Art is an embrace of hopelessness. What does that mean? I'm being both serious and facetious. Years ago I was taught some very rigid ideas about art, and that narrow rigidity made me steer away from it for a long time. One day I went to a Unitarian Universalist service where two spiritual leaders talked, one about hopefulness and the other about hopelessness. One was a UU reverend who talked about maintaining hopefulness no matter the circumstances. The other was a Zen master who explained how embracing hopelessness was about being in the present without expectation. The two women discussed these seemingly opposite concepts in a way that reconciled them both. You have to come to your own conclusions, but this reconciliation is what allowed me to regain a feeling for art.
I threw out all the rules and rigid ideas of the past. I began by leaving aside any intellectual ideas about art and learned to embrace feelings wherever they lead. Patience, simplicity, being in the moment and sticking with feelings over intellect helped me to draw and paint again. For the past year art has regained a place in my life I thought was lost forever. The way I paint now is different from what I was doing a year ago, and it may change dramatically a year from now. It doesn't matter. It's all good. Each drawing, each painting is an experiment. Of course, I want to improve, but the most important thing is to focus more on how art feels, rather than solely on some intellectual idea.