When I put away the color it was just to find some enjoyment in working. If we aren't enjoying our art on some level there is a problem. I was out of alignment with the most important element of staying centered, enjoying the process. I decided to do at least 4 drawings a day. The process was predicated on non judgement. That was the most important thing- and the most challenging. I was not to judge it. The drawings would be non representational. I used pencil and charcoal. I started. That was the most difficult part. Starting. Crazy. It felt crazy. I felt myself being afraid that this proved that I was indeed insane. That little voice chattered away while I worked. I just made lines. The lines turned into shapes and then areas of tone and I watched and felt my hand move. My hand loved it. My hand loves to draw. I could see that. But as soon as my head stepped in I felt afraid and rather stupid. But--- no---- I vowed not to judge this. I did my first four drawings, pinned them to the wall and went home. The next day I did the same thing. I noticed that I like certain lines. I like certain shapes. It went on. I did this for a week. I had a wall of drawings. They were crazy drawings. But, at the end of the week as I looked at the whole wall I saw that they were real drawings. They had life to them. I have judged myself harshly forever. My best friend calls it "your mother's voice". She keeps me straight when I say things about myself that aren't kind.
A wall of "crazy" drawings.
"I have things in my head that are not like what anyone has taught me - shapes and ideas so near to me - so natural to my way of being and thinking that it hasn't occurred to me to put them down." Georgia O'Keeffe
Georgia O'Keefe. I kept thinking of Georgia O'Keefe. I remembered what she had said about shapes. I had read in her book "Some memories of Drawings" that she put away color until she felt like she needed it again. I was doing that too. And, yes, here on this wall were shapes and lines that I knew, that were so near to me. They were familiar. They came from my hand and ----- the big surprise was---- I liked them! I started to go home happy. It didnt matter if anyone saw these. It didnt matter that they wouldn't go to galleries. All that mattered was that I saw some authentic part of myself in them and that was my goal. I felt a little bit of excitement for the first time in months. This was going to be interesting! I am not insane. At the end of the week a little voice of judgement did make its way into my head as I glanced back on my out of the studio. I heard that little voice say- "These are damn good drawings!". I laughed and felt a little bit of confidence dribble in. That week was the week that I started to move out of the past. The veil was lifting. Something really great was starting to happen. Thank you Georgia! She is one of my tribe and I am so grateful.