…stay in motion.
This is what went through my mind the other day when, as I was running with my little sidekick in her jogging stroller a neighbor said, “You have so much energy!” I laughed (a sort of panting, half laugh), but the fact of the matter is that I exercise in order to have energy. It’s a vicious cycle, but the less I exercise, the less I feel like exercising, so the less I exercise, so the less I feel like exercising, etc. I’m sure you all know what I mean. As I ran along thinking this it occurred to me that creativity is the same way. If I’m creating, I’m constantly inspired and ideas seem to flow. If, however, I sit around waiting for inspiration it never comes and my well runs dry.
In painting, as in exercising, there are days when I feel like I just don’t have it in me. However, I’ve realized I very rarely feel better because I “rested.” Instead I usually feel annoyed with myself, short-tempered, off-center. So, on the days when painting seems like a monumental task (because anything you’re committed to will, at times, be hard work), I tell myself I’m just going to “show up.” I savor the ritual of laying out my paints on my palette; I dab at my colors, mixing, experimenting; I touch up just this tiny section. Usually, by this point, either I’m feeling better and back in my element, or I’ve uncovered the real source of my resistance (“I hate this subject,” or, “I’m bored with this size,” or often, “I’m scared I won’t be able to pull this off.”).
You’re allowed to walk. You’re allowed to take it easy. You’re allowed to have off days. The important thing is to keep moving.