The winter season can be beautiful. My favorite part is when the snow falls and my world is blanketed in white. My world slows down and becomes seemingly untouched, pristine, and almost new again. Like a blank canvas waiting for paint. Despite the beauty, the cold and sometimes gloomy days of winter have me dreaming of spring. I find myself dreaming about sun filled days, bright green grass, and flowers blooming all around me. The change and transformation that spring promises, and always fulfills, is inspiring during a season that seems to have my inspiration in hibernation. The promise of a blooming and growing environment is not solely about my external world, it’s about my internal state.
Unfortunately since becoming an Art Therapist I’ve had a hard time nurturing my artist self when my creative energy is invested elsewhere. Work and Life are riddled with change, transition and of course distraction. Each experience can be either positive or negative but regardless of how we feel about the changes, each change can be a catalyst for growth. I used the words “can be” because we have to take time to self reflect, avoid distraction and purposefully invest in our artist selves. Have you ever found yourself in that place where the unplanned, the unknown, or the metaphorical white canvas feels intimidating? When it’s easier to just NOT make art? How do you embrace the unknown and overcome apparent barriers to creativity?
When I paint I can’t over plan. If I force the paint, force the image, force my hand then the painting looks strained. There is no natural flow, no imagination, no passion, no movement or growth. I have to be patient and let my creativity flow through me, through my fingers, the brush and the paint until the canvas accepts all that it can. Just like a garden requires patience and nurturing in order to grow I must be patient with my art. However, my art cannot blossom if I don’t sow the seeds first; I have to purposefully invest in my creative spirit so that I can cultivate my artist within and allow each painting or piece of art to slowly blossom. You can’t force growth, but it is natural, and can thrive if you allow it. Embracing change and growth as well as investing in our artist selves proves to be well worth it.
Although I find myself in inspirational hibernation I know that natures cycle with both literally and metaphorically bring growth and will bloom within me in time. With each day I will self reflect, encourage patience and nurture any seeds of inspiration that arise, knowing that the soon my inspiration will flourish.