I was looking for a boat image to fade between the layers of a more complex piece, and I found this one buried in my sailboat folder. So I copied it and added it to the piece I was working on (it fit perfectly with where that piece was going) but the more I thought about it, the more I thought I liked this image better. I'm just so drawn to the stillness and simplicity of it.
Having heard from Rumi that "Everyone has been made for some particular work, and the desire for that work has been put in every heart," I then had to ask -- why was I doing the other piece? Was it just for the thrill of creating something new? So I went back to it, took out the boat and the other layers and just tried to stay with the base of it -- which was exceedingly abstract, based on a metal boat hull I had photographed.
And as I was playing with that base image, I found myself thinking about a blog post I'd read yesterday on Angela Rockett's blog, about disappointment, and somehow just acknowledging that there have indeed been disappointments allowed the darkness of that to roll into the picture.
... which, in turn, improved it enormously (in my eyes, at least: I'll post it off to the right once it's up on the poetry blog with a poem). It turns out, I didn't really need all those other layers; they were just there to cover up something that needed to be seen. So (and thanks for staying with me as I process this) I can now acknowledge that this questioning about what art I'm supposed to be doing is even more complex than I had thought.
Because it's somehow gotten tangled up with expectations, with what others want, or what I think others want, or how I think others might feel about me or my work, or what might sell; with a determination to push through disappointment; with a desire to be creating art that may not actually spring from my own definition of art, or maybe even just trying to find a way to be original, or to fit in, instead of just listening to the promptings of my heart (even though I thought that's what I was doing?)
And through all this there's this need for the questioning to be GOING somewhere. I want to get past this to the conclusion so I can start DOING whatever it is. But I don't think that's the point. As Louise Nevelson says, "The very nature of creation is not a performing glory on the outside; it's a painful, difficult search within."
And still something in me asks, is it this, or is it that?
Well hey, you guys, you squabblers within: why can't it be BOTH?