"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced." - Vincent Van Gogh

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Making Art....

Poetry and painting are done in the same way you make love; it's an exchange of blood, a total embrace - without caution, without any thought of protecting yourself. (Joan Miro)

I watched a movie last night called "Cheri" on Netflix starring Michelle Pfeiffer, Kathy Bates and Rupert Friend. While schooling the son of a friend in the ways of love, a beautiful, aging courtesan and her subject form a strong bond. After six years together the younger man was to marry a beautiful woman his own age. The lovers separated physically but could not separate their hearts for they were true soul-mates. The heartbreak was so severe that the young man was unable to bond with his wife and the courtesan could no longer carry on her "profession". They were the walking dead. 

One day, unable to deny their strong love and passion, the young man returned to the older woman but sensibility prevailed and he left to build a life with his young wife. Many years later he realized that his heart would always belong to his former lover. This realization coupled with many years of despair culminated in a tragic self-inflicted ending. 

You can't fight true love. Love is a matter of the heart, logic a matter of the mind. It is the same way with art. Art and love exude from the soul. Ignoring your desire for self-expression through the arts eventually atrophies your spirit, turning it to stone. Often we place our artistic urges on the back burner to deal with more "sensible" things in life. The tyranny of the urgent wins and before we know it, months have gone by without doing that one creative project that we couldn't wait to tear into. Soon we too are the walking dead. 

For many years I didn't understand the "creative drive". At times I'd feel restless, unsettled and quite anxious. The trouble was that I was living in my "logical" mind, addressing all my physical responsibilities and ignoring my soul. I viewed my participation in artistic endeavors as a luxury that needed to be restricted in order to make time for the more sensible things. I had a hierarchy of priorities and I felt that because making art was so enjoyable it had to fall to the bottom of my list. It's kind of like eating all your vegetables before your dessert. Art was my dessert! The problem is that few of us ever get to eat it until we make it a priority. Maybe the ice cream needs to come before the spinach!

Self-expression is as critical to the artist as air is to breathing! Today, take on a creative project. It can be as small as arranging a bouquet of flowers or buying a new table cloth. Maybe it's more involved like picking up an instrument that you haven't played lately, or signing up for a continuing ed class. Realize that you were born to create, it's not just a privilege, it's a necessity... it centers your world and it's food for your soul!

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