Saturday, December 6, 2014

Skating On Thin Ice

Each year I paint a painting for my Christmas cards.  This little guy is from a figurine a friend gave me.  I think it's so cute.  While I was painting it I thought about how little art I've been able to do. This little painting reminds me a little of the last two years!  Sometimes life seems slippery and you really struggle to keep your balance and stay standing.  Sometimes you fall. And baby, that ice is hard! But you get back up and keep struggling to stay upright. Somewhere along the way, someone got the idea to put thin blades on shoes, creating ice skates.  Ice skates make traveling on the ice easier.  Once you get the hang of it!  After you learn the skills it takes to skate with blades, it becomes a graceful way to move on the slick ice.  The blade cuts into the ice allowing the skate to gra
sp the ice.  Once the skater learns the skills required to maneuver, skating becomes a vehicle for movement. Beyond just movement, it can also be used as expression with the beauty of a fluid and graceful dance.
Life is like a frozen pond at times. Sometimes it's though to navigate.  You have to learn new ways to deal with things.  It becomes slippery and how to remain on your feet is unclear.  So you find some skates. Then you learn to navigate the ice and acquire new skills that help you maneuver the once treacherous ice. Things might not be any less slippery, but you learn to work with what you got and make the most of the ice.  I read that ice skating is the fastest way to move--but without will struggle.  So the very ice that slows your progress can become the thing that speeds it, once you learn to work with what you've got! Art is like this too. Once you have the skills needed, you are able to express yourself.  Your medium becomes a vehicle for a fluid dance of expression.  That's not to say there are not hours or practice you must put in to get to that place.  But each hour of practice brings you closer to gestalt.  That state where all the skills become automatic and you can concentrate on the concept and not the process. And that's when the magic happens!
Art (and life) can find you on slippery ice.  A place of uncertainty or fear.  Buy some skates! Learn a new skill or take that skill further. You will fall. You will hurt when you fall.  But you need to get up and try again! Don't let the fall keep you down. Let failure be your teacher!  Be kind to yourself too. Perfection can be our enemy.  I think you should strive to some standard, but Sometimes it's enough to stand on the ice that day.
I guess my message is:  when art, or life, finds you on ice---learn to skate!
Wishing all a Merry Christmas and a New Year filled with art!