Yesterday I wrote and posted something that I called "Return to Painting" and discovered as I wrote that it really wasn't about that. It started about that but ended up being about two vision boards, so I changed the title this morning and republished it.
Here's the real "Return to Painting" story. It's a simple story, really. It's about how sometimes it helps to go very slowly and gently when you are moving back into territory that you know can be a little treacherous, psychologically speaking. Since it's clear to me by now that bringing overblown, high pressure expectations to painting does me no good, I decided to approach this return to painting very very gently.
This might sound like pure timidity, but at least the other day it had a different quality--gentleness was surely part of it. Maybe there was even compassion, self-understanding, and even wisdom? A humble, everyday sort of loving wisdom, not anything fancy. Not capital "W" Wisdom.
So here's what I did: I gave myself permission to go very very slowly back toward painting, to go one small step at a time.
First, I swept the dust and sand (from people's shoes from trips to the beach as well as sanded winter roads) out of the area where I paint. I could have vacuumed but I like sweeping better.
Next, I set up my easel (a small portable "French easel") again, because it has been put away since before Christmas to make more room for comings and goings.
Third, I put the painting I was working on when I last painted back on the easel, dusted off the cat hair, etc. that has collected on its surface over the past month, and took some time to look at it--really look at it--and began to ask myself what I might want to do with it next.
That took just about all the time I had set aside for this first return to painting, so I stopped there. And because it was a gentle and pleasant experience, and because I had done what I set out to do (just take it one small step at a time), I felt good about it and look forward to the next step (opening up my paints again), and the next, and the next.
All in all a successful return to painting, thus far!