So I mentioned that I’m a frustrated artist? I really love art. I can’t tell you how lost I can get in looking at how the colors are juxtapositioned in a painting, and how fascinating I find the different genres. I am amazed by how the pointillists create such incredibly glowing scenes from mere dots of paint…or how the works of the ancient cultures, once precious components of a religious belief system, have survived to inspire our art today.  Kandinsky, Picasso, Monet, Gaugin, El Greco, Georgia O’Keefe, Dale Chihuly…all are amazing, diverse, and I can’t get enough. When I look at their work, I feel like I’m at a visual banquet, stuffed to the gills and satiated with color, form, composition, media. Crafts fascinate me too;  I’m especially fascinated by the idea of mask-making – don’t we all wear masks daily?

Here’s the rub, though…I have all these incredible supplies, and I’m afraid to create. I feel that fear, like a wet, heavy lump of clay in my innards when I even think about cutting loose and having fun. I’m not just afraid to create – I’m afraid to play. I suppose I could examine in excruciating detail my childhood and find some psychological cause or neurosis in there somewhere…but the bottom line is that I’m afraid.

I keep a daily journal – my battle against the fear. I don’t always make or draw something there, but it’s my one area where I let myself out, just a little. Usually when I include images, I collage in pictures I’ve found on the web…they are nice and there are some INCREDIBLE things out there…but they’re not mine. The thing is, I don’t know how to draw, or draw well. I’m not “talented” or gifted…and I know that drawing is a skill that can be learned. I have all kinds of excuses for why I don’t learn…but the bottom line always comes back to, “I’m afraid.”

So what am I afraid of? Oh, you want the list…ok. Well, here goes: I’m afraid I’m not good enough. I’m afraid I’ll be laughed at (inner child, anyone?) I’m afraid that “real” artists will see it and think, “ooooh, she’s bad. She doesn’t have what it takes.” I’m afraid I’ll use up all my good stuff and not have any more (money is kinda tight around here lately, ya know? ). And, I have to admit it – but underneath it, there is another fear – what if I’m NOT bad? What if I’m ok, or even a little bit good? What would I have to do then?

Also, I deal with an anxiety disorder and depression on a daily basis…if that combo doesn’t knock you flat on your tush, I don’t know what else would. So here’s what I thought…what if I tried to use art to express the fear itself? What does THAT look like? Well…to me it looks like this:

This is what Anxiety and Fear feel like to me

This is what Anxiety and Fear feel to me

Anxiety sucks. There just isn’t way around it, and it’s not a pretty sight.  But, I’m at the point where I’m really sick of letting it control me, so I’m fighting back. This blog is a form of creative expression for me – and I’m going to post my artwork.

I’m going to face that fear, head on. There are many other things in my life that I’m afraid of…some of which I’ll discuss later, but right now, feeling blocked and unable to create is pretty frustrating. All in all, I’m pretty lucky really…there are people living in much worse circumstances than I am. For me, art and creating is a metaphor, though…if I can’t create tangibly, can I create myself? Who am I, anyway and what makes me think that I’m good enough to do any of this?

Then the Big Questions hit – the ones that “LIFE” throws at you…who do I really want to be? How do I want to spend my life? Do I really want to stay, stuck, where I am? Or can I find the courage, the strength, and the faith to let go and fly out into the unknown, trusting that the net WILL be there?

And here I remain, stuck.

If anyone would like to add any of your wisdom to this, I’d be glad to read what you write. Especially if you have ideas on how to get past creative blocks and life blocks!! Looking forward to seeing what anyone has to say.