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  • Writer's pictureCarol Wiebe

Everything and Nothing

There is an exquisite timing in creating art, like when you realize you must stop and allow those beautiful brushstrokes and textures to set in order to preserve them, even though your hands long to keep painting.  Even though you will be adding another layer, or another ten layers, later. The discipline of that is breathtaking, and empowering. You are able to hear the art tell you what it needs, and act in accordance with that. To listen.

Or when you find the energy, the impetus to keep going, and you overcome the temptation to give up ~ like a runner close to the end of the race who suddenly surges ahead. The art piece isn’t working, it looks awful, but you’re on a quest for just the right colors, a highlight here, a shadow there, a shift in emphasis, to pull the whole thing out of the trash heap that the judge insists you consign it to. You make yourself retrieve it ~ you slam the lid on the trash can and the judge. And you aren’t satisfied with just pulling it out, either. You want it to burst into flame, ignited by your passion. To be luminous.

And then there are the times you ride that sheer, exuberant flow, when the colors pick themselves, the shapes emerge and recede in perfect harmony, your hands dance through your supplies with such confidence, choosing the materials and techniques that express exactly what is pouring from your heart of hearts. Exaltation. Ecstasy.

And it is everything and nothing if anyone else feels the way you do about your work. It is everything, because communicating with others through your art allows a connection at a level that is difficult to reach with mere conversation. And when it happens, you feel exultant. Your work has spoken! And it means nothing, because whether or not someone else feels what you put into it, even if it is a foreign language to them, you were able to experience and express it. For yourself, for your own expansion.

That, alone, makes it exquisitely worthwhile.

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