The other day I spent about 4 hours painting and in the end I felt like I didn’t achieve anything. I went around in circles. I was thinking of so many other things, I couldn’t really drop into it. Of course I know that everyone goes in and out of being focused and productive. I tell this to my students ALL the time. It just is a little harder to see it in myself…somehow I feel I am supposed to be immune to these variations of rhythm and consistency within my practice.
Then I thought of it a different way. Maybe it is NECESSARY to ACHIEVE NOTHING once in awhile? Accomplishing nothing did get me thinking about what in fact I am doing and why I am doing it.
Why is it SO hard sometimes? I am writing today about this subject, sharing my ruminations on this issue BECAUSE I accomplished nothing last Wednesday. I have had several long conversations with friends about this subject. I realize accomplishing nothing has been actually pretty significant for me. I certainly have been thinking about it a lot.
Just sitting in the fact that nothing happened, being OK with the reality that with all my know how, all my experience, all the wonderful materials at my disposal I did nothing much at all is, for me, rather substantial.
It takes me back around to the idea that we are involved in a PRACTICE, not an assembly line, or a marathon where minute per mile splits are yelled out at you as you frantically run past on the way to a singular goal.
Creativity is not like a performance. It is more like a beach where the waters edge is constantly changing. The sea comes up and then goes out. And then miraculously comes in again. It is only apparent if you walk long enough on the beach, consistently show up in your practice, that the natural ebb and flow of your own creativity is revealed.
I see more and more how accomplishing nothing is,in fact, impossible. Maybe we should welcome those days when nothing much at all happens. They just might signify that things are exactly as they should be and in the emptiness, the spaciousness of accomplishing nothing, there will be room for reflection and ultimately an opportunity for something new to occur.
Maybe this is how it is supposed to be. I think it is.
Do you? What is your experience in your practice?
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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.
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