Sunday, August 7, 2016

Focusing...finding our true interests, our gift, our path

...is not always easy.  I have a questing mind, as many creative people do.  I love to explore mediums, subjects, approaches.

Our truest interests, our unique path, can be--and usually IS--plural. 

In the past, there were not so many choices for people, at least those of us of peasant stock.  We worked the farm, or followed our father's trade, or raised our children.  Period.  A few adventurous souls left house and home and "lit out for the territories," or sailed for the New World to escape those limited expectations, or poverty, or oppression both societal, religious and economic, or the Potato Famine.  I'm very grateful my ancestors did just that, though I still have Ireland in my bones two and a half centuries later.

And I am in NO way suggesting that we need to find Our Style or our medium and settle on it, as some galleries will tell you to do "to be taken seriously," or make ourselves into a brand. 

How I paint or draw depending on what interests me, how much time I have, what medium seems to suggest itself, if I'm feeling bold or contemplative, peaceful or angry or excited, what the subject matter is, why I want to capture it!



















No thanks.  I am not a factory--or even, truth be told, particularly driven or focused.  Fine for those who can, and find satisfaction in the process, but--not for me.

I believe that as an artist, I need to be free to expand and explore.  To be inspired--and yes, to inspire.

That IS my path.

And so...I experiment, and try different mediums and approaches and subjects.  I'm always surprised when someone says they recognize my work...to me, it's very different, and influenced by where I am on my path on any given day.

What works for you?  What makes you itch to paint or sketch?  Why do you respond to the things you do?  What has influenced you?  What tool feels like part of our hand?  What colors make your heart sing or express an elemental sadness or capture a special tenderness?  What matters to you?  What makes you feel safe, or loved, playful, nervous, or challenged?  What do you need to get outside of your brain and heart and down onto paper or canvas?

The answers to those questions and a hundred others are signposts on our path.

And paths change, and branch, and have dead ends and interesting side trips and wondrous surprises as well as frustrations along the way.  As long as we keep going, at our own pace, in our own way, we will arrive where we need to...and always, always, it's more about the journey than the destination.

14 comments:

  1. Thank you, Cathy, for your inspiration.

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  2. How you continue to inspire me, Kate, with your honesty, your wisedom, your generosity -- thank you thank you thank you!

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  3. I love this post Cathy. I am the same way. I have to keep
    Creating. And I do lot of different things. A gallery once told
    Me I wasn't consistent enough to be in a gallery. I paint whatever excites me. Not for a gallery! I always love seeing all your drawings. Am
    Envious of your beautiful trees. Greens. Writing ....all
    Of. Them. They are all perfect!

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    1. I got told that same thing, Suzy. That's fine if you want to be Thomas Kinkade and sell like crazy. I don't, not if it means not following my heart. And thank you so much!

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  4. Love this post Kate. Such wise words - as always. It took me a very long time to understand that it is, all about the journey. I'm much happier now that I understand that.x

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    1. I still have to remind myself from time to time, Jules! I sometimes have one idea in mind for an image and it may do something entirely different, or my materials fight me, or the weather affects the outcome, or...

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  5. Thank you! Your words help me again and again to set aside the entrapping voices that tell me what I should do to "succeed." Some voices from inside me, some from others, who though well-meaning, nonetheless discourage and stifle my creativity if I let them. More and more, though, I just thank them and go on to do what my heart desires with my art; your words have helped me do that more and more.

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    1. I just don't seem to have a concept of "succeed," Melissa...I just need to live each day as well as I can. I'm glad to hear you are aware of this!

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  6. Thank you for your beautiful artbook!!!
    http://intheorderofthings.blogspot.ru/2016/08/blog-post_28.html

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    1. Thank you so much, Alice, and I'm glad you like the book!

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  7. You are an inspiration, especially to those of us who also find we have multiple interests. I was recently at a turning point in my artistic journey, bored with what I had been doing, totally excited by a new and very different direction and I did go through a lot of needless stress over the "shoulds" and "what ifs". I'm glad to say I didn't give in to those doubts and I am happily skipping down this new path (and exploring some side paths as well).

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  8. yes you inspire. I find myself always stuck at a certain point. I love to paint and draw and many other things. Then I don't know what to do with it. I feel I waste what talent I do have by not knowing how to proceed. So, I can draw, I can paint, I can sew blah blah, but now what? How do I find a way out of this not knowing what to do with it phase? What is the next step?
    Janice

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    1. It's often an end in itself, for me, Janice. I don't have to "do" anything...creativity itself is important. Perhaps vital...

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