This winter I’ve been suffering from a classic case of monkey mind. I’ve been procrastinating, complaining and belly aching over everything to do with my art. My taxed brain has been thinking, planning, striving and driving me crazy since Christmas. My ego has soiled my concentration, drive and artistic spirit.
I am like Humpty Dumpy I am all broken and I don’t know how to put myself back together again. So many things are unfinished and disordered. I have Blog stories started and abandoned with only sentences left to polish them off. I am inspired and full of ideas but lack motivation and concentration.
Unfinished paintings hang on the walls in the studio, finished paintings that I am unhappy with lean against the door frames, mucked up paint jars, messy rags, cluttered sketchbooks, paint smeared easels, and all kinds of stuff scattered all over my living room. Yes, my living room, that is my studio, my living room, my paint-streaked hardwood floors, poor living room.
Somewhere along the path of being an artist I got confused of who I really am and how I wanted to paint. I began thinking, comparing and judging myself. Along came grasping and wanting and then disappointment and unhappiness. I clouded up my true artist nature by my own muddy thoughts. My high expectations and sense of self has hindered my personal happiness and satisfaction with my work.
Now the result is I absolutely feel like doing nothing. The last couple of years my art has dominated everything in my life. Now I just want to sit. I could just park myself on the deck for the whole day and listen to the birds, scratch my head, stare at nothing and think about nothing. I don’t want to continue to paint or work in the same way that I have been doing in the past.
I feel it’s time to go back to beginner’s mind where I began. It’s time to get back in bed with Joe Norris and Maud Lewis and paint straight out of my soul like I did at the beginning when painting came from somewhere deep inside me. Not by the ego or thinking. The paintings came from just doing.
I think this break has been a time of transformation back to my Original mind. I feel more aware of my true voice and who I am as an artist. No more doubt only trust and faith in my true nature as a painter, to just paint, no thinking, just paint, like a beginner.
Ceilidh must be feeling the shift she is waiting patiently by the door. It must be tugboat chasing time.
I’ll catch you on the water,
A mandala for over my fireplace, Arylic on canvas, 36 x 36