What if you don’t like your picture (in art or in life)?

You could ditch it, rip it up, scribble over it…you could adapt adapt adapt.

What if there’s a gulf between the astoundingly beautiful vision in your head and the muck that’s appearing on the canvas? This is The Gap.    

Creativity lives in The Gap.

If you keep going, you have two fundamental choices.

  1. Keep trying to make your picture (or life) resemble the perfection of your imaginings. This likely leads to a wrestling match with your Inner Critic, your art-esteem, your materials, your existing picture (or life).

    and/or you could…

  2. Adapt adapt adapt. Follow your brush or gesture or what’s already appeared. Surrender to the Art of Emergence. Trust the process and the flow of your picture (or life). This option is far easier said than done. It goes against the grain of all we’re taught in our outcome-driven, get-it-right-or-die dominant culture.

Neither of these choices is right or wrong. Much art-making (and life) is a dance between Continue reading


Listen for Life’s Artbeat

Last week at Sydney Writers Festival, I fell under the spell of the graceful being that is Ben Okri.

He said

Writing requires listening – very deep listening – to the world, to other people, to oneself.

I agree.

An artist pays attention, gives attention, tunes in to the tree roots level of the material that calls. The fine hairs that live on your sensitive artist antennae waggle around on your head, picking up creativity fodder.

This listening is a quality of presence. We attend, consciously and unconsciously. It’s as much about receiving as it is about doing; about input as well as output. The in-breath as well as the out-breath.

Can you allow yourself a pause – for ten seconds – for two minutes?

In order to l-i-s-t-e-n?

Listening (though someone said I should call it Glistening. Because of the sparkly bits)

(though someone said I should call it Glistening. Because of the sparkly bits)