...You begin to really see.
I have been unable to paint for the past 8 weeks. It's just a back problem, and it's improving, but it has forced me to, literally, lay low for awhile. The psychological impact has been positive for the most part as it has given me time to slow down, spend more time in the gym and the pool and step away from the studio and this, in turn, has given me time to look at my work and consider my next steps. On the flip side, it also had me thinking about giving up painting all together, and thinking about my "what's next" steps in life. This was especially punctuated by the loss of a very dear friend just two weeks ago.
Both have kept me here in Florida for the summer instead of up North in the beautiful Finger Lakes and/or my "other home," Cape Cod, and it's meant spending more time inside the homefront instead of out in and around my studio. And even this has had its own set of rewards and obstacles.
Take today for instance. There were dishes in the sink, the dining room table was spread over with paperwork and the laundry was piled up. So, with my list of chores in hand, I did what any good procrastinator would do. I sat down. And as I was contemplating turning on the TV (my avoidance tactics don't have to be military grade) something caught the corner of my eye and put me back on track.
Forgetting the back problem, I flipped out of the chair with an olympic gymnast's maneuver, grabbed my iPhone and ran out onto the balcony. There, just arriving overhead, was an amazing storm cloud painting images across mother nature's canvas. I dangled over the balcony taking shots and videos while my mind jumped into the yellowfish zone. Everything, including time, stood still. The cloud formations were shape shifters and the sound of the surf and the wind elevated. And I was off in my studio painting it in all its splendor when, just as quickly, it was gone.
Sometimes that's all it takes. Just a passing, dramatic summer storm cloud to shake things up and get you back on track. Sure, I still have to deal with my list of chores but now, now with a few blinks of en eye I have a renewed sense of the artist within who is driven by nature and a desire to see where the next painting will take her. And it really goes to show that taking some time off, be it willingly or not, has its benefits. I hope you are able to take some time off this summer. You never know what you might be able to see.