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Change is Going to do Me Good!!

December 14, 2010

I have been agonizing the last month and a half over the lack of direction in my work.  I have been fretting that all of my paintings are starting to look the same, envious of other artist’s work and down right down in the dumps over the business of art.  I am at a loss to know which way to head next.

With no hope in sight to ending the conflict within I decided to pull out a book that I had read a few months back to see if anything under the cover could inspire.  The book, if you remember me referring to it in the past, is ‘the War of Art’ by Steven Pressfield.  Excitement overwhelmed me on the first read.  The book is powerful and poetic.  Upon finishing the book I was quite sure I knew how to handle the internal obstacles to becoming a successful artist or successful anything, for that matter.  What I wasn’t counting on is the strength and persistence of ‘Resistance’.

The overall premise of the book is that ‘Resistance’ is responsible for all unfulfilled dreams, unlived lives and unfinished business.  In the first 1/3 of the book the authour reveals the nature and characteristics of the ‘enemy’ as he calls it.  He defines what he means by resistance…defines the enemy.  Anything and I mean anything, that keeps one from doing their chosen work and living their lives to the fullest.  The last 2/3 of the book is Steven’s advice on combating resistance or ‘turning pro’ as he calls it.

On this second read I have come to realize that the ‘enemy’ is everywhere.  Resistance has infiltrated my life!  It has probably infiltrated your life too.  The trick becomes recognizing the symptoms and treating them.

It seems that I have used every trick in the book to sabotage my career as an artist.  Knowing that you have what it takes to develop into a good painter isn’t enough.  In fact, it is probably an hindrance.  This knowledge helps feed procrastination and all the other forms of resistance that Pressfield speaks about.

So, I have decided to take serious action against the enemy.  I am a person who has little post-it-notes everywhere reminding me of my days path (a sign I think that I spend far too much time in my head).  I have decided that these notes will become daily reminders of the direction I wish to take.

I once heard that Picaso took off his shoes before entering his studio in order to leave the ‘outside’ world, outside.  Maybe that is worth incorporating into the daily routine and daily routine it is!!

My mission is to listen to my little voice that has been pestering for as long as I can remember…..”just paint Carolynn”.  I will let you know the outcome…

As a final note I would add that if you wish to give yourself a Christmas gift, give the gift of the War of Art by Steven Pressfield.  Let me know what you think of it.

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