It’s raining. Not just drips and drops…torrents. I’m feeling restless and antsy this month. Tied down and trapped. I want to travel and see new things and be inspired. I’m sick of corona-virus. At first I was happy for the extra time away from having to work for a living, to actually create, but the longer this strangeness goes on, the more I’m sick of myself and my moods, my indecision and my lack of ability to commit to any one thing artistically. My brain is everywhere now and I can’t decide if I want to paint mountains, or animals, or flowers, or my daughter…watercolour, oils, plein-air, still life…so here I sit. I’ve spent all day trying to learn how to build an online presence, how to promote my work. I’ve ignored these things because I had to work. Now I have the time, but my brain hurts from information overload. My butt hurts from sitting all day! I really haven’t gotten very far, and all I really want to do is paint. All of the advice out there says to be real, to connect with others and be vulnerable, pick a theme and stick to it. Vulnerability and decisiveness…neither are my strong point. I was inadvertently taught to be invisible. To be quiet and not bother people with my problems. I was a bullied, shy and timid kid. The only way I knew how to get the attention I wanted was to shut up, make pretty pictures, and learn how to do everything myself.
I don’t think many people know how many hours and days artists sit at the computer, tearing their hair instead of painting. It’s certainly not all romance and fairy tales. And I’m not usually a grumpy person!
April was blissful. Endless stretches of time off. Spring exploding around me everywhere, off the charts summer temperatures. I got outside and painted, I painted still lifes if the weather was bad, I took a course with Dennis Perrin. I planted a garden for the first time in years. It’s been productive and meaningful. But May hit me with a ton of bricks. I’m all over the map. Everything that I thought I knew last month seems to be flipped on its head. I wonder if it’s the collective consciousness, or the fact that a whole bunch of planets went into retrograde this month? Whatever it is, it seems like a lot of people, especially creatives, are feeling this way.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m so grateful for so many things: a supportive and wonderful spouse, brilliant and loving kids, a home in the country with hardly any restrictions due to corona-virus. I live in the wilderness enveloped by beauty with bears and wildlife at my doorstep, surrounded by waterfalls and mountains. I walk in the woods every day. These are definitely first world problems I’m dealing with! And I know that I’m my own worst enemy.
Marie Forleo, a fantastic business and life coach I have followed in the past says that “Clarity comes from engagement, not thought.” I’m finding this to be so true. As soon as I actually commit to a course of action, and absorb myself in it, all of the confusion goes away. Even writing this blog post has helped. How’s that for a dose of ‘vulnerability’. And yesterday, needing a little kick in the butt, I decided to do the “Paint a bunch of Sunflowers” Daily Paintworks Challenge. So I painted these three little guys. They’re only 5″ x 7″ oil on panel and canvas board, respectively, but will easily pop into any little photo frame if you take out the glass. I’m only asking $75 CAD each or $200 for all three, and shipping is free.
I hope you all are finding some resolution and joy in these strange times, and that you’re all safe and well.
Is anyone else out there feeling like this? I’d love to hear from you!