Up until yesterday, I hadn’t painted since June.
With the kids out of school and the traveling we did this summer, I just couldn’t seem to find the time to squeeze it in. Something always came up and frankly, the inspiration just wasn’t there for me.
But in the last few weeks I’d been feeling edgier and edgier. Granted, there has been a lot going on with my son starting a new school and just getting back into the swing of Fall. But the edginess felt like more than that. It was an extreme uneasiness and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. I suspected that it was the need to paint, but again, I couldn’t muster up the inspiration.
And then a couple of days ago, I picked up a book that my wonderful friend Justine gave me. It’s called The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. I had started reading it in the Spring and then set it down due to my hectic schedule and just hadn’t picked it up again. But when I picked it up the other day, here’s the page that I read:
…the most important thing about art is to work. Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying.
Why is this so important?
Because when we sit down day after day and keep grinding, something mysterious starts to happen. A process is set into motion by which, inevitably and infallibly, heaven comes to our aid. Unseen forces enlist in our cause; serendipity reinforces our purpose.
This is the other secret that real artists know and wannabe artists don’t. When we sit down each day and do our work, power concentrates around us. The Muse takes note of our dedication. She approves. We have earned favor in her sight. When we sit down and work, we become like a magnetized rod that attracts iron filings. Ideas come. Insights accrete.
I just needed to force myself into my studio and start working. When I start doing creative work, the inspiration comes. Not the other way around. If I wait until I am fully inspired to step up to the work, I might be waiting a long time. I actually do know this to be true and I think I may have even written about this before but for some reason, when that uneasiness hit me this time, I was having trouble pinpointing why.
I realize now that making art is a part of who I am. Without it, I’m uncomfortable. Incomplete. Disjointed. I have made a renewed commitment to squeeze a little art into every day. It’s what keeps me sane and calm and complete.
And that Muse? When I go into my studio and work, she shows up every time. EVERY SINGLE TIME! It’s pure magic.