"You know I always thought unicorns were fabulous creatures too, although I never saw one alive before." "Well now that we have met," said the unicorn, "If you believe in me, I'll believe in you." --lewis carrol
This afternoon I wandered over to see my friend, Miss Robyn ... I was curious to see what she might be up to and was greeted at the door with a lovely little new collage she has made. Inspired by other artists to try something new, she was having a grand time with a new idea.
I've noted her taking leaps in new directions as of late ... Trying new things on for size, growing tall and enjoying the ride! Her post today got me to thinking, about how we seem to be afraid to move forward without worrying over every step. Worry that we will make an error, do something wrong or perhaps ruin something we can't fix. Often to the point of standing still and doing nothing at all. When did we become afraid to try? Maybe it's that we are afraid to embarrass ourselves.
I was reminded by another friend in an email this morning that as children we moved forward without haste. If we made a mistake we treated it as the lesson it was, and moved on. Taking from it what we needed & leaving any negative thoughts behind. Then we tried again. Over and over until we got it right. As we get older it seems so often that we grow away from this innate thing of childhood. We grow into somehow thinking all we do must be perfect the first time. All of the time. Heaven forbid we goof up in private OR die if it happens in public. ::Sheesh:: have we convinced ourselves that we will be flogged to the death?
How sad. As an artist I know just how much ... Up close and personal. Hey, I'm working on it. Hi. I'm zUzU. I am a perfectionist to the death. Make a mistake? I'd rather die. I'd rather leave the paper all pretty and white than make a big ole booboo on it for all the world (read: Me) to know about. And die I might without making art. And so I had to change.
As for perfection and art? The point seems best made when things aren't perfect anyway...a little bit of unfinishedness (is there such a word?) is what makes art, art. It's what gives it a voice. It is the very thing which hands to each person that sees it ... a different view. The ability to see what they need to find within it.
I once took a watercolor class that opened my eyes to letting go with my tight ::ahem:: rear-end way about art from that moment forward. Ann (Pierce), the instructor had us all take a full sheet of watercolor paper (not cheap stuff & scary for a student budget) and instructed us to cover it using EVERY technique we had learned so far that semester on the one sheet. We were to move quickly and not think about what came next. Wash it! Ink it! Tear up other paintings and paste them to it, take it outside and rub it in the dirt ... Drip candle wax over it! Anything goes! She promised that if we did as she instructed, we would all get an A (no grade worries) and once they were presented to the class, we would be allowed to hide our finished work forever should we wish. Just do the assignment.
I sat for two days in horror. Blank page of white before me. Terrified I would make a mistake.
The idea was to get us to let go. Try new things without fear. And it worked. I (and the others) finally began to play. And it was wonderfully freeing. She knew it would be a turning point for many of us (Ann had been teaching for many years.) Smart lady. The best work all year came after that project. I think every one of us in that class moved forward with a great leap. Our work changed forever.
I still have that painting. It reminds me to follow my heart. To play with childlike abandon. To not worry about what someone else might think. It reminds me that the path I have chosen might not be like everyone else's but that's the idea. I'm NOT like everyone else.
I guess my point is that you need not ask if something is right or wrong. There simply is no right or wrong. Try it! Give it a chance. Make mistakes and then make some more! Just move forward.
Sandy (ART TEA LIFE) wrote to me just this morning about taking tiny steps. About how important it is to just get where we are headed -- Even if we don't know where it is yet. Oh how true! And you KNOW how I stand on taking risks ::giggle:: We may not understand it all at this precise moment in time ... But trust that you are right where you are supposed to be, doing exactly what you are meant to be doing, at every moment. Trust in the interconnectedness of it all!
Isn't destiny a special thing? It's like Dan Eldon said about art & life: The journey IS the destination!
He was living proof. There is no time to waste worrying.
So to all of you out there that are teaching all of us not to be afraid, to try new things with open eyes & hearts, thank you! And to all of the Jill's out there, teaching the little voices of tomorrow? The little people that haven't yet become afraid to try all things new ... That rejoice in the idea of flying head-on & straight into morning?
What a lovely human mama you have ... She has shouted to the world how dear you are to her! Your child has truly loved you to "Real" and that is the most wonderful thing ever to happen to a little bear.
Please explain to her that you are not sad to have a torn seam or that you cannot smell as well without a nose as you once could. Explain to her that you have kept her secrets close to your heart and would do anything for her ... That just being her bear is enough.
Of course it never hurts to have a new nose. I won't tell her that it is you sneaking cookies when you can again find them ::smile:: That will be OUR secret.
I know secrets are safe with bears, because even the smallest bear ... will never tell. I know that is why their seams burst. Those years of secrets have no where else to go.
Oh my, do you think it was a good idea of me to post our secret about the cookies? Oh well. All the bears reading this will keep it safe. They'll understand. There is always room to keep one more secret entrusted to them.
Give mama my best.
Love, a little girl named ... zUzU =^..^=
(who insisted on taking her bear, William away to college -- or else she would not go.)
The window shashes have been tightly shut for several days, the glass panes covered with bits of olde sheet music to keep a secret within ...
Nose prints from tiny faces pressed against the glass, paws pressed flat, bitty hands cupped trying to sneak a peek ... Smudges of evidence on the panes.
Tiny footprints forming lines throughout the gardens, all seem to end in a gathering outside ... just below the window. Further evidence that whispers of what is happening inside is spreading from garden to garden.
All are watching. All await in wonder.
Early mornings, if you are awake with the dawn you might hear the soft tinkling of tiny silver bells as the faeries make their way from the bottom of the gardens to work within the studios walls. It is late into the night before they make their way back home to gather a wink of sleep ... & to dream of what is about to happen.