'Always Striving' - Lauralee
6" x 6" watercolor - sold
When I first started painting portraits a lot of my painting time was spent thinking. What colors to use, how much water should be on the paper and on my brush, what shape did I see, etc. etc.
It was exhausting. Painting then wasn't really a stress reliever, but a stress inducer. Now painting a portrait is very stress relieving, because I don't have to think as much. I've painted faces so many times that it seems almost instinctual for me. Sometimes I think that if I closed my eyes my hand would still know where to place my brush.
Or maybe it's just that I've stopped noticing how hard I'm actually thinking while I'm painting. I've grown accustomed to it, it's just part of the process.
Maybe it's like learning to drive a car that way. In the beginning all you can think about is all the rules you need to follow and all the steps it takes to actually make the car go: turn key in ignition, check rear view mirror, put car in reverse, don't hit the car behind you, check rear view mirror, place hands at ten and two on the steering wheel, step on the gas just a little, check rear view mirror, don't hit the car behind you, step on the gas, DON'T HIT THE CAR BEHIND YOU, etc. etc.
Stress inducing right?
Once you learn how to drive it's actually kind of pleasant to go for a ride in the car, driving around the borders of glassy lakes and fields of green grass full of fat and glossy animals. You are so used to following the rules that you've stopped having to think about it so much and you can just sit back and enjoy the ride.
But sometimes we feel so safe in our routines that we stop reaching, striving, growing. We're comfortable where we're at and trying something new, learning a new set of rules to follow, sounds about as fun as a double root canal with no anesthetic.
But still. . . that feeling of stepping outside of what's comfortable is exactly what we need sometimes. Striving for new levels of growth is the only thing that will compel us to create our finest work.
It's in us, just waiting to be let out, but we won't be alert to what it is, won't be able to hear its whisper if we've stopped worrying about hitting the car behind us.
Felt like it was about time for another Motivational Monday post, albeit on a Thursday. :)