There’s a lot going on in my latest painting, so I titled it “Busy, and I Like It!” My recent journey is cluttered with a lot of thoughts on “busy.” Sometimes, I feel guilty about my “busy.” I get stuck in thinking that I should be doing something different: something more meaningful. Other times, I embrace it: God made me this way. I see that it’s not a mistake that I don’t “relax” like you do? I get peace and joy out of painting, and what I create often is a reflection of my internal experience. Look at this painting and you will see “busy,” but you will also see happiness. My most recent internal work is focused on accepting myself as I am and believing that I am OK this way. Especially, if the fruits of my “busy” are positive and life giving: even if that’s only true for me.
Sometimes I feel guilty about the time I give to painting. It’s a lot of “busy” that doesn’t usually yield tangible results. Shouldn’t I be saving the world? Isn’t my time better spent helping someone else? When I think it through, I realize that the impulse to create was in me from the very beginning. I have always been wired this way. If I stop art making, and choose something “better,” am I doing what God made me to do? It’s true. Painting doesn’t feed the sick, save the whales, or provide clean water. With that said, why would God wire me this way if it wasn’t for something bigger? Maybe there’s a plan and a purpose for my journey on canvas?
My creative journey has brought me to a new place. It’s a place where I consider the value of creative process, “creatives” like me, and art in the world. Would it really be better if all the “creatives” altogether stopped creating and redirected their creative energies into something more “important?” “Creatives” do tend to be busy people driven by the impulse to create. We’d be harnessing an awful lot of energy for the better good. I think of art, in all its forms, and what it means for me. Then, I hear music, look at a photograph, study a painting, or enjoy a performance, and I am moved and changed. The experience is spiritual and intense. Suddenly, everything is transformed. I see that there is the clean water that we drink and it restores. I also see creative expression that quenches the thirst of our souls. Both refresh us. Today, I will be “busy” and I will like it. I will do the mundane things we all do: clean the dishes, make a meal, shower, and help my kid with homework. I will take a run, say a prayer, spend time with my family, and read a few pages in a book that inspires me. I will reach beyond myself to help someone else if they need it. With whatever time is left, I will be “busy” painting. If you are a fellow “creative,” join me. Make yourself “busy” creating. Share what you create because it will quench your thirst and the thirst of someone else’s soul. Enjoy your “busy” time and like it. Believe that someone else will like it, too.