Art as Flow

I’m a clay artist, but also a painter.  I never fight with my clay, but I’ve fought with my paintings for years.  Whatever your art or craft, these thoughts might encourage you.

I often struggle with all kinds of doubt and discouragement as an artist.  I get overwhelmed and I can’t seem to get anything done.  Getting out rock climbing has taught me a few things about flow.

For the first time ever, I’m seeing painting as flow. Just like my new understanding of rock climbing. You don’t fight with it, you make it yours. You don’t attack it, you live there. Yes, sometimes you fall, and yes, sometimes you’re too tired to go on. Sometimes you just can’t make it. But so what? Stop when you are done and then go back. Stronger this time. And smarter. It has become part of your muscle memory. But not because you’re striving, just because you’re there. Sometimes you keep going when you don’t think you can. Sometimes you make a crazy, risky, leap. Not because your striving but because, “why not”? No fear. Always, you focus on one move at a time. You always make one more move (like just squeezing the paint onto the palette, or conditioning a little ball of clay), even if it might be as far as you can go. Maybe, once you’re there, the answer for the next move will turn up. Sometimes you rest. You look and look and look, for the way. Then the way turns up. Its still not striving. Its watching.

More thoughts along these lines in this post on my painting blog.

needles1

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2 Responses to Art as Flow

  1. incaqueen4467 says:

    thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience. i am a mosaic and polymer artist and right now i am in the home stretch of a piece of glass and i am stuck!!! it’s making me crazy. even though im working with some basic pencil lines its not always so easy to fill them in and i keep standing there moving pieces around like a little kid pushing string beans on her plate you know you have to do s something with them you just haven’t figured out what yet. i think I’m going to try some “rock climbing” of my own . thank you and may all your art have peace and passion!!!

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