Being Aware of the Process

As part of my continued efforts in the Art Every Day Month, I spent several hours painting yesterday.  

Part of my progress is learning technique, practicing that which I am very slowly learning from books and websites.  One of those techniques was outlining the painting before starting.  (Just one way of doing a painting.)

This is where I started (no real idea - just painted lines in movement):


And this is where it finished:


It is what it is.  A play of color (blending various colors to see what happens) and just letting the brush flow with no real goal other than exploration.

Immediately after, I had to begin her: (work in progress)


And I hated it.  Strike that - I was very very strongly frustrated at the several hours of painting progress.  (For those who follow me on Facebook, this is the profile I was speaking about struggling with very late last night.)

The first painting seemed too simple, too trite and light-hearted.  The second had the message and depth, but I spent well over an hour working on the profile face...and still know it is not "right".

Don't get me wrong - I am more than thrilled at the time I spent actually creating.  That I sat down and DID these is an accomplishment.

And lest you think I've lost myself in the reflections on triteness and/or the painting being "right"...

I've yet to mention the best part:  The awareness of all of this.  Truly, "I" am peaceful - with the process, with the outcomes.  "I" am the one who is aware of the frustration, the clinging to perfection or need for a masterpiece each time I create something.  I may be frustrated, but as long as I stay in the awareness of the frustration - not the frustration itself - my practice, my creativity will continue.

Next time you sit down to type a paper, paint a picture, or cook a meal...try staying in the awareness beyond your emotions.  

Dwell in the curiosity.

And if you are so inclined, let me know how it goes.