The Art of Letting Go

(As you can see, I got my image hosting capabilities sorted out. Bear with me while I figure out how to do this again. Hopefully my page is not too slow loading now.)

The big problem I have with doing any art is knowing when to stop doing stuff to my art. That moment when some background process in my being says “Stop. Now. Just Stop.” and I put down my stuff and quit tweaking it to make it “better.” Sometimes I don’t listen to that voice and end up with a convoluted mess instead of a simpler mess.

orange seemed like a good idea...
Prayer #4 (Ink and watercolor on paper.)

Like when I did this one. I was playing with order and disorder, regularity and randomess. And color. I like playing with color. So I got my peculiarly uneven ink lines down and covered it with a wash of orange and yellow watercolor (which *still* seeped under my tape — dammit! — to a not too unpleasing effect.). And I remember thinking that the orange was “too much” and that I was going to use a cloth to “take up” some of the color. I got a few wipes into taking up some of the color and then the voice came from back inside me — “Stop.” And I did. It was all uneven and blotchy, being right in the middle of removing the excess color and all. But I let it stay. Resisted the urge to make it even. To force it. To “correct it.”

To this day, I like it. Maybe it was just the fact that I listened to the inner voice and resisted the urge to control further. This little square reminds me to listen and let go.

No matter how much I try to control, my lines will never be exactly parallel, my color will never be even. My hand will never have the precision my mind desires. So I just try my best and then listen for the voice that calls me to let go.

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