Why I Create Art and Write about It

I feel an uncomfortable tension when I start a new painting or when I write about my artwork and art practice. There are two main reasons for these feelings. First, the possibility of failure looms large. I’m never sure I can actually do what I want to do. And if I do succeed, then people will see my work. The possibility of failure and of exposure are natural, inescapable consequences of art making and writing.

The consequences of not making and sharing my work are greater, though. I know this for sure because a few decades ago, I thought I could just walk away from the drive to create. It was a ridiculous and short-lived idea.

Everyone is born with the desire to create. We just create different things. I happen to love art and words. I love reading, word puzzles, and writing. (Yes, I do the daily Wordle puzzle.) And the natural world, with its endless variety of light, forms, and seasons, is my kind of eye candy.

Why Creating Matters

“Most of us live two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us,” wrote Steven Pressfield in The War of Art. He goes on: “Ever quit a diet, a course of yoga, a meditation practice? Have you ever wanted to be a mother, a doctor, an advocate for the weak and helpless; to run for office, crusade for the planet, campaign for world peace, or to preserve the environment? Are you a writer who doesn’t write, a painter who doesn’t paint…?”

Resistance to living an authentic life, a life that includes or is based on what inspires you, is a toxic force that makes us less than we were born to be.

Thomas Edison is famously known to have tested more than 6,000 different materials before he successfully created the filament lightbulb.

Michael Jordan missed over 9,000 shots at goal. That’s more shots than an average NBA player ever takes.

I’m inspired by nature. Making art and writing help me be the person I’m meant to be; they also allow me to share with others what has value to me.

About the art:

Winter Light is painted with gouache and was inspired by a photo I took while on a walk. The sun was starting to set and when its rays hit the bushes next to the lake, they just lit up! Winter Light is currently part of the Spring Members Non-juried Exhibit at Hopkins Art Center in Hopkins, Minnesota, through May 7, 2022.

3 comments

  1. Great post. I myself am learning that I take time for granted when I have too much of it, and thus don’t write as much as I should. This post has given me much thought. Thanks for sharing!

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    • I’m happy you stopped by and that you found inspiration to think about your own writing practice. Be yourself and share what grows from you being you with your readers.

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  2. I entered the painting “Winter Light” in an exhibit at the Hopkins Art Center in Minnesota, and then I started second guessing that decision. My experience with gouache paint is limited. I thought that perhaps I’d overstepped. Then I remembered that nothing can be gained if I don’t try. We have to step out of our comfort zones.

    I was notified this week that the painting was sold. Yeah! I’m delighted that someone is taking it home after the exhibit ends.

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