I was glancing at my calendar yesterday and suddenly realized that my first show of the year is in 8 weeks, in Niagara-on-the Lake! I could feel the panic rising up inside of me, because I started thinking "ONLY 8 WEEKS AWAY? BUT I'M NOT READY, I HAVE ALL THESE PAINTINGS TO FINISH, AND NEW ONES TO START.......and what if no one likes them when I'm done, and what if, what if, what if....." and I spent the better part of the rest of my day in panic mode about not being ready! It was pretty awful.
I decided to go far a walk (actually two walks, because my dogs are each about a hundred pounds, and because I need to use a cane to walk, and don't do that very fast, I have to take them one at a time!). But that not only makes me get outside and get moving, it sure helps to get rid of some of the "noise" in my head. Once I get going, it's quite lovely to just walk. I used to walk everywhere, and for hours with my dogs before I became partly dissabled, and I missed it immensley when I couldn't walk for quite a while.
I live in a very,very old neighbourhood, with tree lined streets, that have a vast and various assortment of houses, all different shapes, sizes, colours, and some that are quite old and quirky (like mine!). But it makes the walks interesting, and I love to see the changes these properties go through as the seasons change. My dogs love it too. One of them is 10, and isn't moving as fast as he used too (which makes it easy for me!), and he wants to smell EVERYTHING. But that gives me a chance to really look around, and see things that I may not have noticed before, because I walked by too fast. It gives me a chance to perhaps see something that is an inspiration for a future painting, or an element that could be added to make a work in progress a better composition.
It also helps me realize that we all seem to live our lives in "fast forward" most of the time, and don't get to just stop and be "quiet", and see or hear the world around us. I live in the middle of the city, with buses, and cars, ambulances and trucks racing all over the place, but surpisingly it's quiet, once I'm a block away from the main roads. It's wonderful. There's not a whole lot of any noise, except maybe the birds singing, ( and that's beautiful) or the occasional lawn mower going a block or two away. Being "quiet" and just letting your mind wander is a wonderful luxury, and I am getting better at doing that, and getting better at appreciating it when I do. It's amazing how much stuff can get trapped in your mind and get you so bogged down that you can't see or hear, or accomplish much of anything.
I realized after both my walks, just how much energy I wasted on thinking that I wouldn't be ready for the show, or good enough, or accepted, or any other negative thing that popped into my head while I was panicking. WHAT a WASTE of time! It's hard not to get caught up in it, but I am so glad that I have these two big wonderful dogs that make get outside and get myself together. I also realized after a while that I will be ready, that I'm sure my work won't be awful, and that everything will be just fine (for now!!!)
Anyway I better get painting , got to get ready!
Upcoming shows are listed further down in this site.
If you would like to contact me, you can do so at firstname.lastname@example.org