Art and the Blues
Sometimes, when we are stuck in a creative rut, we don't realize that maybe we are choosing to be there. Maybe we are choosing to be blocked creatively. This is a shocking realization that I have come to recently. That most of my walls and blocks are of my own making; having mostly to do with fear and shame. Fear of failure? Maybe fear of success? Shame that the art I make or that my life is not good enough. These are some pretty deep issues... yikes! I must be an artist!
I am currently reading through the book "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron. If you have never read this, you must! It is incredibly articulate and is allowing me to have a lot of open discussions with myself about the things that block me or cause me problems in my art practice. It is sort of blowing my mind at how accurately it is helping me see what is going on inside, when all along I thought it was external factors!
The book is peppered with wonderful quotes from many admired creatives. One that struck me today was a quote by Duke Ellington, " I merely took the energy it takes to pout and wrote some blues."
Sometimes I allow my "junk" to shut me down creatively, when really what I most need is to go into that place and create! The Duke is an amazing musician and his music might be called "the blues" but it is uplifting for me to realize that he took that energy and created something beautiful. What if the authors of such music had not picked up their instruments and had simply gone into their rooms and pouted? How dare I do the same? How dare you! Rather, I dare both you and I to take whatever energy we have, whether it be pouty or otherwise, and pick up our instruments and, if need be, play the blues.
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