~~Every day, somewhere around lunch time, I call my Husband at work. We catch up with each other and chat for a little while. It's one of the highlights of my day.
~~I'm currently in the process of working on a commissioned painting. It's a portrait-type piece of an older cowboy and is very different from my normal style. I took it on because it was a request from some very dear friends. I'm helping them to preserve a little bit of family history and am honored to be able to help.
***This might seem like a rabbit trail but hang with me, lol.***
~~A few weeks ago I listened to a TED talk by author Elizabeth Gilbert. It's called "A Different Way to Think about Creative Genius" and was thought-provoking and inspiring. She talks about the view of artistic talent in ancient Greece and Rome. In those times people didn't believe that creativity came from human beings. Instead creativity was viewed as a "divine attendant spirit" that came to humans. The Romans called these spirits "geniuses." They would say that a person "had a genius."The great thing about that was that it separated an artist from their work. If the work was wonderful, they couldn't be proud. (It was the genius.) If the work wasn't good they couldn't feel bad. (Their genius had an off-day.)
~~As times changed, however, the idea changed and it became an adjective for the person themselves. No longer was it "they have a genius" but "they are a genius." No longer did the people believe in a divine spirit but all talent was seen as coming from the person. And this is where struggles like pride, fear, self-doubt, etc started coming in.
~~It caused me to think about how I personally view creativity. As a Christian I believe that God gives every person certain gifts. We all have areas that are our strength. Now, while I don't believe that I have a spirit (or genius) that comes beside me and paints through me I do believe that God Himself is the helper behind all of my art. He is the one who gives me the desire and the ideas. He is the one who enables me to learn and grow and He has a plan for my work if I will simply follow. The mistakes and mess-ups are simply stepping stones along that path.
So, if I truly believe with all my heart that God is the one who gives me my art and creativity and that He has an ultimate plan, then I should be able to separate myself from my work. I should be able to step away from the fear and uncertainty; the worry of messing up or what others will think. It reminds me of an interview I saw with Akiane, a truly amazing child artist. She said, "Every painting is a collaboration between me and God. He is my tutor."
~~Back to my husband;
As I was talking with him this afternoon I mentioned an email I'd received about Southwest Art's Emerging Artist competition. He immediately said, "You should enter!" I then hemmed and hawed about how I'm not quite sure and I wonder if they'll lean more towards western art, etc. He said without hesitation, "You should enter the cowboy piece." (That is why I love that guy! He is 100% certain of a piece I haven't even finished yet!) Without pause I said, "It's not good enough."
~~Right after the words came out of my mouth I immediately thought about Elizabeth's talk. Isn't God the genius? Isn't He the one who guides us? Why am I always so quick to be critical and write off everything I do? Can't I trust that it's all in His plan? It doesn't mean that my work is great. It doesn't mean that I should be proud. It simply means trusting that I'm not alone in this creative process. I do have a Helper.
~~What an encouragement that is to me!
I'm so glad you're here! "The Art of Life" is where I share my journey as an artist & Momma. It's a place where I hope to encourage other women that they are artists too. In this small little space I seek to share, document, and be reminded of God's wonderful grace, all around us. ....And I would be so happy to have you journey alongside me! So grab a cup of coffee and linger for a while. I hope you leave feeling refreshed.