take it. You will not be sorry.
I feel that these two workshops were like battery cables jump starting me to remember who I am. I'm feeling more grounded and excited with anticipation as I being making better choices to love myself. I miss art. I miss writing. These things are at the core of my heart-who I am. I was created to do these things. God has a purpose in giving me these gifts. These things that make my heart sing. I desperately want to rediscover my purpose in this gifting that I have been given.
Over the past few years, I have created art. But not much. I've got a couple of watercolor paintings in progress that I have been commissioned to do. As far as art just done from my heart? Uh....not so much. I went in my studio this morning and pulled out a few things. A couple of finished pieces, a couple of pieces that have been works in progress for a long time. I look at them and my heart immediately feels calm, peaceful.... and a longing rapidly sets in. A longing to sit and work without worrying about where I'm suppose to be, what I 'need' to be doing instead, what I need to make for dinner, how much laundry I need to catch up on.... all these things that fight me for my time. The list is literally endless. I'm struggling to find that balance to adequately name my desire to create as what it truly is. My NEED. MY need... my personal need that only I can meet by making a commitment to myself, giving permission to love myself well. As a result, I will love others better too.
Finishing my project from Seth's class is now on my list too! And gosh, how I miss teaching adults! Want to get some classes up and get back into that. I start back teaching art to home school kids next month, heading into my 7th year. Need to finish up my lesson plans too. Almost done.
Whew... I feel better. I really enjoy writing and am glad I took time today, to fill my well a little bit.