Saturday, December 4, 2010
Since reading Jack Whites book, Fear of Art, I have been struck by the valuable contribution of he and others who address thought patterns as they relate to the world of art. In my own thinking, I have negative thoughts like, " I can't paint what I want" or, " I can't make it successfully, I will have lots of paintings and store them up so after I die, they will discover me". These and other negative, victim type thoughts are actually prescriptions for how I live my life. Obviously, they have negative consequences. I have been identifying these and canceling them with improved positive thinking like," I can paint anything I want" and " I can be successful in my art and financially sound" and " Who cares after I die, let's make it now" . I am not sure where these will lead me but they will probably have a better outcome than the former.
I had a student ask me, "Can I paint this?" Of course you can paint anything you want, I fired back. Many of us who came from moderate or severe dysfunctional childhoods were shamed when we were young, stifling our inner urges, creative intelligence (psychologists finally have labeled this as an valid indicator of "smarts", and ability to express ourselves. These old messages can be replaced with new messages that are upholding, validating and supportive. Try saying, You are well loved, You can do anything you want to do, or you are a creative talented person, capable of great art! Such new positive thoughts are bound to take you to a better outcome than shame based thoughts. I have notice an improvement in my work since I began this program a month ago based in Joyce Meyers book, Power Thoughts, where she encourages this process from a Christian perspective. I will put a plug in for my ongoing favorite blogger Stapleton Kearns. He writes daily and on artists I have always admired (Sargent, Zorn, etc) and topics of great relevance. Check him out. Let me know if this helps you by commenting.