I love the quote by the philosopher, poet David Whyte…”Visitation, absence, visitation, absence this is how we learn” This totally rings true for me. When I come back to work on a painting the following day I have about 45 minutes of objectivity. Things seem more clear and fresh.
Then I tend to slow down. After about an hour and a half, I switch to a new painting. I prefer to jump around. I don’t know if it is impatience with the process or that I am just no longer interested in hours of suffering anymore if the painting is not working and I don’t know how to make it better.. I just wont do it. I think that when you are enjoying yourself you are engaged and this is when especially great work happens. I find that if I just stop, when I come back I usually will find the answer.
I recently heard Bob Moore the founder of Red Mill Natural Foods who is 85 years old give a talk about enthusiasm and passion for business. Most of the audience was half his age. His vitality and enthusiasm around his business was inspiring. In a gesture of unprecedented grace and gratitude he recently handed over his entire business to his dedicated employees.
Among other bits of wisdom regarding business and life,
Bob said “Your vocation should be your vacation”. I loved this. I don’t think I can hit this all the time in my vocation but still, it is a nice idea to aim for. At least your not going to accept drudgery if that is your benchmark.
Being way more discerning about how I am feeling when I am making my work has made my process more enjoyable and as a result I am getting finished paintings that I like better. It makes sense. It is not a exactly a vacation, but sometimes it feels like for a brief moment or two in the day I am on one. I want this trend to continue.
How do you keep the vacation in your art-making?
See you on the plane,
the founder of Art2Life.
With over 20 years experience as a working artist and educator, I’ve developed a systematic approach that brings authenticity, spontaneity and joy back into the creative process.