Have you ever forced yourself to stop doing the thing that aided you the most? I am sure this may seem ludicrous or more to the point, going against the grain of one’s natural order. As an artist or creative, not creating must seem like an impossible task. Indeed, I found it a mighty challenge – starving myself of one of the greatest things that aids my functioning, one of the things that bring light and reason to my being. At times it felt like a strangling of my spirit.
I closed the studio doors only to re-enter 3 months later. These many hours and days upon days of not expressing nor creating in the form I’ve grown accustom created many different great vibrations, emotions and thoughts. As creative streams flowed, sparked, ebbed and flickered I wondered if this absent process would benefit in the not too distant future. Consciously suppressing my vibrations or feelings to express felt stifling, claustrophobic and somewhat morbid at times.
Feelings I never experienced seeped in
I knew I was flipping
Creative thoughts slipping
Frustration and miserableness whipped in
My mind spinning
Fluctuating moods of sadness and lonesome wonder tipped in
My impatience and moody chatter needed fixing
Doing my best to hold it together while the time seems so long ticking
I felt I was risking the very thing that kept my risks in
Wishing the process would be giving and gifting.
At many stages I felt the feeling of quitting
I pressed on knowing there would be an end to my torment so I choose to look at the process as a challenge, as if I was creating a piece of art only to have no physical canvas at the end and with every intention to have a deluge of mental sorts to sort and create from thereafter. At least, that is what I started to believe. I also felt that this belief was a mere coping mechanism or the mental mechanics that was necessary to deal with the absence of creating given the circumstance I was putting myself through. Either way this helped to soothe the urges of picking up a canvas and caressing a paint brush or pallet knife with freshly mixed paint.
The days went by seemingly slower and slower with a repetitive tirade of the sorts mentioned above until the day before the end of one of the most creatively challenging processes I’ve faced for some time.
Anxiety and nervousness sprinted within
Butterflies hatched in my tummy
Vibrations I wouldn’t have imagined overwhelmed me
Like face to face with a lost love for the first time in years
I felt scared, truly weird
A profound impact on my psyche, what if I was creatively impaired,
Nonsense, my Id made that clear,
As my neck back tingle with tall standing hairs
I was on the verge of creating again after a self-inflicting ordeal, my three months was finally over and on the morn of that lifeline I made my way to the studio door, keys in hand anxiously excited to get going again. With vigor I thrust the keys in the lock and turned it upside down to open the door to the once familiar scent of paints and sawdust from the woods used for stretching my canvases. The sight of paint tins, brushes, unprimed canvases and ornate acquired and made up frames and even the few cobwebs and spiders made me smile with glee. Happiness filled my being knowing my challenge was over and now I can un-bottle the suppress feelings and urges to express oneself again.
No more restraint
Oh! the smell of paint
My messy overalls
The painted walls
The sound of a brush stroke on freshly gesso’d canvas
Mentally re-aligning to the madness
Proudly prancing like a preying mantis
Joy swept away that awful sadness, I’m on this
For paint’s sake
No more escape, time for embrace
I’ve missed my creative space
As my mind race to find its pace
I now know there are findings in that place of escape
Profound inner-standing that can shape and re-shape
Learning can lead to satisfaction so great
If only you can remove that mental drape.