Tuesday, November 21, 2006

11/21 - We Figure It Out As We Go Along - Painting of the day

We Figure It Out As We Go Along
Ink and watercolor on 7" x 4" watercolor paper, 2006
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This is a new creation in old, familiar territory. I've been doing these figurative ink and watercolor abstracts for some time - I just can't seem to shake them, and hey, why should I?

There are these various parts of me that want to be expressed. Part of me wants to kick ass all over a huge canvas - yelling, crying, screaming, exalting, freeing, doubting, and believing, in paint, and in raw expression. Another part of me wants to do these expanded doodles... calmer in the creation process and contemplative, but still very intuitive. Lastly, I want to create abstract art that is reduced to the most pure, meditative elements, colors and relationships of forms - a slower and more "aware of every mark" process..... Hey, while we're at it, I want to paint landscapes like Wolf Kahn and portraits like Sargent, and ahhh.... make crazy quilts like the prize winner I saw at our Four Town Fair, and blow glass, and..... (and we're not even getting into other things OUTSIDE of visual art - music, dance, writing, performance, etc, etc). Hey, I want to learn puppet making for goodness sake! Be a master chef! What can I fit in, in this short little life of mine! (no I'm not dooming my own lifespan, I'm saying even if I live till I'm 150, there's just SO much to do! to investigate and experience!).

Your greatest strength is your greatest weakness.

I grew up knowing that phrase. It made sense to me, and evolved in relation to how I evolved. I thought of it just now, thinking about my desire to get into everything and how many people would recommend just focusing on one thing. But then I thought about the movie I saw last night called The Secret and I realized that the reverse is not only true, but ultimately more powerful.

Your greatest weakness is your greatest strength.

If you can overcome that perceived weakness, you are free, and that is the greatest power besides love on earth! Ok, I'm getting excited, and I need to gather myself to say what I want here....

The Secret

You need to see this movie. It may seem corny, cliche, said before, silly, far out, far fetched, you name it. Call it anything you want, watch it anyway. I'm into all this stuff, and even for me at the beginning I was wondering where it was going to lead, thinking "yeah, yeah, heard this already". But getting beyond that, and beyond that initial dismissal, things got very interesting. The real message of this movie is the power of our minds, and that we create our realities, and therefore, can achieve any relationship, state of mind, or life, that we want. People saying this is possible so confidently comes off in a way that we naturally feel wary of. That's what I mean about my own first feelings of being put off. But then I LISTENED... took it all in. There is real truth in there. Real power.

So what is it? I'll do my best to translate what I got from the movie, first pass (would like to watch it many more times). Let me use an example, that helps.


Jane Doe: I hate my job.

So what do she do? She spends all of her time hating her job, thinking about how much she hates her job, how much she envies others that have better jobs, judges herself for being not good enough to get a better job, and in reaction, feels miserable, tired, drained, annoyed, frustrated, and you know, the rest of the range of negative emotions. At the end of the day, all she can think is "I hate my job! I want a new job!". And if she prays for something better, it's usually in the form of "I want" or "I would like".

"The Secret" is about how when we think about and focus on how much we don't like something, we are drawing more of it to us. Like attracts like, the law of attraction. If Jane Doe is thinking all about how awful her job is, she'll get more of that awful job. If she concentrates on wanting something better, she'll get more of that too - more wanting, that is. The alternative is to not only visualize, but to truly FEEL the experience of having before you really do. Concentrate your mind's time and attention on the job you DO want to have vs. the one you don't like having. In Jane's case, she would first search herself for what she really wants to be doing in her career. Then she takes herself through every sensation of how it would really FEEL to experience doing that job and how it would positively influence her life. Not just visualize, but place herself in the "driver's seat" of the experience of what she desires. Then she makes her mind believe that she already has it, it's already hers, and she is grateful for it. The gratefulness is important - the law of attraction comes back into the picture. Injecting grateful thoughts into our daily life opens our hearts to greater potential in so many other ways.

A few of the true story tales in this metaphysical documentary included:

One man that was told would be paralyzed forever on a respirator, with crushed lungs and a broken body after an accident. He did this mind power "experiment" by picturing himself walking out of the hospital a healthy man. Against all odds, this guy was there to tell the story on camera.

Another woman had her case of breast cancer disappear with no chemotherapy or radiation by the power of her mind.

A business man made "vision boards", collages of images that captured his hopes and dreams. He was single, young, and just getting started when he made them. Years later, his son found them and they looked at them together. The man started crying because the EXACT house that he had clipped out of a magazine for one of his boards was the very house he had purchased and was living in today.

There's more, but for those that would be into this, you'll find a way to see it. I used a simple example with Jane Doe's career, but this expands to every corner of our lives, and is of greatest use in our relationships, health, and how we can best aid the world (visualize peace!). One of the exercises is to write out your "dreams in the now" (my own phrasing here) like...

"I am so grateful and happy that...." in the present tense. I MIGHT share my own here, we'll see.... but I will do it one way or another, and I'm excited to think about the effects. Why? Because I've already used this wisdom in my life a number of times without even realizing what I was doing, and I've invested this way of thinking consciously in some areas of my life right now, and it's already having positive effects....

... there's no end to this discussion, i'm discovering, so i need to say at least, goodnight!


Cynthia said...

Hey Jessica! I enjoyed reading your post today...I too am afflicted with so many interests and not enough time. I was at an art marketing meeting last month and towards the end, we exchanged business cards and one of the artists looked at mine and said that "Do you know the meaning of the word specialize?" It was a little hurtful...because I had ceramics, painting and jewelry listed on my card. I think people get so set in the way things "should" be done, that it can get stale. It was obvious to me as I was driving home from the meeting that all was not wonderful for her in marketing land, otherwise she wouldn't have been at the meeting herself. But, that's a different story. I think it's okay to want to do a lot of different things in one's lifetime. I think that when people lose enthusiasm for living, they start shutting down and become miserable.

I googled The Secret, is it only available online, or is it also available in rental places? I wonder if you've seen What the Bleep do we know? It has a similar theme.

Visualization! I know I need to do this myself. Looking back on my life, I think of the situations that have happened to me and a lot of them are the result of me wanting something so bad that I see myself in the situation. I haven't actually sat down and concentrated on where I want my art to go. I should practice that!

Thanks for the post and have a great Thanksgiving!

Unknown said...

I too am lucky to have found your work. I love your style! Thanks!

jafabrit said...

What a fabulous post. I so agree with what you said: "Your greatest weakness is your greatest strength."

Ugh, cynthia that was a catty thing to say,some people are so mean:
"Do you know the meaning of the word specialize?"
The answer is yes, I specialize in each genre.

I think that is why my friend and I decided we were going to be jafas and do what we want, when we want and how we want. If others don't like that, such as catty woman, too BAD!

oh jessica your post got me all worked up, in a good way LOL! Definately will check out the secret.