How much time do I have left in my life to become a good artist? (Notice I didn't say 'great'...........I've settled for 'good' because I've studied for many years already and don't know if I can live long enough to become 'great'. Maybe it wouldn't matter anyway............maybe I could never be 'great' OMG! Let's not go there right now! I may have to go to bed and never paint again.
How many workshops do I have to sign up for? How many classes do I have to take? How many paintings do I need to paint? HOW MUCH MORE SUFFERING DO I HAVE TO ENDURE??? Suffering you ask? YES! SUFFERING!! I'm talking about Torment! Agony! Going to bed depressed! Tears!
Many of my artist friends suffer the same fate. Are you one of us? The artists who suffer? Do you ever talk to yourself and say things like this?:
. "Why can't I be like other people?"
. "Why can't I be happy just to watch soap operas and sleep till noon and
have luncheons with my friends?"
. "What made me think I could be an artist?"
. "What the hell was I thinking?"
. "Why do I keep these useless paintings? I may as well set them on fire -
throw them in the trash - they're worthless!"
Van Gogh talked to himself this way. He was driven to cut off his ear! Don't worry, I'm too vain to do anything like that! But I understand him! It is said that Toulouse Lautrec and Monet may have talked to themselves like this. New studies reveal that even Michaelangelo may have had 'issues'. We're not alone! Others of us have excelled and created masterpieces! We're in good company.
In his book 'The Van Gogh Blues', Eric Maisel, PhD states that virtually 100% of creative people will suffer from episdoes of depression. Why? "Because every creative person came out of the womb ready to interrogate life and determine for herself what life would mean, could mean, and should mean. Her gift or curse was that she was born ready to stubbornly doubt received wisdom and disbelieve that anyone but she was entitled to provide answers to her own meaning questions."
Further, he states that: "Not creating is depressing because she is not making meaning when she is not creating. Creating but falling short in her efforts is also depressing because only insufficient meaning is produced if her products strike her as weak or shallow. Even creating well can be depressing because of the lingering sense that what she is doing is only veneering meaninglessness."
Do you recognize yourself in his words? I sure do! This is what has kept me creating since I was a very small child. Always learning something new. A whole lifetime of being driven to create. The hope to find meaning is the goal though I didn't know it then. Creating something gave me great moments of joy as I grew up. I was satisfied with less perfection when there seemed to be no rush. The time gets shorter and shorter as we age and the search for a meanng to life gets more desperate.
When I was very young I asked a Nun this question: "Where is the proof of these things we are taught? How do we know they are true?" Her answer was "You have to have faith." I needed a better answer. If that were true then I was doomed!!! I was on my way to being an artist!
I've always known I was a little different. I was just 'emotional'......a 'drama queen'........'Italian'. I've always cried hard and laughed hard. I didn't know it was because I was always looking for the meaning of life. WOW! It makes me feel so important! So, even with all the pain and suffering, I am able to experience euphoria from time to time especially when I create an acceptable painting. I'd rather be me than to be bland and beige. The rainbow is my thing!!
I cannot imagine my life without being able to creaat. I LOVE LIFE!!
Here's to being who we are.........creators of our own universe!
Where's my wine?