Carol A. More
Watercolor paper, alcohol inks, colored pencil, watercolor crayon, tissue, found images, stencils, etc.!
Hi y’all! Hope everyone’s spring is full of sunshine and free from….wait for it….worry. Most of you know I’m an active therapeutic yoga teacher with over 1,000 hours of teacher training. That and $1.50 will buy a medium sized Starbucks coffee. My training’s focus was yoga for all, no matter what the age, affliction, injury, history, etc. everyone can find a variation of every pose that speaks best to their body, making your practice medicine. I teach students to practice with the body they have that day, not the one they had last week or the one they will have tomorrow.
A solution to worry
The reason I went down that yoga rabbit hole is to share something I’ve learned about worry. Without getting into the brain’s workings (I could if you’d like for me to, but I am counting on the fact you don’t!), we are born with a set amount of thoughts rattling in our heads. Those thoughts move around like little drunken monkeys – bouncing off the walls, falling on us, chattering and stumbling, jumping, kicking and bumbling — distracting us from life. Our rational minds know that worry solves absolutely nothing. It’s self-indulgent at best. I’ve been asking my students – during a relaxing yoga practice (one where we use yummy, warm, plush props and grounding sandbags to release tension in the body) – to allow one worry to surface. Everyone assures me it doesn’t take long! When it does, all it to manifest in all it’s dramatic glory but set a time limit – 5 slow breaths – to allow it to pirouette and spin and flop around, annoy and irritate and then – time’s up. No more worrying about it because its time has just expired. If it comes up again, say firmly to the ‘worry’ it already had it’s moment in your mind and the time has expired. Most say they only have to tell the worry two times before it fades. I recently had a conversation with a new friend and as I walked away, the drunken monkey in my head said “You should not have mentioned that to her, you probably hurt her feelings, Carol!” I fretted, rehearsing my explanation by text message when I arrived home. AHA! Caught myself: All right, you have until 3 p.m. (20 minutes) to worry about this and then enough. At 3:05 p.m. worry stealthily crept back into my thoughts and I simply said: “STOP! Your time expired.” Never came back. Try it!
Another life lesson from CMore and back to art…..
In my sixth decade of life, I’ve had my own share of worries. I look back over the years and can’t believe I chewed up that much energy worrying over things 1) I couldn’t even control and 2) that didn’t matter and didn’t pertain to me and 3) that turned out to be unworthy of worry. I guess my point is – and to bring this more into the artist’s frame of thinking – is that I admit I was worried about putting my art out there. I love advice, opinions, suggestions, comments – especially from other artists. But I don’t feel the need to indulge criticism. Heck, I’m annoyed when someone presses the ‘thumbs down’ button on a YouTube vid. Why? If you didn’t like it, how important do you think you are to think someone actually cares what you think? And besides, you probably hurt someone’s feelings. All the thumbs up cancelled by one thoughtless, rude, uncaring, UNFOUNDED thumbs down. Sad.
Criticism and Art
Criticism – recently a 20-something artist who did some pretty crazy, cool art on the crumbling side of an Asheville NC building – said out loud in front of a group of admirers, “There’s some BAD art out there.” I held my tongue (which is quite a miracle actually, shocking my husband into a walking coma) but wanted to say what an audacious comment that was. And that Art is from the interpretive eye of the artist and while skills can be learned and practiced, the art was where that person was at the time of the creation, it was what they saw, heard, felt and expressed at the moment. It was the perfect and unbridled joy of expressing themselves. So, how my you-have so-much-to-learn-from-life-and-I-hope-and-pray-it-doesn’t-beat-you-down-to-a-bloody-stump-20-year old, can any art possibly be called bad?”
All art is in the eye of the beholder and the heART of the artist. Humble yourself in front of anyone’s art – you are seeing life through their eyes. Artists: put it out there with all your heart. I promise it will speak to many, whether you know it or not. All art is ‘good’. All of it.
Much love and happy art to y’all!