I had lost my artistic mojo. After a burst of creativity, sitting down to paint had been almost painful. Nothing flowed. I was just grasping for ideas that would fade before the paint reached the canvas. Occasionally I made myself complete a painting but eventually I didn’t even bother squeezing the paint on the palette, since I would lose interest and waste the paint. But I had my yoga, my family life, things to do. I was as empty as these dried seed pods. (I completed this painting during this time — it took me, no kidding, a YEAR. Every time I look at this painting, I’m amazed at how tortured it was for me.)
On the advice of some very wise people at Tranquil Space, I picked up Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity, (Penguin/Putnam, 1992) and I am now recovering the joy and spontaneity that my creative life had been until I got in the way of myself.
Practicing art and practicing yoga demand that you turn yourself off — get yourself out of your own way. My art had become all about ME. What did I think? What did I want to say in this painting? What did I think was interesting? It’s just like how a pose becomes all the more difficult when I find myself thinking about what I look like or how much better I am at this pose now than I was in the past. The lesson is just to do art, not think art. Just practice. Be like a transistor radio.
So I get up and do art. I let the ideas flow from somewhere else. I just transcribe them. Thanks to friends at the studio and Julia Cameron, I am a recovering creative.