Learning to Listen


For most artists, I think, there are periods of inspiration when we can hardly paint fast enough. During those times, we feel eager to get to work, champ at the bit when life interferes, and just can’t do enough. Then there is the fallow time. Your muse has taken a vacation, and  not only do the ideas disappear, so does the inclination. For the inexperienced artist, this can be terrifying! Where is that enthusiasm, the self confidence, the excitement? The trend these days is the challenge: Paint a painting a day for 30 days. Post a painting daily, they say, because practice makes perfect! I’m not sure that is always true in every case. While I certainly gained new skills and some degree of self confidence, I have come to realize that just as a farmer lets some of his fields lie fallow, sometimes we need to slow down, let the thoughts lie dormant for a little while, be quiet and listen for direction. Showing up doesn’t always mean to keep busy. Sometimes it just means to trust  that when the time is right, your ideas will return. Stand back and enjoy what you have created. Wait for it. It will return, I promise.

Published by sebland

artist, teacher, coach, wife, mother, grandmother, business owner

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