I couldn’t stand it any longer. I had a big, ugly canvas staring at me every time I walked into the studio.
It was haunting me.
It was too big and costly to throw away, so there it sat week after week, month after month tormenting me…. defeating me…. laughing at me.
Tired and sick….and ill-tempered, I walked into my studio this morning and was greeted for the last time by the beast. I guess I was feeling indignant enough to take it on. I couldn’t stand it another minute. So I made room on the floor, spread a drop-cloth, retrieved my bricks and slammed that sucker down on top of them. I got out paint cans and my big brushes and just obliterated the intense colors that stung every nerve in my body. I wiped them out. Back and forth, and back and forth some more.
AHHHHH~~~ gone. Why? Why had I waited so long to rid of that monster?
Slowly I began to make some sense of my brush strokes. I grabbed my water bottle and let gravity and the brush reveal a bit of the intensity underneath. A pops of red, greens and golds began to ground the new landscape that was emerging. I so delicately began to paint the hints of clouds.. wisps fading in and out. How calm I felt. No longer was I standing in a place of agitation and fury, but I now stood in setting of peace and calm. I turned on my music and got lost for awhile in the subtle shifting of the piece. I thought back to where I was when I first began the painting and how I struggled constantly with it; the expectations I had for it. Foolish, I know.
In some ways, I have changed a lot in the past year. I know I have learned a lot. As I have expanded more towards this path that I have dreamt of for as long as I can remember, I am aware of the boundaries that I have established to protect this dream. I am consciously aware now that I have precious few hours a week to spend painting and expanding my business. And, I have learned to safeguard that time while working on not feeling guilty for not volunteering as much, not having as much time play time with friends and not keeping up with chores and laundry piles. I realize that when I was first painting this piece, I was trying to do it all. Of course, I couldn’t. I let people down, myself down and wasn’t doing anything well, especially this canvas! This angry canvas was my mirror of exhaustion and frustration. Those first layers were necessary so that I could recognize how off course I was. I can see that now.
As I continued to paint, I realize that I can feel myself letting go of the little things and working on setting better priorities. I can feel myself letting go of the expectations of others and focusing on giving of myself the best I can. I can feel myself letting go of anger and embracing happiness. I can feel myself finally settling into my trueness. And just like this piece, I am adding layers upon layers of intention to become a more peaceful me.
Tomorrow, I will go back to it with new eyes again and get to see what the new layers bring. If only we could reset all parts of our life with some layers of paint.