There is a terrifying amount of mental chatter that goes along with a shift like the one I've made (and am still making) - who's going to get all the things done? Who will keep track of the things that need to be done? What will people think when I'm not doing, going, making, solving, handling, communicating, taking care of (and so on) to my fullest ability? I am shushing myself a lot.
Thich Nhat Hanh passed away two days ago. I sobbed. His voice and words are in my ears, softly suggesting I just tend the lettuces and see the interconnectedness of all things. There is no hurry. There is only now. I think he might be right there, in the bark and fruit of the pear tree, in the sunshine and the clouds, in the rain and the soil, in you and in me, sitting there under the tree.
About the art: working from a notanized image and beginning with Stabilo woody pencils, sketching in the darks and putting a wet brush on the pencil to create a light value sketch. Slowly adding the requisite 80 million layers of light washes and resisting the desire to make hair something other than an abstract idea. Allowing sprayed water to move paint. For this piece I stayed with three colors (a warm red, a dark blue and a dark brown) plus white and titan buff. Liberal use of rubber wedge, a large, dry house painting brush and paper towels for blending.
This is an extreme example, but still...
In smaller ways, fear freezes us in place, unable to take risks, feel feelings, try new things, set boundaries, change things that so need changing. It is no different in art, where the fear of taking creative risks keeps us stuck in a rut and reformulating the thing we already can do. Fear is the mind killer.
But a little progress, like taking one step when the feet really don't want to move, is freedom from fear. That first step is everything you need to take the next one. Ready? Set? GO!