at some point i changed how i approach the studio.
i used to go in all stressed out and dreading the feeling of not knowing what i was doing. it could be kind of awful. sometimes that still happens. i look around and judge the work: too this, too that, not enough here, not right there. or: ooh, that’s beautiful and interesting and i love that.
but then i stop myself and i remember: it’s not about what they look like.
instead of offering my approval or disapproval, i go in and i listen. it helps to think of them as if they are my friends. how can i help? and what do you need? i ask.
the breakthrough isn’t so much the asking, it’s the direction of the asking. i can get really fetched up about how making paintings is helpful. how is this the best use of my time when the world is such a mess? how is this serving? isn't there something more useful i could be doing? but that is a dead end. it’s not my place. of course art is useful and important; i know that. other people’s art keeps me going every day. how my art is helpful is not my question to answer. once i understand that some paintings want to come, my question is simply to the paintings themselves: how can i help you? and that’s it. really. that’s when they come, and not a minute before.