Thursday, June 4, 2009

Stepping to the Music of a Different Drummer

I love the moment when what I have been working on for months begins to take shape and I am able to see the results of my effort. In the early morning hours I sit quietly in my studio adding a line of paint or a layer of paper, immersed in my own version of bliss. I work in a series of 9, 12 or 20 pieces at a time and so it often takes weeks before I begin to see any progress.

There are moments, of course, when I wonder whether a piece will ever reveal the direction it is meant to go in and moments when I must have absolute faith in the creative process and follow where it may lead me. But my favourite moment is the one where all of the pieces are laid out before me and I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that this was the best decision I ever made.

There were times when I wondered about my decision to leave the working world and become an artist. I had held a traditional job for most of my adult life and suddenly I found myself without the validation of a paycheck and the structure of a 9 to 5. Developing a routine and setting boundaries became a must while reassuring family members that I have not lost my mind and fielding well-meaning opportunities to fill my time with non-artistic pursuits are still issues that I struggle with internally. I am learning to let go of the need to fit in to the parameters of the "normal" world and accept that I am meant to be this unique and wonderful creation of the Universe.

On a day like today, when everything is coming together beautifully, I am a shout from the rooftop advocate of following your own path, where ever it may lead or as Henry David Thoreau says

"If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away."

Wishing all of you a week that brings you one step closer to your own different drummer.

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