Going For More

Jan 2, 2019

Reaching out further than comfortable,…

Last year was a great year for my art practice,… for so many reasons. But I won’t list why I thought it was great. Rather I’d like to mention why it became so great. 

The results at year end were the proof, but it was the intention that fueled the fire, fueled the climb, fueled the satisfactions, the pride and gratitude I felt leaving 2018. 

There was a point in January last year early on that I felt tired and frustrated with my art practice and the work I was creating. It felt boring, I felt stuck, it was uneventful.  Safe, possibly even  scared or frozen. This made me feel pretty unsatisfied and even a tad crazy. I worked and worked on pieces that seemed risky but still felt so safe. By February I had had enough. A few peaks down various roads and I’d had enough of what I realized was,… fear. 

I wanted a major shift. I wanted to stretch far and beyond,… out of my comfort zone. I wanted so much more from myself! 

So I listened to my internal dialogue. My excuses of why I was on this road that was so unfulfilling. And I realized I was telling myself a story to keep myself safe, acceptable, understood,. I do horizons. They make sense, I need those. They ground me. Shapes are typical, boring, so predictable. I don’t like circles. All these stories I told myself.

 As soon as I saw the stories and blocks that were keeping me in that safe box, I saw the way out. Do what you’re afraid of. In seeing this, all sorts of opportunities presented themselves to me. Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t sit back in waiting to receive them. I was hungry and hunting, searching the internet for ideas on how to crack this egg open!

Courses, reminders, people, instagram, concepts, I grabbed any rid bit of info that fit into “the-break-the-fear-box" open and I ran with it. And kept going. I knew I wanted massive change and I was grabbing for it. Within reason of course, there were some things I had to make tough decisions on due to prior commitments, but they got slotted into this year instead, meanwhile I made do, filled in the gaps, did what I could afford to and then some.

Out of that hunger and perseverance came a willingness to explore more broadly, a type of play I hadn’t enjoyed before, practical info I knew or learned way long ago seemed to gel a bit more, I began to really try things,… shapes, materials and techniques in a new way. I decided to do an ugly painting. Just to totally feel free. I took an old canvas and went at’r. Wow! That was magnificent. I’d broken free!

When approaching work that followed there was a new sense of freedom and thrill. There were people and courses I met & skimmed along the way, one I put on the list for this year, one I could barely wait to start. 

This is the kind of juice I’m after and I am so grateful that I plugged into it last year. That is not to say that my previous years of work is not inspired or juicy. Of course it was! Every advancement I make, however, often seems to be leading me to ask for more from myself. A great deal more. And that, is something I truly value.

Does this drive for more from yourself resonate with you? I’d love to hear if and how it does. Drop a line in the comments below to share your story!

PJC Studio Notes: