I have been off kilter since we got to the ranch in Idaho. I’ve tried to figure out why and I believe it’s because I feel guilty not working. I have difficulty feeling valuable when I’m not “doing” something “productive”. I don’t know if it’s because of my New England upbringing… you know those Puritans … “idle hands do the devil’s work” or early schooling with a stern and joyless first and second grade teacher (perhaps it was HER New England upbringing spilling over to squash my little fairy feelings).
This world view has gotten in my way often throughout my life. Most importantly it kept my artist child locked away … she couldn’t thrive in an environment of censure and negativity. Artwork has no meaning in that life view… art isn’t useful, necessary or productive says the stern authoritarian voice in my head. I have made great progress this past year quieting that censorial voice. I have produced art and promoted my work and the work of others. My silly hearted child is at the forefront most days, playing with color and shape and delighting in the beauty all around me. I am teaching myself that art is not only necessary for me but for others as well.
However, when I headed off on vacation for five weeks I found myself at a loss… insecure and cranky and down on myself. You see, even though I was delightfully creating and promoting daily, it had become an obsession. I was at the computer six to eight hours a day and as it is in my room, I was even on it right before bed. I was dreaming about the processes I go through in Photoshop to make some of my abstract work, and not in a good way. It was so much that my shoulder and neck became painfully tight from the less than ergonomic setup I have at my computer station. It has been a very exciting time but my “need to produce” combined with my “somewhat” (ha) addictive nature had me heading in a negative direction.
I don’t begrudge any of that … as it’s been terribly exciting and so invigorating to create everyday. It is only now, when I am in a totally different environment, that I realize my artwork and more likely the promoting of my art had become my way of feeling “valued”. On the one hand that is a wonderful discovery since it means I am finally accepting that art is valuable. On the other hand, I don’t want to fall into the trap of thinking that it is not enough to just BE.
So my conclusion is…. I am going to spend the next four weeks just BEING! I may take photos, I may not. I may blog, I may not. I may create on Photoshop, I may not. One thing is for sure, I am going to enjoy my time away from the censoring voice… and my computer.
Instead of re-posting the Instagrams and captions I send off to Facebook each day about our Idaho Adventure here on this blog, I invite anyone who wants to and is not already following me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to follow this link to my Instagram account every few days to keep caught up.
The happy moment in all of this? I’s thrilling to feel centered again and able to take in the joy of my glorious environment, the love of my husband as we celebrate our first anniversary, and family visiting throughout the month. Not to mention the three-day motorcycle tour through Idaho and Montana we’ll be taking soon! See my big grin!
Thank you for being interested in my blog and I will be back in full force in August (just not obsessive force… lol)!