How Do I Feel?

Yesterday was a somewhat frustrating day… and yet a good day, nevertheless. I planned to sit down and write a blog post but found that I had no internet connection. Yes, I do have a “smart phone”, and yes, I could have composed a blog post there, but I don’t enjoy posting that way. I’m much more comfortable sitting at the computer instead of struggling with the tiny keyboard of a small hand-held device. So, I shrugged, reminded myself that I’m not on any rigid schedule, and I happily went on with other things.

This is important. This is one of the main reasons why I’m not “doing art” at the moment. Friends and family have been asking “Are you painting again?” No, I’m not. I’m not drawing. I’m not painting. I’m not even playing with paints, pencils, pastels or any of my other art supplies.

But I am playing. Projects I’ve been working on have involved fabrics, scents, colorful waxes, and foods. I’m not “doing art”… just being creative and it feels good.

At the same time, I have to admit to a little bit of sadness. I’m — temporarily, at least — leaving a lot of “art” behind. I’ve cancelled my subscription at Creative Bug. I’m no longer an Artist Network member. My Craftsy subscription is still active, but I haven’t used it in months and may never use it again. I didn’t renew my Artist magazine subscription this year, nor do I intend to pay my annual dues for any of the art clubs in the area.

Recently I opened an email from the Blue Springs Art League. Last year I took part in their spring invitational and received an honorable mention. Indeed there was a bit of sadness when I opened this year’s invitation. I won’t be entering the show. I won’t be entering any art shows this year.

I’m also seeing posts on Facebook about the upcoming Sketchbook Revival. The thought of taking part in the workshop — it’s all free — was exciting, at first. But then as I scrolled through posts looking at projects some group members have been doing, I immediately felt myself tensing up. Not a good feeling. Not a good feeling at all.

Art should be fun. Art should make us smile. It’s true that I can sit here in my studio, look around, and feel very good at all the wondrous art I’ve created. It’s everywhere! There’s everything from carefully drawn graphite images to wild and colorful abstracts. There are serious works. There are ridiculously fun works. There are colors exploding everywhere. Seeing it all makes me feel good.

But the idea of once again doing art doesn’t feel good right now.

I’m not ready to get caught up again on learning art, wanting to improve my art, and asking all those questions that go along with it.  While I do like art, and even as I look forward to drawing and painting in the future, I’m not the artist I want to be. The challenge for me at this time is to reconcile myself to being the artist that I am, to find pleasure in my own creative abilities, and to stop fretting over all the things I’m not.

So, I’m focusing on creativity in different forms. It feels good, and I have a lot of projects I’ll be sharing in future posts. And sooner or later, I will pick up a pencil or a paintbrush. I just don’t know when that’s going to happen.

 

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27 Comments

  1. I can relate to that. As soon as being an artist turns into an obligation to produce art, it becomes a burden. Just like every lifestyle that requires a high degree of creativity, discipline, and hard work, also artists need time to resource and rethink about what they want to achieve in life. The artistic experience is in the first place a path towards personal growth. When it’s not anymore perceived as such, it’s time to rethink.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have to take a little more time away from “doing art” — until I can fully enjoy it again. I do miss it, but I don’t want to put pressure on myself. Finding other ways to be creative has been very good for me right now.

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      1. I’m especially enjoying our projects because my husband is joining in and because these projects are meaningful in so many ways. Not only are we sharing the projects, we’re exploring traditions, different cultures, and learning a lot through the process.

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      2. Exactly! And it’s been educational for the grandchildren, too. In fact, we had a lot of interesting discussions when passing these out to the different families. Diversity is important. We need to understand different cultures.

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    1. When I think about art, it is exciting… but then when I was looking at projects other artists were doing, I immediately tensed up. That is NOT what I need. So I’m taking more time away from drawing and painting, and I’ll come back to it when I’m able to relax and enjoy it.

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  2. This is interesting. It sounds like you’re in a rich type of retreat. I wonder if it’s the social aspect of being an artist that presents some of the challenges. For myself, as a self-diagnosed autistic person, I find I need to be careful with the boundaries around my creative projects.

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    1. Definitely the “social aspect” is challenging, yet at the same time it’s also been rewarding, so again I’m stuck with all of these mixed emotions. As long as I’m feeling any apprehension or tension, I’m going to just stay on my “creative retreat” — an excellent description of what I’m doing right now. 🙂

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  3. Relatable post! Sometimes it’s nice to just “be” and allow ourselves to just be creative without having the pressure to label it or put it into some category or box. Enjoy playing and being. It’s healthy and necessary.

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    1. It’s really been a meaningful experience for me, especially since I’m sharing my creative projects with my husband. It’s opening up new creative pathways for both of us to explore.

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  4. Sometimes you just have to take a step back, reflect and follow your heart. I think many of us can relate to your post today. It’s no good forcing anything. If it’s worthwhile it’s there because it HAS to be. Enjoy whatever comes along. Good luck.

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    1. Thanks. Now and then an “art project” excites me and I’m ready to jump back in, but I’m not doing it yet. I’m having fun being creative in other ways, and for now, that’s what I need most.

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  5. It’s been the same with me.

    When my beautiful bride Michelle Marie Moore passed away April 3rd, 2018, I found myself with a void in doing art.

    In 2020 I started doing book covers on my phone and that has helped a lot in creating things.

    I’m one of those people that I have to enjoy what I’m doing or I won’t do it, I won’t have any interest in it.

    Just let everything run its course and everything will be fine.

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    1. Yes, we have to enjoy what we’re doing. I was beginning to feel pressured in the art I was doing. I really had to step away from it, and once I did, it felt good. I’ll come back when I’m ready for “art” — and until then I’ll be creative in other ways.

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  6. Everybody takes a break here and there.
    I believe that if you experience a pressure to paint something or draw, it’s understandable you don’t want to do it. There are countless medium options, but I think it’s best to stick to a few. Otherwise, all materials and all supplies take a lot of space and money. Everything is expensive.
    I am personally always drawing or painting something, kind of cannot live without it. It might be also because I give lots of classes and they require extra work.
    Lots of people should reconsider subscriptions. I just mentioned in a blog post that I haven’t had 1 single art student who had learned painting or drawing watching tutorials. Because creating something takes a totally different approach. Art also means a lot of work and not all of it is pure fun. There’s pleasure in well-done work also.
    You will probably arrive at some decisions and it’s very worthwhile doing things which you truly enjoy.
    All the best! The year has just started.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, we have to listen to that “inner voice”, don’t we! I know I’m enjoying “being creative” in many different ways now, not feeling pressured to create “art”. There are so many interesting things to do beyond drawing and painting. 🙂

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