Thursday, August 13, 2009

Flying Girl Does it Anyway, or Follow Your Bliss 72/100

Flying Girl Does it Anyway, or Follow Your Bliss
72/100 in 100 Creative Challenge.
Golden Fluid Acrylic on paper, 5.5x8.5"

Sometimes things don't turn out as I planned. This painting is different than what was in my head. Sometimes what is in your head doesn't translate into the actual painting.

Sometimes you have to adjust your vision to what is. What is on that page. What supplies you have on hand. What abilities you have. What is in your life. What reality is.

How do we reconcile the dream with the reality?

In my life, I am constantly revisiting that dream, that vision. What is it that I am really focused on? Am I getting stuck on trivial particulars, when it's really a deeper desire I am looking for? Am I expecting it to look a certain way? Am I expecting it to be a certain result when it's really the process that is most important?

Have you sense that I'm not just talking about this painting?

This struggle keeps opening up larger in my life.

This following of dreams while still living and loving the moment. This large vision and small steps. This acceptance of what is.

For instance, in regard to the 100 in 100 days creative challenge... In my dreams, it looks a lot more organized than it is. I am on top of maintaining my blog and keeping up with the other challenge folks (sorry guys). I am painting amazing finished works every single day at the appointed time with good cheer and constant inspiration (haha). I never get pouty. I never drop paintings I don't like. I list to my etsy shop every day. I expand my circle. I get amazing opportunities just because I am. I write a book documenting my journey and helping people along on their own. I hold workshops. The world opens up before my waiting, paint splotched hands.

Hey, listen. Reality is, I also have to live a life while I'm painting, and sometimes that life is tough. I have to take care of my kids 24/7. I have to eat and to sleep. I have to roll with the flow of my days, good or ill. I have to deal with financial stuff and interpersonal stuff and family obligations and my own sometimes rotten moods.

I can't do all that is in my dreams. A lot of those dreams aren't very realistic. And if I could follow my dreams step by step, what would I be giving up? Do I really want to give up those things? I think that achieving your dreams also takes a good deal of work, a good deal of focus, but also a good deal of revisioning. You have to keep focusing in on that dream to make sure it comes clear.

When I think about that dream again, I try to picture what my 100 days will look like at the end.

Will it be organized like a calendar? Will every day be laid out for me to see all the good intentions? Will I be able to check of my accomplishment one to a hundred and know I hit all the marks? Will I have 100 out of 100 like I said I would? Will I get an A?

Is that really why I am doing it? I'll tell you... those numbers get me anxious. If I fail to hit 100 does that mean I fail at my challenge?

Why am I doing it? I am doing it to challenge myself. To grow as an artist. To build up a body of work. To experiment. To develop a creative routine and practice. To build community. To have something to say. To understand what I feel. To explore possibilities. To try new things. To document my journey. To calm my nerves. To live into my ambitions. To show my kids what it's like to be creative. To envision something and then to take small steps towards achieving it. To pass the time. To have some fun. To enjoy myself. To get a kick out of it.

If I think about those goals, I'm doing just fine... although those last three... I think I get so worried about painting count that I get stressed and anxious and forget about the fun part.

I am coming back around to revisioning my goal.

My largest goal, I think, is about life. It's about keeping my center and raising my kids and being true to myself.

Now... if only I could figure out the balance between reaching for my dreams not yet actualized and living a full life right here in the present.


Amanda Fall - PersistentGreen said...

Oh, Rowena, this whole post is spot-on. Exactly what I needed to read today.

Regarding the 100/100: for me, no matter WHAT happens in the final quarter, I've already accomplished so much more than I would have without this challenge. I've gained new insight. I've inspired myself and sometimes other people. I've lost much of the "blank page fear." I've made creation an everyday, normal occurrence, rather than something that requires a bolt of lightning from the Muses. And now? I find myself saying "there are ONLY 25 days left," when that many days alone would have shocked me before. I have such a stronger "can do" feeling now.

I'd call that a victory.

Big hugs. Thank you.

aquamaureen said...

(I"ve just proven that I canNOT type on my laptop in the dark. I've typed this response three times and lost it three times, hitting rogue keys!!!! So I just turned on a light and am going to attempt again . . . this is important stuff being talked about.)

Rowena, this post really resonated with me in many ways. But the one line that went "BOING" was: will I get an A? How many of us are plagued with that worry? and whywhywhy are we always judging ourselves anyhoo? And WHAT in the world constitutes "A" work, in the business of living life????

Remember the Rules for the Challenge that you gave us? Well, I've re-read them many times, and from everything I've seen of your posts during the past 70+ days, you are fulfilling the Challenge just as you originally outlined for us. I've seen you play and show us different stuff. I've seen you adjust your posting and your self-expectations as you needed to. I've seen a tremendous creative output from you. It sounds to me as if you have been doing exactly what this challenge was all about.

From my point of view, you have MUCH to celebrate. Not the least of which, you have selflessly inspired quite a few other artists, including myself. I've said it before: participating in this 100 challenge has changed my life. One "simple" way is that now I easily identify myself as an artist, when others ask that age old question, "What do you do?"

On a personal level, I think you are doing an incredible job of juggling wife/mother/human being/artist. And I think you just might need to cut yourself a little slack. :) YES, we push ourselves. But oh my goodness, we also need to enjoy the ride and just wallow in the pure joy of today, being alive and loved and loving and creative.

I know this has been a long message, but it comes from my heart. I've wasted far too many years judging myself,and giving myself a failing grade. Enough already!! When I encourage you, I'm also reminding myself to love this moment, celebrate this moment, to just melt into the heart of this moment.

Again, sorry for the length of this, but I guess I know firsthand the crippling effects of being so hard on oneself, and that makes me want to do whatever I can to encourage others NOT to go down that path.

Arlene said...

Hi, Rowena. Maureen really said it all! Anything else I say will be repetition. However, I will say that your blog posts (and your artwork!) is always so insightful and an inspiration to me. I started this challenge with almost a dread of not being able to complete because of my own lack of self-discipline and follow-through. I never expected that it would become such a wonderful "obsession" for me.

I have loved it, have hated it, have dreaded it, have looked forward to it, and many other things in-between.

It has gotten me to the point that art has become a matter of an every-day occurrence, so much so that if I don't paint or do some kind of artwork every day, I feel like I am missing something important. I feel lost and cranky.

It has made my art better and more vibrant and expressive. It has gotten me back on track with a project that I almost had shelved due to lack of self-confidence in my abilities.

Well, I've said a mouthful anyway. I am so glad to be a part of this community of wonderful, artful people. Thanks for providing the venue and the challenge!

Beverley Baird said...

Rowena - what a fabulous post. You have been an inspiration to me and many others. I may not have created an object every day, but I am thinking and feeling and being creative every day. Thank you for that.
I am trying more challenges, and set 2 projects for myself which I am really enjoying. I am taking creative courses as well and feel that creativity is boiling over!
So thanks again!

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