“The bold adventurer succeeds the best.” Ovid (from The Painter’s Keys)
Suddenly the realization dawns that things have gone stagnant. The same direction is going on and on, endlessly. Everything is feeling redundant. It’s a circle going round and round. What can be done to stop this looming boredom? Maybe its time to go for some bold adventuring. How about trying a bit of whitewater rafting, at least on paper. On paper, there’s no danger of falling out of the boat and cracking a head or other various bones on a rock.
White water rafting involves skill and good equipment. It requires knowledge and common sense. Most of all white water rafting requires the willingness to go for adventure. Merriam-Webster defines adventure as, “the encountering of risks.” The risk begins by strapping on a helmet and life jacket. Next get into the boat. Then push the boat out into the current. A battle to hang on ensues. The fast water picks up the craft and begins to toss it around as it moves swiftly down the river. The task of steering the boat away from rocks and other obstacles will take over all focus. The adrenalin starts to flow. An adventure is in progress.
How does adventure happen on paper or canvas? It starts with the willingness to try something new, beginning with fresh equipment. Choose a bold new direction and get caught up in a swift moving river of adventure. See where the fast moving water leads. It could land in an entirely new place. Or it could end up back at the beginning but with a fresh new infusion of energy producing adrenalin. You never know where a white water river will take you. Strap on a brush and go with the flow.
“What is once well done, is done forever.” Henry David Thoreau (from Brainyquote.com)
Is there a little bird who says when its time to stop tweaking a work or a subject? When is enough, enough? Many creative people have a difficult time knowing when to stop. A tweaky little tweaker flitting in to let out a bit of tweak when the time has come to stop all tweaking would relieve a lot of the guess work. The little tweaker would pop out the tweak just as the temptation to add just one more bit, one more word, one more shot is about to takeover. The tweaker would bring freedom from the urge to tweak.
ArtNews has an article by Ann Landi posted about this subject. Landi talks to several noted artists about when they know the work is complete. Landi says, “for some artists, the work is done when it leaves the studio. Others keep tinkering in the galleries. One waits for the piece to “cry uncle.” The responses Landi got were as varied as the artists themselves. Artists are as creative in when to stop as they are in where to begin.
Artist Sandy Guthrie of Createx.com addresses the problem by identifying a “gut” reaction to the work in progress. Guthrie says, “what to do with the ones that are good, possibly very good—but just not grabbing you in the gut in the same way, is very difficult.” Guthrie “read about an artist who says she always hangs her new work in her house after she has finished. If after a few weeks she feels she loves it, then it can be sold. If not, it goes back to the studio for more work.”
When to stop tweaking is apparently one of those little oddities that only an artist can answer for him/her self. It’s a dilemma to be worked out on an individual basis. The problem could quickly be solved if the tweaker would just show up and tweak a little tune at the precise moment the work is complete. Harnessing the cheeky, tweaky tweaker is a difficult process. Just be careful not to mix up the tweaker for the twerker. You definitely wouldn’t want to go there
“To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.” William Shakespeare (Hamlet)
Sometimes the force of changing directions jumps up and plants a big ole slap across the face. After the stinging subsides a bit, a little need to check on the “true to self” state of things is in order. If the directional changing slap stirs up some major dust then the only possible answer is to sit out the storm. The eye of the storm is the perfect place for a reexamination of the current situation. There is no way to see which way the wind is blowing when caught up in the center of the whirling.
With no avenue of escape visible, the only other option is to contemplate a new direction. The process could be painful. Storms are known for that. But there is always something to be gained by hanging on to see where the storm is heading. After all, Dorothy wound up off to see a Wizard on the Yellow Brick Road when the storm died. The difficulty is in finding the reason for the storm. It usually involves the willingness to change.
While caught up in the storm, some serious time spent “true-ing to self “ will likely bring the needed opening of escape. The storm can bring on a wonderful new insight. When you can’t see out through a storm the only other place to look is inside. That is where the power to stop a storm is found. Once the power is in hand the storm can be slapped back down again. After the dust settles, the new direction appears. And who doesn’t enjoy the chance to slap a storm down. Maybe that storm wasn’t really as bad as it first appeared. It might even be possible to like that whole storm thing. The outcome just may be worth it.
Check out the video link (here) on how this amazing group from New Zealand made the trip to Las Vegas for the International Hip Hop Dance Competition.
Dancing is valuable for seniors and others with mobility issues. This group of seniors took that advice seriously and formed their own Hip Hop dance group. Nothing is slowing this group down. Dance is growing as a way of promoting healthy safe moving in the healthcare environment. And one thing is very clear: dancing is fun! What could be more motivating?
Dance movement is proving to be a valuable tool for people with Parkinson’s disease. The Dance for PD organization is growing nationwide. The research is showing the process of dancing can change the way people with Parkinson’s are able to move. The Brooklyn Parkinson Group joined the Mark Morris Dance Group to develop dance moves directed toward specific mobility issues for people with Parkinson’s. Dance for PD and the Morris dance Group have workshops, seminars and more to help other groups get on board.
Dance in Healthcare, like Art in Healthcare, should not be confused with Dance Therapy. For more on the difference between Art Therapy and Artists in Healthcare see a previous post (here). Columbia College of Chicago has a description on the Graduate blog, Marginalia. Dance Therapists, like Art Therapists, are equipped to deal with emotional issues, as well as dance. Follow the link to the website for more information.
Dance is another way artists are helping people live more fulfilling lives. Judging by the Hip Op-eration Crew, they are having a blast. Even those of us with two left feet may be able to join this happy crowd. So get your dancing shoes out and start dancing for the health of it.
The bare limbs of the trees twist and turn as they spiral toward a blue winter sky. The blue sky defies the bitter cold on a cold blustery day. These trees are on the grounds of the Ellington Agricultural Center in Nashville, Tennessee.
“I don’t mind what the critics say. The worst thing is to be ignored.” Les Dawson (from Brainyquote)
Rare is the artist, writer, photographer, musician who doesn’t at some time receive negative criticism. After getting past wishing for a VooDoo doll of the critic to stick pins into, try some of these very good suggestions from others who have been there. Turning the negative into a positive can go a long way to not only restoring confidence but to neutralizing any painful feelings from the encounter. There is no question that some people love to criticize for a multitude of reasons. Reverse that negativity as fast as possible and turn it into a fresh green bud of new growth and freedom. Ultimately, the opposite of the confines of criticism is the freedom of new birth.
Here are some great articles for turning the negative into the positive.
The Artists Network: