I am probably not the only one who has woken up at 2 am in a panic, wondering how everything will ever get done, hyperventilating because there was too many "to-do's" and not enough days, sleepless because the obligations were piling on. You know that feeling?! Well, I had it this week and then slowly, very slowly (maybe at 4 am) I realized that every single thing causing me anxiety was truly an opportunity.
It was like drowning in real whipped cream. You wished for something wonderful and suddenly you had too much wonderful and couldn't get your footing. How dare I complain? How dare I not sit up in the middle of the night and rejoice: "Yippee! I have way too much to do and it is all exciting and it is all because I worked hard to make this happen!"
But even a great attitude does not get things done...
This morning I was looking through my sketchbook and came across some drawings I did in Italy:
Suddenly it struck me how very simple these were, no fuss, no muss; simple but pleasing, engaging. The magic word was "simple." So I decided to self-illustrate that word by line drawing some peppers I was going to use this morning:
Far from perfect, this little line drawing took no time and I purposefully did not fret over it. And you may disagree but I find it somewhat charming....not perfect, not excellent, not even correct, but interesting.
The light bulb turned on!
Simplify....chip away...not every "thing" has to be perfect.....nothing fun should be a chore.
Sometimes "good enough" is exactly "enough."
When you are slogging your way through exciting opportunities and somehow they begin to lose their appeal, it should not hurt to lower the bar to "good enough" with an occasional "wow" or "OMG" thrown in. The point is that sometimes by trying too hard, by trying to capture every little detail of the pepper, we not only spoil the process but we ruin the outcome, we rob it of its charm.
It was my birthday this week and my Pieces of 8 gang and I created birthday cards. The caption for both of mine is.... "You Wear Your Birthdays Well!" I only had a bit of time to do these and I really didn't want to fool with eyes and noses...but you get the point, no? OK, I purposely simplified and the world did not come crashing down. Am I getting the message? I hope so.
Apologies to those who were expecting art tips or new pieces and bumped right into my bout of meditation and self-medication, but every now and then the best art advice is also life advice. Soon I will reveal and discuss all the wonderful projects and opportunities that woke me up that night....but I will waste no more time fretting, I will attempt to simplify. Simplify. SIMPLIFY. SIMPLIFY!!
I appreciate your indulgence. Perhaps there are some things in your life that you could simplify. The irony of chasing what you want, only to have getting it make things complicated, is not lost on any of us....think about when you complain and why. Is it within your power to make it easier to digest?
Have a great day...I'm off to go simplify a few tasks on my do-list!
I believe that art enriches and informs our lives everyday in many positive ways. Sharing those experiences, whether as an artist or as an appreciator, is part of the pleasure. I welcome your comments and hope you find something of value: a laugh, an insight, a new idea or just a happy moment. Enjoy art!