Persevere or ditch

When it comes to creating artwork or writing a poem or singing a song there is often that moment of realisation that things are not necessarily on track. It can be a minor moment; can be as part of a draft or a study or practice in which case it is a great learning opportunity; or, in a different situation or after a different amount of investment, it can feel much more major

I so often try to persevere. Someone once told me that art, indeed creating in general, is all about problem-solving and I take that to heart (sometimes I feel I’m getting pretty good at identifying the problems and not so good at coming up with solutions!). Today, though, I hit a problem and decided not to persevere. I waited for the ink to dry, folded the large piece of paper into smaller portions and tore it into bits – not angrily but as a measured and considered decision. It was quite cathartic.

So what’s the tipping point? I’m not sure. In this instance I didn’t like what was happening, There were enormous flaws that I couldn’t see past and the whole thing was entirely unattractive. I’d lost interest and moved on emotionally. An open-and-shut case, really.

But I think the measure for me, now that I write and think about it, is whether or not abandoning a work is going to feel like you are opting out simply because it got hard. Have you sold yourself short? Have you chosen to avoid rather than attack? I realise now that my decision needs to be based more on whether I’m being true to myself and less on what is actually happening in the painting.

Since turning my disaster into (large and potentially damaging) confetti I have started two new works; a reminder that there is always the ‘next one’, and the next one, to carry you onwards. They are both at a difficult stage but fall into the category of fight, not flight. And, I am discovering, that’s where the adrenalin cuts in!

Until later,

Kirsten

5 thoughts on “Persevere or ditch

  1. Yes I can relate a tiny bit when I think of my very casual writing and how I sell it short as that’s a great excuse to leave it alone.

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  2. So when the confetti settles, we end up moving it on, unless someone else or the wind has swept it up for us, maybe that IS the resting end point needed for completion and to get and give what was necessary, maybe the thing we get anxious about is not actually keeping the act alive, even if stalled, but the ‘being there’ for its natural death, the act’s death, not the final moment there after, but with it, the act which didn’t seem to go to plan.

    In the ‘being there’ with all the actual eventualities, though scary because it lacks the security of preplanned structure and assuredness of the mythical happy ending, we transform in the kindest, most human, creative ways. Inteserstingly, when I went & checked my spelling for assuredness just now, the #2 meaning was “protected against discontinuance or change”… maybe it is this going to plan b, the second fork in the creative road, that takes us beyond just the harness of finding solutions to the ‘plan’, all the way to the acceptance of creative options staring us in the face, which then open the channels for continuence and change to new unknowns, the creative ones we were seeking in the first place?

    I don’t know about you, but when I’m assuredly on my way, afork in the road causes a slowing, so as not to derail, and that hesitation of finding the knowing of which side to take; it’s the metaphorical T junctions that still always grind me beyond the halt. Even though a T junction has just two options, I feel more befuddled as I do turn, to remember which side of the road to stay on. Am I rolling down the wrong side of the road toward a head on collision that I don’t want but won’t be able to avoid? Why can’t I tell? Where is the other traffic, to give me markers of relativity, to return me to my sureness? Oh, right, I chose this new untravelled path, in the creative lane, so breathe, keep navigating, being there, no worries, just we’ll see how it goes!

    I think the confetti makes pixels of creative seeds, in a repurposing, recycling, re-energizing way: that’s why it’s celebratory, exciting, happy, colourfully floaty, releasing, hopeful, lightly falling feeling stuff, until the work of tilling it into the soil, the planting, watering, waiting and caring for the new growth creation.

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    1. ‘ …. the second fork in the creative road, that takes us beyond just the harness of finding solutions to the ‘plan’, all the way to the acceptance of creative options …’ So true. Sometimes that second fork leads to a quite acceptable dead-end. Sometimes there’s a sneaky path, though, to something special.

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  3. ‘ …. the second fork in the creative road, that takes us beyond just the harness of finding solutions to the ‘plan’, all the way to the acceptance of creative options …’ So true. Sometimes that second fork leads to a quite acceptable dead-end. Sometimes there’s a sneaky path, though, to something special.

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