How my future self approaches art challenges


Still here, still working on the $50K art week…

One of the obstacles I outlined when preparing for the September month was this place where a painting will not be coming together and I keep reworking it but it’s like I just keep shoveling paint around, digging a deeper hole. I have an uncomfortable stack of paintings that are at this point – where I’ve been working on them and I am so unsatisfied with them – they aren’t looking at all like what I would like for them to be. I know this point is a great opportunity to me because my mind really wants me to despair at this point. It really wants to make any time I’ve made great paintings I love into flukes or luck. It wants to make my belief that it is so important to love and trust the process wrong.

But I realize that I am still indulging in despair and beating myself up at these points. Realizing this has been illuminating. I think I’d been rushing over it in the past sometimes or just covering it up to myself and it felt later like anxiety that I explained away as a natural effect of what happens when you share your work with the world and are visible.

Anticipating this despair has made it very hard to *make myself*/*force* myself to paint. And even though once I get started, I begin to enjoy it, I keep finding myself getting to that middle point and thinking, “Damn it! This place AGAIN!” The place where I don’t like the painting and “don’t know what to do next.” (that’s a negative thought, I know, that keeps me stuck). I am dreading that middle place.

When I ask my future self how she feels when she encounters challenges in her work, she:
-doesn’t make it mean anything about her as an artist
-she does not make it mean anything about her future as an artist
-the thought of disappointing anyone does not even enter into her mind as a relevant much less helpful thing to think about
-she is patient, not in a rush
-she welcomes it more – like an unexpected adventure within an adventure
-she feels equal to the task of figuring it out and finishing it – maybe she doesn’t LOVE everything, but she is pretty steady and confident that even her average works are pretty amazing and wonderful.
-she is never “trying”, she is just doing her.

I realize too I have judgments about how long it is taking me to figure this out. So, I am struggling over having difficulty. Not helpful. I don’t know that i have a specific question, but sometimes I feel like I go through an additional helpful level of thought process when I move this from my workbook/journals to here. Thank you! XO