It popped into my head the other day while I was in my studio, that painting is a lot like surfing (I do apologise but I'm not sure if that is a metaphor or an analogy)???
Before I go any further, please do not think for one moment that I am a surfer of any kind - if my toe touches the sea I literally shrivel up in a hypothermia-induced panic attack!
However, my hubby loves to surf and it brings him as much joy as art does to me.
Surfing isn't all about the big wave or the flashy move, and neither is painting.
You have to paddle for a long time and wait patiently for the waves to come. You have no control over this and the only thing that you can do is to show up and be there.
Painting is the same, it's the layers that take hours to build up, the work that will be covered by the more defined marks in the end. It's knowing that although it might be you holding the paint brush, you're not really in control - it's a two way thing.
Surfers are 'dancing' with Mother Nature, sometimes she shows up and will join in, sometimes she's washing her hair.
Painters are creating with... I'm still not sure 'who' to be honest... but I call her the Universe, and again, sometimes she will play and guide the brush marks and happy accidents, and sometimes she's got better things to do!
Sometimes a surfer will ride that big wave and the buzz will last for days, and sometimes the paint just flows. Once in a while it feels like you could literally chuck a bucket of paint at the canvas and the image will appear like magic.
When the Universe isn't being so generous with the old creativity vouchers, you have to hang onto those precious times and have faith that it will return (without getting too philosophical I guess that is the spiritual part of creativity in all its forms, and that is why we carry on even when it's difficult).
Sometimes we suffer the 'wipe-out' and a whole day's painting has to be literally wiped-out because it's just not damn good enough and that's the most valuable lesson of all.
It proves your resilience and faith, not only to yourself but to the Universe. You have to look her straight in the eye and say 'this isn't going to put me off, not one little bit, I'll be back for more don't you worry chuck!'
I hope that you are finding solace in creativity in whatever form brings you joy, my poor hubby can't go surfing at this present time but he'll be back out there when he can.
Sending much love X