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Article Teaser: Do you have a difficult time getting out of your head when making art? How can you create from your heart when you are so used to being responsible, and taking care of everything? I share your plight in this, and hope you'll find some light shining through the cracks in this article.

Keep reading below...

Why Control is a Limiting Illusion

Copyright (c) 2007-2017

My sister could always go out on any lawn, bend down and pick up a four-leaf clover. Every time! She drove me nuts with her "luck". Then, I would go out and look for hours, and never find a single one. I read somewhere that there is a much larger percentage of four-leaf clovers than I would've imagined. So, why couldn't I ever find one?

Somehow my sister had no ego stake in her ability to find four-leaf clovers. It was perfectly natural to her. The moment your goal becomes to be someone special, it becomes so important, that you are blinded to the bigger view. Your real goal is to be the one who finds it, rather than taking part in the magic of finding.

You need to have some concept, feeling, or idea before setting out to make a piece of art. But if this crosses the line of partnership, then it can turn into the illusion of you actually controlling all of your creation, without a chance for the subject to have a say. Just as in any relationship, that kind of control stunts the growth of the partnership.

This "I am the creator" attitude is actually bound up with quite a bit of fear, I think. By being used to scarcity in some way or other, this person feels compelled to have to do it all. . . to take it all on.

While so burdened with responsibility, she cannot even notice all the beckoning ideas, variations, extentions that are right in front of her. So many opportunities are lost because the doorway between her heart and the heart of the painting is clouded.

What is the price of holding onto control so tightly? Have you seen paintings on display which look rigid, and somehow predictable? They look like they were pre-planned, and they probably were.

But real living things and ideas grow organically, and have many nuances and anomalies which got there naturally. An interesting piece of art grows the same way. With the help of an artist an idea is allowed the space to breathe and grow into an entity of its own.

Once I had a commission to paint "my rendition" of a photograph of the client's home on the prairies. I took on the challenge, because he had said I could do whatever I wanted with it. Quite the confidence in my skills! But of course, this was very tough to do with only the photo to guide me. I've never seen that place, so I had nothing to go on beyond the photo, except his description of what it had been like.

There has to be a breaking away time, the earlier the better, when the original inspiration or source idea gets put out of sight. Then you can get into relationship with the subject, and it with you. After the initial fear of flying blind, a working relationship takes over, if you give it a chance. I've always suffered under the illusion that I had to be responsible for nearly every outcome. Making this break had always been fearful. It meant giving up control. And even though I knew intellectually this is an illusion, the body's memory is like an elephant's.

If you don't make this separation early enough, it soon becomes an exercise in technical copying. The result is as shallow as this sounds. Separation time is always haunted by fear, however slight. It is actually letting go your illusion of control. One approach to letting go, that works for me, is to remain curious. Let yourself be surprised.

I had to physically get into the scene of my commission. Eventually, it started to grow on me. It was through the physical relationship of painting an 8 foot a triptych that I couldn't see the whole thing until I went out my studio door, that the piece took on a life of its own. Once I stopped running back and forth, I literally, physically, got into relationship with it. I had to trust its own spirit to guide me with a gentle, willing heart.

I used to haunt secondhand shops, and once had a rash of finding cashmere sweaters for under $5. It didn't happen at first. I had to "put in my time" of just plain looking at everything. Once I noticed this streak of "luck" though, it stopped dead. Never happened again. Why? Because I had bought into the illusion of control --- that it was something I could make happen.

It was the four leaf-clover all over again. And it was every stiff, uninspired painting I've ever made too. Creating from your heart, in cooperation with your head, takes genuine humility. It takes a willingness to find the unexpected, or the unknown; to risk living your connectedness in the flesh.

As long as you cling to the illusion of control, you will keep finding yourself ultimately bored with the results. Nothing ventured, nothing gained is as true for making any art as it is for any other part of life.

Don't overlook the buddy system. To find a buddy to share your stuckness can help immensely. Others can often see in us what we are too close to see in ourselves.

The subject of control is one with which I have a vast wealth of experience. I've found it is the biggest threat when not recognized by the owner. Once recognized, it can be melted with the heart's gentleness, patience, and time.

You cannot surrender, in fact, but you can stop not surrendering.


About The Author: Shop Amazon - Top Gift Ideas
Hello, I'm Celeste Varley and have been an artist at heart all my life. It is my privilege and passion to help seekers move beyond self-expression, to access the seeds of wholeness within. If you like this article, you may want to see more "Fresh Horses" articles on my website. Check it out and see if it's right for you. http://www.heartsongstudio.com Celeste Varley, Heartsong Studio, Helping the Creative Spirit to Soar.

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The Museum of Modern Art in NY held an exhibit featuring a painting by Renoir. About 140,000 viewers came to admire this work. They all saw the sky, the sea, and the sailboat. But, not one of the 140,000 viewers noticed that the painting was hung upside down. Why not? Because we see what we expect to see. Now I don't know if this story is actually true. I heard it on a TV courtroom drama, but it certainly illustrates a truism. See how clear your vision really is in this article.

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Written by: Nicole Maschwitz | Distributed: 2008-05-06 | Word Count: 419 | Page Views: 2441 | Votes: 12 | Rating: 2.33
Lets face it, times have changed long gone are the days of knitting and crocheting. Lets admit it now with the introduction of computers and X box, the next generation is more interested in helping Scratch from Ice Age rather than doing embroidery. In addition, with mass production of goods from China and other countries, unique is becoming more rare.

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Internal ID: #4472
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Total Views: 2766

Article Rating: 2.15 of 5
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