Friday, April 5, 2013

Picking myself up when I am down and reaching the deadline...alive!

Our opening for the 'Seasons of life' exhibition is happening this Sunday afternoon 2 -4pm. We are expecting over 100 to attend.

The completed resurrection artwork sits behind the alter in St Johns Lutheran Church for the season of Easter.

All is well, but there are times when you get down about your creative work and there is only one thing to do - pick yourself up!

Preparing work for the exhibition really pushed me to the edge physically and emotionally.

Right in the middle of it all I decided I didn't want to do this anymore. I hated my work and decided - no more exhibiting, no more painting - I cant do this anymore, I want out!

Every muscle in my body ached, I was tired and teary and felt deeply the isolation that most of the time is a blessing, but now became a curse as I worked away, alone with a constant barrage of negative thoughts bouncing gleefully around inside my head. I had a splitting headache.

I had to take a break and have a cup of tea or something. It was 2 pm Good Friday. No other artists were in there studio. Midland was like a ghost town. Shopping centres and pubs were all closed. I wandered around aimlessly in my old paint clothes...hands and arms still covered in splashes of paint and fingers sore from twisting the hanging wire to the back of my paintings. I I was looking for a park bench but instead found a shady tree in a park and laid down like some drunken street person would. I could smell dog poop and I hoped to God I was not lying in it...that would have finished me off completely! Fortunately it was about a meter away. I didn't have the energy to move to another spot. I had a little cry, turned my back on the dog poop and managed to sleep off my headache and stiff shoulders for about 30 mins.

It was just what I needed and I felt ready to face the studio yet again. I really wanted to get to the Good Friday service but my exhibition work wasn't finished, neither was the painting for the Sunday morning resurrection service so I had to keep working. Giving up now was not an option.

In the midst of all this a close relative of mine who I really care about and love. was was going through a very difficult time and needed a listening ear but I could not be there for her and that upset me too.

What got me through?

Taking a 30 min break in the middle of all the pressure
Listening to encouraging speakers on podcasts
Drinking lots of water
Detaching myself from my artwork...I am not my artwork.
Letting go of the things I don't have time for
A couple of artists friends who dropped by the next day to see how I was going. One of them bought me up a cup of tea and that meant so much.
Asking for help
Improve my self-talk
Put on healing music
Express my feelings
Turning outward
Stopping myself from constantly adding those last touches to the work!

There were quite a few more but that is all I can think of right now.

Writer Eric Maisel in 'The Creativity Book' says there are three steps when you need to pick yourself up.

1. You mustn't give up hope
2. Need to arrange your inner reality ( letting go of thoughts and feelings that deplete and stymie)
3. Rearrange your outer reality (improving your circumstances)

Remind me to come back to this blog next time I need to find my way back from the sinking sand, to my creative work!