I’ve been back in the studio for a couple of weeks now working on this piece that I began before my summer holiday to Skopelos, a gorgeous island in the Sporades islands that I fell in love with. I’ve been posting my photos of Skopelos in my instagram stories and made it into a reel that you can watch if interested. However, you can also browse the whole gallery in this logbook post.
It’s easily an island I could live on, if not forever, at least a considerable time, perhaps take a personal retreat, bringing with me all my painting materials and work on my art there for a while.
I can dream, can’t I?!
But for the time being it’s back to Athens and back to reality. It’s not all bad though as I love my studio and I do still live close to the sea and can see it from my home.
Meantime I've also enrolled in a really exciting course called the 7 Keys with Michelle Lloyd on United Artspace following the free 2-week Make Art Your Living [MAYL] course she offered online.
The first part of the course is all about mindset and there's a meditation to do in which I had a vision of myself in my dream studio/gallery. It was a wonderful vision, but then something started happening. I began to want to 'take control' of this vision and want to make it into something specific, which led me to becoming overwhelmed and anxious as to the HOW of it all.
There are so many things I love to do and create. So many ideas that develop into a cacophony making me long for the quiet again. At this I begin to wonder what on earth I'm doing with myself. Am I forcing an outcome, a story, and worrying over something that hasn't even happened yet? Am I once again piling on too much for myself and my wee brain to cope with?
The mindset lessons that I have done so far made me stop in my tracks. In trying to work out what is fear-based and what is truly intuition guiding me I got into a state with myself. I am also aware of many fixed thoughts that despite reading numerous books and following many workshops I have not been able to overcome.
But then I remembered something a fellow MAYL student, Chris Gonzales-Aden, wrote on my question during one of the Q&As regarding the 80/20 of our work and how I am challenged in choice considering how many different things I do. He wrote, "Think about the one thing that would be the hardest NOT to do."
So I did and I went back to some notes I had taken last week while working on my new artwork, and these are my thoughts that developed from there:
"Sometimes, most times actually, I begin an artwork with something specific in mind but as the work progresses I find myself creating something quite different. It’s as though I’m being led or guided, as long as I get out of my own way and get into the flow, to let go of the final outcome, to release control of what it should be (in my mind) to what it wants, and needs, to be.
At first I don’t always like what is appearing on my artwork when I allow for this and I do wonder if I made the wrong decision. But then as I keep working at it and allow for what I’m guided or intuited to do I find myself liking what’s happening and thinking, “OK, yes! That’s why you wanted me to do this!” So I need to keep reminding myself not to resist the guidance I’m being given as I work.
Much like life, I suppose. In considering my long term goals and dreams lately I have realised that in looking too far ahead I become overwhelmed with the how of it all. We’re told to visualise our dreams and make note of our goals, but much like a piece of art, a dream/goal needs to be free to shift and change as life progresses and we evolve. We think we know better about what’s the best and most desirable outcome for ourselves, but there are so many variables that happen along the way.
In worrying about the hows of it all I’m missing the journey to wherever my art and creative practice, as a whole, wants to take me. I’m worrying over a future that hasn’t even happened yet and that is always going to be uncertain and unpredictable.
I realize that I need to look at life much like I work on my art, releasing control of the outcome, allowing for changes along the way, adapting to what manifests.
If i am true to myself and my whys of what I do, all and any outcomes can’t help but be good and perhaps even better than what I had in mind.
I have started recording my thoughts on my voice memo on my phone so I don't forget them, rather than pausing my painting, which is more distracting. So below is a little video of all my images with my thoughts as I recorded them so I wouldn't forget."