Wednesday, March 12, 2014

“The artist committing himself to his calling 
has volunteered for hell whether he knows it or not.”
~Steven Pressfield

Many people have asked me how I have been doing 
since I shut my cafe and committed myself to painting.

Well, to answer that question...
the last two months of painting full time 
have been hell.

(Just to clarify, 
I don't mean 
the "working at Walmart for minimum wage" kind of hell, 
or the hell of illness, 
or of injury
or death 
or the one hundred other kinds of hell 
that exist in life.) 

I'm talking about the kind of personal hell we go through
when we attempt to do something that we have desired our whole life
and have an unrelenting expectation to internally succeed at.

Lets just say, it certainly isn't the artistic "bliss" that I expected. 

I thought it would be FUN. 
You know... 
“a dream come true" 
kind of feeling…
"following my passion.... 
and doing what I have dreamed of doing my whole life" 
kind of fun.

 Trust me, 
it hasn't felt that way at all.

Now, don't get me wrong, 
there have been some ecstatic moments....
like that sudden and unexpected realization of victory, 
when I can confidently lay down my paint weapons, 
knowing that the battle has ended 
and that today, I have actually won.  

In those moments, 
everything feels right in the world and 
my decision to dedicate my year to painting 
makes sense and feels justified. 

that feeling rarely lasts long enough
to clean the wounds from my last combat
and is usually completely gone 
by the time I start the next painting.

in this past week, 
something small has shifted. 

 I don't know what has really changed 
or why it has but I do know that 
something feels different. 

Perhaps its simply that I am starting to know my artistic self a little bit better. 

...and for now, 
that is enough for me 
to keep trekking on this journey.


nadia said...

beautiful words cathy. love that you are allowing yourself the time to paint and that despite the ebbs and flows you are pushing through. and a shift happened! you are an inspiration! happy paint day! ciao!

Anonymous said...

pretty nice blog, following :)