We’re not heart surgeons. We are artists. There is no wrong choice. Our decisions do not mean life or death for a patient. Thank goodness for that! Every decision that we make on the canvas, takes us to the next. This is the creative process at work! Learn to trust it.
There is no such thing as a “wrong”, “bad” or an “ugly” painting. Each layer is but a “chapter” in the finished “book”. We may not love certain chapters, but they become an integral part of the story.
Several days ago I received a phone call from a concerned friend. She confided that even though purchasing a home was a dream come true for her, she was extremely afraid to make the wrong decision. “There are so many options and things to consider.” She told me. “I am afraid that if I make the wrong choice, I will regret it forever!”
As I listened, it was easy for me to empathize with my friends anxiety. By the time I gained enough courage to begin painting, it had been 10 years since I had allowed myself to do anything creative for fear of making a mistake.
Finally, I asked my friend to consider this: What if there was no wrong choice? There was a heavy silence, and I could almost hear her thoughts: “What do you mean? Of course there are wrong decisions!”
When I paint, I told her, I don’t think about the end process too much. I begin with the best information, the best tools, and the best intentions that I have at that time, and allow the process to evolve. Even if I paint a layer on the canvas that is completely hideous, I still don’t believe this is a mistake. That layer, can be quickly transformed and given new life with a new paint color over top, a wash, or some scraping. The amazing thing about that “wrong decision” is that in fact, it is not a wrong decision at all.
This blog was created to share my belief that the art making process can be a vehicle for empowerment.
I am living proof.