I’m a little stubborn. I don’t want to do something just because everyone else is doing it, or because it’s expected. So I refuse to make New Year’s Resolutions. Not publicly, anyway. But I’m also a little superstitious. I feel guilty if I don’t eat black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day. Or write resolutions. So I eat my black-eyed peas. And I make my resolutions but I do it secretly, only in my mind, never in writing so that anyone could find out and hold me to it or label me as conventional. And I won’t start on the first day of January. I will wait a few days. Then no one will know that all the wonderful new things I’m doing are a result of Resolutions.
That’s what I was thinking on New Year’s Eve when I noticed a post on Facebook by an artist friend. I admire this artist because she is so disciplined about the business end of being an artist as well as her painting practice. The post was an announcement that she was participating in the Leslie Saeta “30 Paintings in 30 Days” Challenge. There are almost 1000 artists from all over the world participating in this challenge. Already I’m painting every day. But the challenge of completing a painting every day intrigues me. Plus it’s a great way to keep a secret New Year’s Resolution. So count me in.
Today is the fourth day of the challenge. I have completed four paintings and posted them for the world to see. And since it’s also four days into the New Year, I can begin my second secret resolution: To write every day. I mean write something from the heart – not just a recording of what I did the day before (which is what my daily journal is.) So today after about 5 years of being creatively blocked as far as my writing goes, I begin my blog.
On a conscious level I know that the cure for being blocked is to write – the same as the cure for being blocked as a painter is to paint. I sounds so simplistic. Just write. Just paint.
I don’t have to paint a masterpiece every day. I only have to paint every day. I don’t have have to write a best-selling book every day. I only have to write every day.
I worked on “Fire Dragon” for about a week. During this week I also completed five other paintings including the first 3 of the Challenge. I paint in my living room, sitting in a recliner chair where I can see completed and unfinished paintings on the walls or on the 2 easels opposite my chair. I can also listen to music or watch tv or chat with visitors without interrupting my work. I could paint in the second bedroom upstairs, but it’s lonely up there. That’s where I store blank canvasses and painting supplies that I don’t use as often. Everything else is within reach on a bookshelf next to my chair, organized in plastic drawers.
In future blogs I will write about the painting practice, how I discovered the process and suggestions for other blocked artists of all media to release their creative energy (with which I am convinced that everyone is born in equal measure)