not as wasted time, but as an investment

The artist in me is being re-awakened, and awakened to NEW lifeSudden in ways, slow but sure in others.

I really believe that humans were created to create. We ARE creative beings. Really, it’s true. In one way or another, we’ve all got it in us. A reservoir of creativity is just waiting to be tapped into and expressed. It’s natural and it’s spiritual. {It’s probably MORE spiritual than natural – depending on how you look at it.} 

I’m learning many things as I allow this part of me to return to the surface, to come out and play.

Yesterday, I painted for several hours. I then removed almost all of the paint I had put on the canvas and painted over areas that I had painted previously so that I could re-paint them differently. I ended my painting session with less completed than when I started it. The weird part is that I felt successful by doing so.

I’d been frustrated with certain parts of this painting for a while. They just weren’t turning out the way that I wanted them to, but I didn’t actually know what I wanted them to be or how to find it. Over the course of painting yesterday, I stumbled on it. What I wanted started just spilling out of my paint brush and onto the canvas. It didn’t belong parts I’d already done. So, I removed most of the fresh paint and painted over some areas so that I could start fresh, now that I knew what I wanted to do.

This has happened to me numerous times, in numerous ways, with numerous paintings – and some writing too, for that matter. I’m learning that one step forward, two steps back is sometimes a uniquely beautiful and valuable part of the creative process.

I’m learning that the process doesn’t have to go smoothly, nor does it have to end perfectly, for it to be right and true and art.

I recently read that errors reveal themselves as valuable insights.

When I paint or write for hours and then I wipe off the canvas or wrinkle up the word filled page… I’m learning to view it not as wasted time, but as an investment —a time of exploring and shedding off what I’m not looking for, in order to find what I am looking for.

It boils down to grace. I’m learning to give my inner artist grace to be and to explore and to be perfectly imperfect. And that is spilling into the rest of my life. I feel FREE to be whatever it is I am, and to not try to be the things I am not, and to allow others to be whatever it is they are, without expecting them to be the things they are not.

 It’s rather delightful.

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