...Obviously not tending to my Artful Life Blog. I confess.... I admit.... I've been hiding. In a 'creative funk'.
After all the pageantry, wonder, and excitement of the Kentucky Derby commission, I became... in the words of Piccasso "Empty" in just about every way that could be described. I turned down a host of commissions, workshop requests (from all over the world), and all manner of painting opportunities because I simply could not face 'painting' at all! Instead, I squirelled myself away into corners, drawing and creating on my little sketch pad, iphone or ipad, blending into any environment as I joined the millions of people completely disconnected from the flow of life, noses buried in smart phones and all manner of electronic devices. I, however, was capturing gestures, not only of people, but of landscapes, rooftops, hotel rooms... Any situation that enabled me to sit for a while became a simple act of enjoying shapes:
From sitting, waiting in the car observing the shapes and colors from an Oklahoma gas station, last December ...
To responding to feelings and shapes of the Paddock, Keeneland in Spring this year...
Anyway, I continued to think about, read about and 'delve creatively' with gestures and expressions like the ones above, but I just couldn't paint.
I now understand that part of it was that I had fallen out of love with 'process' because 'product' and obligations had been so large and all consuming. Also, travel and other obligations took their toll. I'd like to share how I found my creative feet again, because if we're creative, and we're living in a world that sees, requires, sells, buys, and judges or efforts, we just might find ourselves retreating into our shell, as I did. This is how I found my way out:
- I decided to do something creative, for free, and for anyone who wants it. We redesigned my website, to make it more robust and able to handle the content of my online 'Lessons With Lesley'. (See page) Thanks to years of journal writing, playing with cameras and computers, I can easily communicate those things that have learned, so I decided to pass it on, devoting my time and my art to an act of service. In them I am sharing my workshop processes and content, and I have about 20 uploaded now.
- I revisited my treasured book "The Artist's Way" for the 4th time in 20 years. Nothing, and I mean nothing you can do as a creative soul can be better for you than doing all that is required in this remarkable book, written by Julia Cameron. It's my creative Bible and I have bought it for many people over the years, from all walks of life.
- As soon as my lessons began to be published on my website, I began to want to paint again. Strangely, to revisit the ideas and lessons that I once held so dear.
In future, I will try not to let product overwhelm my love of the process.