I am a former control freak, reformed by faith and flow.
I’d like to take quick a moment today to talk about fear and how it works in relation to faith. This will be a quick one as I find myself scrambling to get art work ready to bring over to a new gallerist, who has interest in showing my work. When an artist lives in a city, this probably means getting in the car or an uber and heading across town to said gallery. When you live in a small town, it can mean a four-hour drive, and that’s a quick jaunt.
The complication is that I’ve been procrastinating painting (if you can even call what I’m doing painting anymore), and now I have to have examples of my new work ready to show to a gallery owner. So today will be dedicated to getting a few more small pieces built.
Last week, I was not in such a motivated place with my art, and threatened to cover it all in joint compound. Well, as you can see from the above photo, that is exactly what I did, and it’s pretty dang cool looking. It looks like layers and layers of history being pried from a wall and formed into a square. And the paint! OMG, when I add paint to the joint compound, amazing things are happening.
So, I’m finding myself re-invigorated in the studio. Just in time too, but isn’t that always the way? I decided last year to put in more time with my surf community because that is one of my main passions and what feels the most nurturing to my soul. Did that decision have really anything to do with my art? Not so much but I felt deep down that engaging more with the community I love would lead to awesome things.
That’s called a leap of faith, and for me it was an experiment. In the past I have been an extremely organized and “ruled by my calendar” type of person. At the end of every year, I update my business and marketing plans for the year and then calendar out all of the to dos in order to make those plans happen. I did that at the end of 2018…and then promptly decided to ignore it all.
Instead, I chose to change my way of thinking, and do more of the things that I love for no other reason than that is what feels good. It may seem silly and perhaps a bit naïve, but I was testing a theory that by flowing with the things that are placed in front of me, by following the signs that I usually pass daily without much notice, I would grow not only in my personal life, but in my art as well.
What has that led to? Within 6 months, a successful community art sale, a nationally listened to podcast interview, an art show at surf art gallery in Washington state and a meeting with another gallery owner in another coastal town. Also, a new project that I’m not quite ready to talk about yet, but I will say that I’m happy to be working on something that makes me laugh out loud. I think I need a bit more laughter these days.
Faith has been an interesting thing for me to embrace. As a control freak, putting faith in anything was like closing my eyes and repeating the words, “It’s all going to work out. It’s all going to be ok,” over and over, regardless of whether or not the room I was sitting in was on fire with the roof caving in. To me, faith seemed like a practice for people who live in denial with themselves and their situations. However, I find my relationship with faith is changing.
It may because I’m tired from “the chase”. Do you know what I’m talking about? Chasing what you want so hard and fast that we burn out before getting “there”. Where’s “there” anyway? [Insert existential crisis here.] All jokes aside, if life truly is about the journey, not the destination, I realize that I live my journey in a state of fear. I have felt frozen in fear, efficient in fear, indecisive in fear, clear within my fear and just plain tired of my fear. I don’t want any of that anymore.
For me, faith is a way out of that fear. Having faith is a way for me to take away control from the control freak, and place it into the hands of something bigger than myself. I don’t know who or what is in charge, but what I do know is that when I take a moment to ask for guidance, look for answers and then respond when they come, life unfolds with more grace. Could it really be that easy?
Ok ok…enough with the spiritual lesson. I have to go make art now, because that’s what the current road sign says it’s time to do, but I'll leave you with a question: If you suddenly chose to have faith that whatever is currently looming over you will work out, and you used that faith to help you navigate through, how would that change your mind set and/or stress level?
I am an artist and writer, living in Talent, Oregon with my husband and daughter. I play in the ocean to stay strong and inspired, and I often visit my hometown of New Orleans, where the rhythm of my heartbeat is renewed. Follow me on Facebook and Instagram where I post stuff sometimes. To hear from me more regularly, join me on this crazy, beautiful Artventure.