"He was an amazing artist. He painted for about 4 years and was very prolific. Then he stopped painting, he had already said everything he had to say..."
I remember my instructor Frank O'Cain sharing this story in the studio at the Art Students league in New York years ago. I don't remember the artist he was talking about or even the context of the sharing, I just remember the chill I felt the moment I heard the words. It wasn't the chill of the winter night outside on 57th street. It wasn't the chill of the cold concrete floors and old skylights above either. It was the chill of fear, "SHIT! What if that ever happens to me?"
Anyone who knows me, knows I always have something to say. My chatter can be incessant at times, twisting and turning seeming to make no sense at times but eventually weaving back to my original point. When I can't enter a conversation I feel like a curious little kid sitting on my hands to control myself from touching everything around me. Man of man, the restraint...
What if I never have anything left to say? Visually or audibly, it's how I connect. It's how I communicate. If no stories are left, in the making or sharing, what's the point really?
There have been times it felt like I had nothing left to say, always in the state of immense shifts. The death of my brother or father. The births of my children. Cross country moves. The paints sat in boxes for a month or two (sometimes more). Eventually my amazing husband Steve would suggest for the millionth time that maybe it was time to paint and I would finally hear him. I would pull out a brush and slowly the words would come back as the marks hit the page. I would be reminded that creativity breeds more creativity.
I'm in a place where I have so much to say and do and share and make I don't know how to accomplish it all but I'm doing what I can. I'm filing away some ideas or wants or projects for another time knowing if they're important they will find there way back to me.
I'm also revisiting work in my #77daysofpainting sharing and finding that not all of the paintings, conversations on page with myself, are complete. That I have more to say on the topic, the color, the shape. Most importantly I'm realizing (again perhaps) that I have the power to change that. To add more, to tweak what I was saying, to change it all together, and wow... That feels good.
How do you feel about running out of things to say? On changing some things you already have?