Friday, January 18, 2013

How to Stay Motivated

Experimenting on paper with new art supplies in my studio
For artists, strong emotion and passion are key to staying motivated. This can be tough because some days you just wake up feeling like crap.

Other days are light and easy. Things seem to go your way.

I use meditation to ground me and mentally prepare for working in the studio. This helps me get into a good head space for painting. For me, it relieves the self-induced pressure of expectation.

In Robert Genn's seminar "The Painter's Keys", he writes:  "Meditation knocks down the barriers that keep us from the full experience of life. Most of us limit our experience out of fear or loss. We dull our minds with tobacco and alcohol, we dull our senses with overloads, loud music and entertainment. We tighten our minds with stress. Meditation dissolves what it is that keeps us from full experience."

Deep breathing and mindful awareness goes a long way. Once I'm grounded, I find that my artistic curiosity is free. I can explore, experiment, and discover. There is an opening - - a spaciousness that enables each painting to develop.

Of course there are plenty of times that I can't seem to get on track. I use those for running errands, toning canvases, and more mundane tasks. Retail therapy also helps.