If you hear a voice within you say “you cannot paint”, then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.
Vincent Van Gogh
I had no clue when I posted this 4 years ago how prophetic it was. A couple of weeks after this post, I went to a Christmas party and used some construction paper and paint to ‘make an ornament’. Nothing special. But I took it home and hung it in the kitchen because ‘something came alive’ at that moment. Two months later, I started a painting class. And now I have completed nearly 50 paintings. Many people have encouraged me to stop saying “I paint” and instead say “I’m a painter” – to really own and believe that I am also an artist.
I have struggled with this.
Fast forward, 4 years minus one day from that post. I arrived home to a package from a new but special friend. The package contained the book ‘The Artist’s Way” and a year long journal of the same title, both by Julia Cameron. The books seemed to be sacred space.
Here’s some of what I read, some directly quoted, some paraphrased.
Creativity of all types is not only a spiritual transaction – it is part of being truly human. “If I am fully creative, what will it mean? What will happen to me and others? We have some pretty awful notions about what could happen.” So, rather than find out, we don’t create. We may call it laziness. But is is really fear.
Art is a spiritual transaction. In fear, the voices win.
The next morning, Van Gogh’s quote popped in my ‘on this day’ Facebook feed.
To say I was undone would be putting it mildly.
I started painting 4 years ago and voices that I wasn’t even aware of were silenced. Today I have started to call myself artist and even more of the voices have been silenced. There is power in words.
What are the voices you need to silence?