Observation when painting– the more anxious I am to grab what I want out of a painting the more it wants to escape. Have you ever broken a thermometer and tried to pick up the mercury?
The most successful creative moments I experience are when I begin to hate the mess made on the page, or I start to regret that last stroke, or I become aware that the color I just put on the canvas is revolting. But instead of letting that immediate sense of embarrassment and doubt settle in I let it skip over me. Sometimes an unintelligible, guttural sound escapes, but in replacing it and those feelings of inadequacy with a deep breath and a belief that there is an inner wisdom, something other worldly takes over. And sometime later, as time melts when I am in that “place,” a painting that resonates begins to emerge.
The ancient mystics held that a cord connects us earthly souls to the divine. The gods pluck it “up there” and there is a vibration down here and vice versa. The mystic drowns out all distractions, including self-criticism, in order to hear that vibration. That vibration turns out to be our inner voice. Our own true vision. Trust it—let it take the lead. Trust that you know enough. That is our job for the week.