Monday, November 1, 2010

In a Funk!

Oh how I love a funk! No matter how much work I do, how much I grow, or how great I can be at helping others overcome their struggles, I still manage to get myself in these funks. It can be so frustrating because I know I am in it and I want so desperately to get out of it quickly but nothing I do seems to speed the process along.

One of the ways I thought I would work through this is to take part in this free online art class that Tam is offering called The Heart of Art. It's a great program she has there and I've learned so much from her. I created the whimsy character above after watching the week 2 videos.

I have to admit however, that it actually made me feel worse. I finished it up and looked at it and thought, "Oh great, another copy. I'm such a fraud. I can copy everything but I'm not original enough to create my own style." Hmmm, not so great for getting me out of my slump.

Then I went on the Internet and started surfing around for how to overcome fear of success which I was lucky enough to uncover about myself by reading Oprah's magazine. OK, that's what started this whole funk if you must know. I was brought face to face with the fact that I continue to sabotage my efforts at success over and over and over again and let me tell you I am sick to death of it!

Anyway, I found this great article about it and I worked through the exercises and learned some good things about myself and was reminded about things I already knew. I took my negative beliefs and flipped them around and turned them into empowering beliefs. I took those and created the above page in my journal.

It was nice but I still felt like crap!

So I've had this book, Painting from the Source: Awakening the Artist's Soul in Everyone, for a while now and I finally started reading it. It's a different take on painting. There is no music, there is no outside input. You start painting with no subject matter in mind and you let the painting emerge. You embrace everything that comes up even the dark stuff that I usually avoid like the plague.

I decided that now was a perfect time to give it a try. I was feeling really down and out at this point and my colors of choice were a good indication of that. I had several shades of what I consider to be ugly green, brown, mustard and black.

I started smearing the paint on the paper, making circles, blobbing it all over. I felt myself getting angry as I painted, and I let it come. The paper was turning ugly and I remembered one of the things I read in this book which was to paint as if you were going to burn it when you finished. Well, I took that to heart and I painted and painted and it got uglier and uglier. I kept saying, "I'm going to burn this piece of sh*t so I might as well make it as ugly as hell!"

At one point I stepped back and I saw an outline of a face and I started creating it. As I worked on it I had a moment where the idea to make the nose a tree just popped into my head and I went with it. The eyes needed to have flames shooting out and the lips were water and fish. I just kept painting what naturally arose.

I know it's not finished. I can sense that there needs to be more. I will not stop painting this image until it is complete. I don't know how long it will take me or how big it will end up being but I know it will continue and I can feel that it is stirring up something in me. I feel different today. I woke up this morning, unable to sleep. I was thinking about my painting. It was calling to me like the trees called to me last week. I can feel a breakthrough happening, I just don't know what it is or how it will unfold. It's a little scary but I know it's right. I have to trust.


  1. thank you for sharing this Michelle, it touches me deeply, so honest and open... beautiful. thank you.

  2. Michelle,

    I'm happy to have discovered you! Beautiful blog, and I love your honesty and that you share your process.

    I looked but don't see how to contact you... a little while ago I awarded you the Beautiful Blogger Award! You can "go get it" at my blog, today's post, whenever you are ready!

    Thanks for sharing and I look forward to visiting again.