Friday, September 19, 2008
Stories we tell and the games we play
Oh the games we play, with ourselves, each other and with our art. Some of these games can be beneficial and help us to move forward, while others seem to keep us stuck in place.
How many times have you had a new idea for your art and become excited only to then systematically dismantle it, coming up with a laundry list of reasons why your idea couldn't or shouldn't work? All the sudden, your idea is not worth your time or energy or isn't suited to your audience. All the doubts start coming to the forefront of your mind, and you decide to leave well enough alone. Maybe you want to explore a new medium or style but decide it is too risky. Maybe you were thinking of selling your work online, but you then convince yourself that it isn't the proper venue, or you worry about what the galleries will think. How many stories do you make up in your head that you are starting to believe? How many times do you shoot yourself and your work down so you can safely stay with the pack? We all know the story that misery loves company and that it is lonely at the top, so we decide to stay put.
These are just some questions to be aware of. What is one story you are telling yourself about your work that you could examine or challenge?
There are the games we play, that work. The games that challenge, motivate and cajole you into action. Currently I am playing a 28 day game of "one stroke." I wanted to get back into a consistent routine and schedule after not having one during the summer months. For the next 28 days, I will put down at least one stroke of paint either on a paper or canvas painting. That is all I have to do to be a success. My usual motto is "everyday I paint is a victory." For the next 28 days, all I have to do is put down one stroke to be victorious. I know it doesn't sound like much. What can one stroke of paint do? Only one stroke relieves the time pressure of any marathon painting session, it tells me that no finished work needs to emerge. The process and routine is of equal importance to the finished painting. One stroke seems easily manageable, and after one stroke is down, usually another follows and then time starts to pass and paintings are now being created and I have set myself up for this relaxed victory.
What stories can you confirm or deny so that you can rise above? What games can you play to make yourself victorious?
It's your move...
The Games We Play,
Mixed Media on Canvas
Patron's private collection
PS. There are new affordable paper paintings over at my Esty shop: Art Maven. Enjoy!