Each new painting feels like you’re reaching deep into the future. You don’t even know if it’s a future that exists. There are so many possible futures. Yet this painting must take you into some kind of future, because to stay where you are is to die.
And at the same time, you reach into the past. The past is where you came from. If you try to ignore how you got to the place you are now, you can only stay here. And to stay where you are is to die.
The artist’s quest. The hero’s journey. Re-enacted in each new work. Maybe it all feels a bit grandiose if you think, “But I’m only painting a picture. What’s so heroic about that?” But you are using all your skill, all your learning, all the specialness that is you, to create something that didn’t exist before. You will decide to bring a idea to life. You will push back doubt. You will strive to do the best you can do, always. And then at the end of making this painting, whether the wider world appreciates what you have done or not, you will probably begin again. The next time will be that much more difficult, and that much easier.
You will never stop reaching.
Where are you in your artist’s quest? I would love to hear from you in the comments.
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