The Art Spirit

There are moments in our lives, there are moments in a day, when we see beyond the usual. Such are the moments of our greatest happiness. Such are the moments of our greatest wisdom. If one could but recall his vision by some sort of sign. It was in this hope that the arts were invented. Sign-posts on the way to what may be. Sign-posts toward greater knowledge.

Robert Henri

Monday, March 5, 2012

Facing Fears

I have a million excuses not to paint.  Some of them are legitimate.  With so many reasons, it's become a habit NOT to paint, to procrastinate each day until it's too late.

Yesterday, being the first Sunday of the month, was what we call Fast Sunday.  There are several things we do as part of this monthly practice, which I won't go into, but one major aspect is our personal prayers and intents for our fasts.  It is an opportunity to consecrate our sacrifice of feeding ourselves for the purpose of adding power to our prayer and supplication that we make during the fast, sort of way to show God we really want an answer to this prayer, so we are trying to make a place to receive it, humble ourselves to open our hearts to the Holy Ghost and show not only God but our own selves the strength and sincerity of our intent.  Kind of a "pretty please; I need this badly ASAP."

Usually we don't share what we fast for.  It's a private and personal thing.  But I'll tell you mine for this month.  I asked specifically that this week I would make painting my priority, manifested by spending at least two hours each morning, from 9-11, in my studio painting.  Whatever I would be doing or whatever I would still need to do that hadn't been accomplished yet, I would stop and paint for that time.  Unfortunately today, my first morning intended for putting this plan into action, I didn't wake up until 9:45, upset from something last night, still sick, still tired, with an endless list of urgent MUST-do's, unable to focus, with no inclination to do anything, least of all paint: a task that is demanding of my mind and energy and comfort and courage and time, a task that I have no clue how to begin, having no specific plan or painting in mind.  I am terrified.  But now I am in my studio.  And I thank God for that.

So, even though it is now 11, the time I thought my two hours would be up; even though my laundry is downstairs and would be good to wash during my time in the studio; even though I haven't run in days, haven't had breakfast, haven't read my scriptures; I am here, my canvas board on my easel, eager to make the first brushstroke.

Art & Fear.  Game on.

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