Sometimes what we make falls down.
I got back into the studio today for the first time in months. I often don’t really know what I’m going to make or do, I just know I need to put the brush in my hand and see what happens. Today a friend came over, I opened wide the studio door, fresh air moved through. After catching up a bit we slipped into that delicious zone of quiet togetherness, my favorite way to make art.
I picked up a canvas that I had previously played with. There was some different shades of white and cream colored paint on the surface, but nothing else was visible to stir the next step. So I did what I always do: Begin again. This method has brought me into the present moment. And in that moment I am required only to respond to each moment, each layer of paint, paper and pencil. I even make art I don’t particularly like at first, but making something I like isn’t always the purpose. (I tell my students you have to go through the ugly parts.) Keep going. The art will change. Your perspective will change. Put it aside. Come back to it. Begin again.
I am practicing this not only in my art process but in my life process. I am learning about surrender and being. A lot of us are. With all the fast paced, immediate lives we have, healing, recovery and surrender happen much slower than we are accustomed to and it can get frustrating and mind-boggling when I can’t control what’s happening to me.
For the last 6 months, my husband and I have been dealing with major life hurdles from surgery recovery (his) to adrenal fatigue (mine). I cannot force anything: bodily and spiritual recovery, changing other peoples’ opinions of me, feeling like my old self again. Major life lessons for Jenna Rizzo. There are gifts upon gifts in this time and circumstances, but they are not always easy to accept or make room for. Making art is almost always an exact metaphor for how I’m living my life and what I need to remember. Sometimes what we build falls down.
Whenever I try to control the art, it’s no fun. Whenever I think what I’m making sucks, it doesn’t serve me. Whenever I think I know where I’m going, something happens that changes that. Whenever I hold some part of a painting too precious and I’m unwilling to lose it to find out what else may be coming forth, the process becomes constipated. I don’t need to cut out the life lessons in cardboard for you. Let’s just say, art making has brought me back to a place of peace once again.