Sometimes it difficult to get down to basics. Holding onto the tools of our trade — brushes, chisels, colored pencils, whatever, goes a long way toward propelling ourselves along the path.
But there’s another asset to keep uppermost in your kit. It’s called “The Habit of Application.” I’ve talked to a lot of artist-friends about the gamut from Transcendental Meditation, self-hypnosis, grinding egocentricity, green-feedback, blind energy, Zeusing around, joy mode, hourglass, self-training, habit formation. I’ve noticed that successful artists always find their tool. There are commonalities. There is some form of steadiness, even serenity — perhaps spurred by either love or anger, a self-centering calmness that takes the artist away from the cares of normalcy and trivial pursuits. There is a kind of driven activation, to the exclusion of outside interference, unwanted influence and the dripping of faucets that need to be repaired. And when the faucets are repaired it’s called “avoidance activity.”
Ideally, concentration and transformation generate automatically. Further, there is an understanding that it’s okay to be just here, in front of this time-honoured easel; working, exploring, devising, unfolding a private way through the marvellous puzzle and the greater mystery of creativity.
Have you ever noticed that some people are driven by passion? Have you ever wondered where it came from? “Passion is our ground — our island — do other’s exist?” said Eudora Welty. That’s how we stay our ground. In a way it’s private. Passion is a private habit, and private habits are learned.
PS “In: the quiet serenity of the meditative mind; listen, absorb, transcribe, and transform.”(Pythagoras)
“The journey is it’s own reward.” (Homer)