“Everyone is living a myth, you just have to figure out which one you are living in” – Romanyshyn, Author and Professor
I remember the first class in my Doctorate program and the first thing my professor said. This quote above were his words. I also remember being so puzzled by what he meant. Now, 20 years later, I still think about this.
It seems we are all living out our mythologies steeped deeply in our upbringing whether we realize it or not. I recently hired an art coach. Instead of critiquing my art, she has me looking at my inner narratives; those things I say to myself while in the studio. I have been getting reacquainted with my Rebel Self, the part of me that grew strong in spite of a highly dysfunctional family. This rebellious voice, or self, has been absent in my work in the studio. Although I have found her in other ways and grown to appreciate this part of me, unfortunately, it hasn’t been with me in the studio.
Instead, the Good Girl has been in there. She is the part that wants to please other; to do pleasing art. She is the traditionalist..doesn’t want to cause waves. I have an artsy friend who dyes her hair purple, pink or sometimes turquoise. My rebellious part just loves this friend because she has no fear of expressing herself any way she pleases.
These 2 parts are players in my mythology ; they are my inner narratives born out of my past. They are alive and well, even though I have worked with them in other ways, they are now in the front seat fighting over who gets to drive when it comes to painting.
Consequently, I haven’t been producing much art. This incubation period to put it in another framework, has been rich with self assessment, daily writing ( The Artists Way style) and uncertainty. According to Bayles and Orland in their book Art & Fear, uncertainty is a good thing. We just have to learn to tolerate it. To stay in the uncertainty means not knowing where you are going… its hanging in there even though its not the ‘comfortable’ place.
Reading Art and Fear was actually homework assigned by my coach. At first I thought, “no way, I am fearless in my art!” But that was only what one part thought, but the truth is, I have been in a stuck place with my art ( hence the coach). The truth is… well, I am not so sure what the truth is…
I have posted these 3 pieces before… but what I have realized is that they were painted by my Rebel ( she must have snuck into the studio). These are her titles, and as I thought about them, I just now recognized it was that part of me that was in the studio painting that day. Notice the titles of these pieces: “Never Mind, Out of the Box, and Playground”.
I am thinking I will imagine a new mythology for my inner artist…one that plays Outside the Box! I may just invite her, whoever she may be, in more often as well.
Until next time,