Bird & Sunrise photo

Bird & Sunrise photo
Because "someday" is today!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Stuck In The Worry Groove

"Hillside and Horses" 5"x 7" watercolor on paper, ©1994 Tina M Welter  Landscape watercolor painting near Drummond, Montana
"Hillside and Horses" 5"x 7" watercolor on paper, ©1994
This has been a rough week. I think I was born with a "worry gene" because it has been a favorite hobby of mine for years. I remember being a little kid of six and worrying about school and what I was wearing and who would say what to whom, etc. As part of the pattern changing experiment, I made a promise to myself this spring that I couldn't worry about the future or past, only about today. It seemed like the only way I could keep myself moving forward and not getting stuck in thinking about my job moving away this fall.

"Big Sky" 5"x 7" watercolor on paper, ©1994 Tina M Welter  Watercolor landscape painting near Drummond, Montana
"Big Sky" 5"x 7" watercolor on paper, ©1994
I had been doing quite well, the excitement of changing my life was keeping me going. But it seemed like this week the news just got to me. Oil prices going up, housing market stalled, banks closing, food prices increasing and I am going to go out there and make a living from my artwork? Am I nuts? It didn't help that our refrigerator stopped working and the roof started leaking! One of my favorite mental demons of years past perched grinning in my head telling me "who wants art when they can't afford a house or food?" The funny thing is that I had this same worry twenty years ago. I wish we had the economy of twenty years ago now!

"Trio" 5"x 7" watercolor on paper, ©1994 Tina M Welter  Landscape watercolor painting of fall trees near Drummond, Montana
"Trio" 5"x 7" watercolor on paper, ©1994 Tina M Welter
The other promise I made to myself in May was that I was going to get up at 6:00 a.m. and paint everyday for an hour. Then I would exercise and then go to work. The plan was to do one small painting a week and by mid-July I would have about ten paintings. I have done a pretty good job of painting every morning, which is amazing since most of my life, no one would call me a morning person. The disappointing part is that I have only finished two paintings since May. Not being able to meet my expectations really took the wind out of my sails. Enter the Worry Monster. How are we going to pay the bills? We are going to starve!!! Hello familiar groove.

Two things helped knock me out of my mental rut. I happened to look in an old portfolio of watercolor landscapes I had made when we were living in Montana in 1994. At that time, I didn't think any of them were very good. I remember feeling that way then, but I was looking at at least four paintings that are just lovely to me now. How can a perception change so much? What is real? The other thing that helped was Jeff asking me if I really wanted to do anything else. No. I want to do this now. He also reminded me that history is full of ups and downs and the artists just do the best they can. If anyone else has any good kicking yourself out of the ruts stuff, let me know. It takes a lot of energy and mental gymnastics to stay out of them!

Jeff's Corner:
"Slow down, you movin' too fast
You gotta make the moment last
Just kickin' down the cobblestones
Lookin' for fun and
Feelin' groovy____________"
(Paul Simon, Fifty Ninth Street Bridge Song)

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