I was recently talking to a friend of mine that is a creativity coach. Our conversation eventually went to what it means to me as an artist to create. She posed the question, “How do you feel when you paint?” We have had conversations about this before as have a lot of artists. She got me to thinking…
There are painters, as we all know, that paint for the money or at least, in part. I’m not saying that they wouldn’t paint if they were not making money, but the market or the money dictates what they do paint. Then, there are artists that paint for the love of the process.
I’m a firm believer in painting what you are passionate about. I have at times in my career painted what I thought would sell, but I always felt disconnected and not satisfied with what I was doing. I know that those paintings were not the best work that I could do at that moment in time.
I have since tried to concentrate on painting only things that I am passionate about. In the end, those paintings are my best works. But, more than that, the feelings that I get from painting my passion is worth so much more to me. I’ve usually never tried to communicate to people besides other artists those feelings. Someone else might wonder “what the heck is she talking about?”
I know that words really don’t really fully describe the feelings that I (or other artists I have talked to) have while in the process of creating. We talk about being “in the zone”. But, to me, it’s more than that. I get a complete sense of heightened awareness of what is around me in my world that I am creating. I become a part of that world, feeling the temperature, the colors, the sights and the smells. It feels as though my whole being is fulfilled. It gives me a feeling of inner strength, serenity, and confidence. I feel as if I am enveloped by a power.
So, at this point in my life, I feel that feeling is more important to me than anything else that I can gain from creating. I come away with the sense of resolve, self-confidence and serenity in myself. When someone asks about what paintings of mine I have kept or which is my favorite, that is not what it is about to me. It’s the process of painting. when I’m done, I’m ready to experience that next euphoric feeling. I know that my best painting is still inside me. Becky Joy is a nationally recognized artist specializing in sunsets, landscapes and still life oil paintings.
Becky shares art tips, painting demonstrations and art business tips on her blog. http://beckyjoy.com