Wednesday, May 30, 2018
Comfort Zones and Expectations
But then I lost confidence, as depression engulfed me again. And I've stopped painting now...until I feel stronger.
Art, for me, has always been "something to do," a way to utilize my creative skills...but I've never felt compelled to make art, like "Make Art or Die." For many people, art is what "saves" them, especially when they're going through difficult times in other domains of their lives. It's not that way for me -- I need to be feeling good inside in order to push forward with art.
And when I say "push forward," what I mean is going outside my comfort zone. In looking back over my life as a whole, I can see that I pushed through comfort zones, virtually endlessly, in every area of my life, because I had to. The only option would have been to vegetate, to stay totally stuck wherever I was. And being a survivor, that wasn't an alternative I could have chosen.
I can't push myself right now to venture beyond my comfort zone, creatively. What I'm really comfortable with is collage, so that's where my creative energy is focused these days. Albeit I'm currently doing less here than previously, because my back and neck have been bothering me lately. Still, collage is what I continue to gravitate towards when the mood strikes.
Too, I have a couple of small knitting projects in the works, very simple scarves made with my own handspun silk yarns from 10 or more years ago. Rather mindless, but keeps my hands busy. I also sometimes have "cutting jags," where I'll spend whole days cutting out ephemera for collage, which I find meditative.
I've had to let go of my expectations for myself, regarding painting, or the making of art in general. It might even be that those hidden expectations, even though I kept trying to convince myself I didn't have any, contributed to my becoming depressed again. Other than my interactions with people, which in nearly all cases have soured with time, all of the stress that I continually experience is internally generated. I see that; I know that.
The healing is about learning, mentally and viscerally, how to do everything differently. And that is my own personal Mt. Everest.