The great summer is winding down and the days of squeezing in a few hours of painting between travel and house guests are coming to an trickle. Limited by physical pain as well, I did find a great local physical therapist to help me get out of the mess I have with my shoulders and neck. Unfortunately, it will take some time to work back up to several hours a day painting and though frustrating, this is just reality for me at this time in my life. It took a few years to get into this much pain and it will take some time to get free.
Having had a lot of time to think in the midst of the crazy summer, I am unsure of how I feel about the direction of my work. A sense of dissatisfaction or, more positively, a desire to push myself to climb to another level has settled upon me. I suppose this is a good place to squirm. The moment we believe we have arrived in some area of life, something in us settles for less. This is especially true and dangerous for artists. A bit of applause, success and a certain level of mastery tempts us to stay where we are in an attempt to hold to what we have, yet so much more awaits if we are brave enough to wrestle with the fear of change and the unknown to obtain something greater. In my life, when the pain of staying the same outweighs the pain of change, I know it is time. I have seen artistic paralysis happen to many. I see it in every gallery I walk into. Before we know it, we have churned out the same reworked painting over and over. So, this fall I start the climb of fear and change....again. God willing and by grace, there will be growth.
Still on the easel: