Some days ideas crowd around struggling to get my attention.
Other says I have set aside the time for work and there is only emptiness.
Beginning – even setting a loaded brush to a fresh canvas or pen to paper with absolutely no idea in mind – is a daily practice that short-circuits the second guessing and self-criticism that that void invites.
Push the paint around on small pieces of paper or large canvases.
Begin anyway, allowing words to flow and choosing to allow them rather than second guessing or editing as you go.
Who was it said “there is no writer’s block if you just lower your expectations.”
In writing we all aspire to literature of some sort. The brilliant metaphor, the well turned phrase, an unveiling of some profound truth.
But in actually putting pen to paper, that desire for brilliance and depth can bar you from even writing a first word.
If you remove the expectation however, it is quite easy to write. A laundry list, a stream of nonsense, a political rant. Eventually, there is a shift. Eventually you have something on the page. To discard, or burn, or edit.
In painting, these beginnings become markers on the road I am stumbling to find. I look at them as they come into form around me and observe where they are strong and pleasing and where I find them lacking. I see them as guideposts for the next iteration. Sometimes they surprise me as being quite lovely in their own right.
I cannot find my way in painting without painting.
I cannot find my way in writing without writing.