Last week, the snowstorm Jonas raged around the Northeast and I found myself trapped for 4 days, unable to move my car out of 3 feet of snow. Most of my neighbors were in the same situation–living on a street that the city doesn’t plough! I had my milk and eggs, and was stocked up for the storm, so I embraced the time to really spend some time painting in the studio. For the first couple days it was great. I was able to spend some quality focused time painting and creating new artworks, without having a time limit of having to be done by a certain time or making it to an appointment.
However, I noticed that by the 4th day my hands were tired of doing the same thing–painting all day, every day. My eyes needed a rest from looking at the surface of a canvas so close to me. My body needed to move around and explore past the bounds of my house. I was stir crazy, but the desire not to waste time made me keep painting and creating.
By the time I could move my car down the road, I couldn’t paint without pain. I had overdone it in my zest for using every moment. Therefore, for the next week, I had to take a rest from painting in order to get my hands back in working order. It reminded me of the importance of balance. In order for something to be sustainable, there has to be balance. Life cannot be spent entirely in the studio, or else what is there to paint about? You must experience life to paint about it. It reminded me that rest is just as important a part in the creative process as creating is. Rest allows the mind to be at peace, which brings unexpected creativity.
However, I find too much rest dull…my mind seeks something to accomplish, figure out, challenge itself. And I believe each of us is put here on earth with something great to do that only that individual can do. The thing is to decipher what that is, what that thing is that you want to do. Usually it has something to do with our interests and passions. To find that passion, to corral it, and to make use of your interests in order to add value to humanity, that is a great thing. As Lera Aurbach writes in Excess of Being, “Without desire, nothing is possible.”