This morning I was thinking about painting – or more specifically the doubt I always feel when painting. Not quite feeling sorry for myself but wondering why it always seemed like such a struggle. I considered some of the painters I admire and envied their years of experience - their confidence. A couple of them paint similar subject matter over and over - they must have it down to a science – maybe even go into auto-pilot and just whip those suckers out. I admit I’ve thought these thoughts before – self-pity mixed with envy – a bad combination. But this morning the lightening struck – epiphany – “auto-pilot” is NOT where any creative person wants to be.
Knowing how to do something is not the best part of the creative process – searching, finding, that’s where the fun comes in – that’s where you find the joy. There is no shame in not knowing how to do something – the shame is in not pursuing the knowledge.
I’ve been on the wrong track thinking there was no need for me to reinvent the wheel. Thinking I’d learn from these experienced artists – I’d pick up a book on mixing color – I’d watch a DVD on painting a landscape – but I didn’t practice – I didn’t conduct my own personal search. There’s the problem! I DO need to reinvent the wheel. I’m pretty sure that every creative person has discovered the wheel in their own way. One can learn from others to a point but you must take your own journey of personal discovery.
After all isn’t the best moment the moment of discovery? That moment when the light comes on and you finally see the answer you’ve been searching for. That golden moment of wonderful - we savor it and then it’s over and we’re off to the next adventure – the next exciting answer. As long as our minds are open and we’re on our quest to figure things out we’re alive inside. That’s what it’s all about.