Have you ever felt like your racing against time. Racing through each day with a million goals, errands, projects and questions. Getting so caught up and stressed with finding the answers and getting to the finish line, that we forget to even enjoy the process or the moments it took to get there. So busy to check things off our list that at times it can bring any progress to a pause or even to a screeching hault. We've all been there . The battle of the mind with procrastination or resistance. The moments you are pushing yourself to the limits, that you reach a point where you feel almost frozen with fear. Getting too far ahead of ourselves or behind that we forget to trust exactly what is happening right in front of us.
As a artist, it is something that challenges me from time to time. At times stopping me dead in my tracks with what I ought or should be doing rather then just creating. Very often losing focus and going in circles. In the end, keeping me from any productivity. I realized that in order for me to make any progress I needed to return back to basics. I needed to learn how to simply enjoy expressing. So I decided to challenge myself. To find a place outside of my normal routine and comforts. Somewhere in direct line of the viewer.
This challenge took me to Cuba. After only one previous visit the year before I knew it was the perfect place to find inspiration and test myself in being in the present. Each day I would set out with my camera on one shoulder and a bag with a sketchbook on the other. When something inspired me, i sat. Sitting on the street, stoop or sidewalk. I remember the first time. I could feel all those emotions and internal dialogue coming up. The self Critique coming on strong. Is the perspective right, was that last markings correct? Am I good at this at all? Am I really a artist? Is this right or wrong? Then came the next test, the variable of the onlookers. The ones that would hang out over my shoulder for hours, watching me and at times commenting. At first I could feel it affecting me, tightening up and having the eraser close just in case I felt I had made a mistake.
A mistake, I thought... What does that mean and where did that come from in Art. Is there really mistakes or is just the self getting so wrapped up with our expectation of what the final outcome "should " look like and less what it "could" look like. I remember thinking, no one knows if I meant to make a that mark and who is to say if it's correct or not. It's my expression of what I see....
Thats when it happened. I gave up control of the outcome, let go, and relaxed into the process of it all. I started to loosen up my markings, brushstrokes, and lines and just expressed. The more I relaxed into it, the more my art became more real and genuine. I started to truly enjoy the making of art again rather then the final product.
Back in Montreal now, and in the studio once again, I begin prep for future exhibitions and projects. The self inflicted deadlines, questions, lists, and goals are all there once again, but the path and the perspective to get to the end is different.