Detail of Skyscrapers IV – raw wool felt on wood panel – 2016

In a previous post I talked about the creation process and how most of the time the blank surface is calling for a particular set of colors, shapes, forms, lines and structures to exist from the very nothingness.

If I follow that calling, then the whole thing comes to life the way it was meant to, as if by magic.

It’s as if the piece of art had a life of its own.

In my case I can feel that very strongly in most of the work I’ve created. Even in my sketches.

I start somewhere, I diverge, I may come back to the original concept, then I drift again, and most often than not, I end up being “guided” in the opposite direction.

It used to upset me a lot, and I would fight it, trying to make it work, struggling to confine it to my very narrow approach. All those “should be” and the “but it has to be this way!”

I’d get frustrated and exhausted.

But then this happened: right when I’m sitting in my studio, a bit teary, looking through my sketchbook, lost in its vastness after throwing my pencil with anger against the floor… right when I decide to give in and my defenses are down, then and only then it strikes back with all its power and clear vision, and I can only laugh at myself in irony because that’s when I understand that the artwork has reclaimed the reigns back, and it’s leading the show the way it was supposed to.

I was just getting in the way.

But I forget that. Every. Single. Time.

It’s only resistance, and it’s ok. If resistance weren’t there, I’d know I wouldn’t be onto something worth creating… But above all, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to grow as a human being, learning to let go of the constrictive ways of the ego.

So I’ve come to learn that, in the creation process, and beyond, the artworks are shaping me, not vice versa.

Surrendering to the artwork’s innate intelligence is a much harder task than persevering in the illusion that the artist is creating the artwork. The illusion of being in control…

It takes humbleness and trust. It’s asking us to drop all expectations and be open to receive whatever comes from within, with grace. It’s a radical exercise of flowing, allowing, and releasing.

It’s a constant reminder to stop fighting, stop judging, stop preconceiving. It’s all about dropping the stories. Just being. Feeling.

Now, and now, and now, and now.

Wait that’s like meditation, or yoga… or freaking life, right?

Yeah. Art is a spiritual practice.

I’m very grateful to be taught so much about myself and what life is all about through my artworks, these “objects”, that are apparently nothing but mere, solid, inert matter… Ha!

In which areas of your life are you holding to being in control? Can you allow yourself to release that, and dissolve into the beauty of the unknown?

What can you do to support your inner guidance in those moments of yuckiness, and stuckness, and frustration? A dance break? A walk in the park perhaps?

What about lying on the grass, feeling how soft and fresh it is, while staring at the clouds in the sky going by, and see what comes up by observing the world from that perspective?

Then, my friend, life will be creating you, and you’ll be its work of art…

Let me know your thoughts on this in the comments below!

Love,

Paula.

 

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