LIVING A CREATIVE LIFE
What does it mean to live a creactive life? This is a question I’m always thinking about. Many things can hold us back from living creatively. Sometimes we feel bored with the routine of our lives, but are too afraid to make a change. Sometimes we have a strong internal voice against our creative acts and the battle feels overwhelming. Some of us just don’t identify with our imagination and marginalise it. And sometimes we put our creativity off for a future time, limiting ourselves in the moment. Although I refer to all of us here, I know that this is also me. I’ve been in all these places, just like you have.
However, it occurs to me that existence is very creative. If I examine my life closely I see no two days are ever the same. No two moments repeat themselves exactly when I pay attention to my inner and outer landscape. The entire universe is always shifting. Paying attention and noticing little shifts and changes adds up over time to a dramatic change in your big picture. Hindsight, holidays and long term friends are a blessing. The little acts we do, the little changes in attitude all contribute to opening up space in our lives. Space to welcome in opportunities and creatively collaborate with the universe.
I’ve learned how important it is to do something and not be tied to an expected result. Opportunites come in unusual forms, sometimes from unseen directions. I’ve also learned that while I have choice over which opportunities I take, it’s important to hold my identity lightly. Getting too entrenched in who I think I am can really limit my view of other people while closing me off from possibilities.
While I’m talking about life here, all of this applies to painting. Painting is a practice in collaborating with nature. I need to be completely open and vulnerable in order to paint. Every time I start a painting I think ‘oh my god, I don’t know how to do this.’ It’s like I’m making up how to paint all the time, working it out and then forgetting. How to paint is a constant study. If I feel sure of what I’m doing, another part of me in the background is filled with dread because I know that what I do will be a disaster. Weirdly in this collaboration with paint, not knowing and following what is trying to happen seems to work better. I think this is why artists are sometimes surprised when a painting works out. It’s why we say that to paint you have to get yourself out of the way.
And so for me at least, the above is true for living a creative life. Have a plan to make a start. When you begin, let go a little. It’s completely ok if you don’t know what you are doing. Pay attention to one brush stroke at a time. Scraping your paintings off and starting over is often the best thing you can do. And remember to live lightly.
What have you discovered in your creative life?
The featured image I’ve called Waterfall because it felt more like a waterfall than a still life to me. I discovered that feeling while painting it.
SHRINE 9- WATERFALL
Oil painting on linen
30cm x 30cm
©️Lynn Lobo 2018
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