All quiet on the Western front. A beautiful, bright, still, January day. I know we’re not out of the Winter woods yet, but there is that mysterious air of expectancy that we’ve turned the corner towards Spring. The birds are beginning to sing Spring songs and – somehow – there’s just something in the air. I love the Winter – but I love the Spring too – well, all the seasons. The pleasures of each, the sense of life, movement, growth in Nature and our amazing World.
My online sales of paintings have been quiet, but commissions have kept me busy. I finished two big paintings yesterday for a new collector and they were a joy to paint, and I have a new one for this week which I’m just doing some sketches for at the moment but I’m beginning to itch to start the canvas for real so will probably take the plunge today or tomorrow. It’s a bit like writing – with a blank page or canvas in front of you it’s always a leap of faith – but as in my last blog, all you have to do is make a start – let the words or paint begin and soon they will start to flow.
Like most things in life, to improve, to finish, to thoroughly enjoy – you need to keep going through the often hard, intense work of the beginning when you need to put all your effort into starting and maintaining the momentum. And then after a while – almost imperceptibly but nevertheless suddenly – you unconsciously let go of the need to control and pace yourself and realise you’re in flow, that almost numinous state where the work feels as though it’s sailing or skating along of its own volition and all you have to do is gently steer it and enjoy it to the full.
It’s so easy to give up, isn’t it? A scathing comment can be all it takes to cut off the joy and the flow and stop us in our tracks. We all need to protect ourselves from those – even our loved ones who have the best intentions – whose words like arrows puncture, deflate and even completely destroy our confidence.
We need to cherish and protect with calm surety our self-belief and refuse to let anyone – anyone! – sabotage us. What if Einstein, for instance, had given up when other scientists rubbished his ideas? And virtually all the Impressionists’ work was derided for many years – just think – all the joy their work has given us and continues to would be non-existent if they’d succumbed to the negative criticism.
Gosh. We may never aspire to be as brilliant as such icons – but we can all do our best and hope in some way to give something good to the world.
So do your thing. Whatever it is that you would really, really like to do in the heart of your being.
I shall paint, of course. And when I asked myself a second ago “What else would you really, really like to do in the next few days Jenny?” the answer was there already, waiting for me to notice it. Make something with lovely material. A wall hanging perhaps or a throw? Immediately my inner-critic says: “You can’t sew and you’re even inept with a sewing machine.” Well, inner critic, I don’t care if the result isn’t perfectly sewn. It will be a perfect piece of work for me as a beginner – it will give me pleasure in the doing, be a challenge (always inspiring), and with the lovely colours and patterns will give me joy somewhere in my home.
It will give me light and the room and with luck please others too.
What will you do?
With love and light,