The inner game

Forget shoulds and experience is. — W. Timothy Gallwey

Great letter from Sara Genn about the inner game of art.

Let your muscle memory do the technical heavy lifting. Think of your practiced, mastered skills as an insurance policy against self-doubt, but also as a set of wings for heightened expression. If you want to be a painter, you need to know how to paint. This mastery frees you to then slip into an automatic mode of play and communication.


Back to Work

There’s always a little pause after NaNoWriMo during which the desire to keep writing (even not at that pace) is overwhelmed by fatigue and the rushing stress that is December and the holidays. Some of that fatigue was also being sick which turned out to be a stealth sinus infection.

But now – a brand new year!

In the past few days I’ve done some writing and some painting so we’re on track for a good year. So far the temperatures are definitely not conducive to anything like plein air work but I’m going to try and convince myself that car-sketching is a thing.

First I sat down and did four small quickies.

Yesterday I treated myself to a “Paint-along” with my via-Patreon-tutor, Alan Owen. These often don’t go as planned because as he’s filming he gets to turn off the camera and let things dry. I often miss the skip and keep painting and then have to either go back later or figure out how to fix what’s going on. Still a good learn. To me, his trees don’t look like my trees. Around here most of the trees are bare and so the tree line is a brown/grey with a lot of pines mixed in. (Sorry for the iffy screenshot but it is enough to show the trees. Also many brit trees have their trunks covered in thick vines, which he also shows here.)

Here’s the photo I took while it was all still a bit damp.

And then another when quite dry.

Robert Siegel – All Things Considered

Last night I had the pleasure of listening to Terry Gross interview Robert Siegel, about to retire from years of hosting All Things Considered on NPR. Robert and I go way back, and many people can say the same I realize, but in 2015 I wrote about an experience I had with Mr. Siegel in 2003. I was on my way to my parents’ home on Christmas eve after working in the mall on Christmas Eve day. I was done and suddenly there was Robert Siegel talking about one of his favorite pieces of music, Beethoven’s 7th Symphony, the second movement, Allegretto.

As I listened I began to cry and finally I had to pull over. I described that a couple years later in a blog post and it continues to be true that I re-listen to that segment from time to time. You can read about it and listen to it here.

I thought it was fabulous that he took time to write me. Maybe he doesn’t routinely make women weep.

So listen and then listen to him talking about what it’s like to think about doing something else after doing what you love for many many years. Thank you Robert Siegel and Terry Gross!

The Force

What’s happiness? When a totally nerdy, pop-culture iconic movie character says the exact same thing that every freaking thing you’ve ever read or been told by someone speaking to you about writing and art.

There were more than a few times last night that I felt tears well up and that might have been the biggest. I am guilty of reciting the “there is no try” bit. And I’m able to apply that and last night’s messages to more than art-making.

And ain’t that the whole hero’s journey -and the artist’s, to keep going, to learn from everything – success and failure, and to be true to yourself.

Thanks for the reminder. I needed that.

Day 29, NaNoWriMo – What’s That I Hear?

Yes folks it was the NaNoWriMo crew applauding and cheering on my superpowers of writing and telling me I’m their hero because:

I’m ripping open my winner shirt as we speak. I like all of them although my particular favorite is the venn diagram: 50000 words, 30 days, 0 excuses. Words to live by folks. Words to live by.

Anyway, I was just part way through the part that almost crushed me with it’s abyss-ness earlier in the month. I ended up blipping over it and hurtling towards the big wedding. The abyss looks smaller but needs more fill and there’s still one wedding to go before everyone starts their happily ever after.

In the meantime I promised myself some wine and some sleep.

PS the anticipation tonight while I tried to beat the clock at the library was intense!

Maggie and NaNoWriMo Day 28

No not Rod Stewart’s Maggie May but an even older one, set to a new tune. If you like, here’s a live version with an explanation at the beginning.

Not too many more words to go… at least not to win NaNoWriMo but more to the story… ain’t that the story of my life.

PS Went to urgent care yesterday where the nurse and nurse practitioner both made me realize how lucky I am to be as healthy as I am. Which was good but I still felt terrible with this cold/throat/head thing. I got sent home with orders to do more forceful symptomatic relief and to call if no improvement by Thursday. Glad I went even though I might have been the one napping in the waiting room LOL.

Day 22, NaNoWriMo

After yesterday’s big push I wondered if I’d have words today, but I managed to crank out quite a few at lunch and finished solidly in the green tonight. think I’ll do a little paper and pen work (so to speak) amd figure out how to bridge my mushy/marshy spot now that I see a way to resolve the dilemma.