One of the most interesting blogs I follow is Katharine A. Cartwright’s blog. Katharine is currently reviewing a wonderful book, Art and Fear, by David Bayles and Ted Orland. I bought this book a few years ago and as with most books, as much as I liked it, I did not find the time to finish it. I have always felt guilty if spent too much time reading. I usually try to read a little before I go to bed and I end up falling asleep, so it has been great reading Katharine’s book synopsis… A book club online and that feels productive to me.
What does all this have to do with retirement? One would think that being retired I would not feel guilty about reading or doing anything for just the enjoyment of it. One word, “annihilation”. The subject of a section in chapter III in the Art and Fear book and Katharine’s May 12th post. it refers to how some artists feel and react to dry spells in their work. Since I retired and no longer do shows or have an agent, etc. I have experienced this feeling of annihilation. I do not have the energy or the good health I had a few years ago so my productivity, even for my own pleasure, has diminished. The guilt and feelings of hopelessness gets heavy at times, which seems to exacerbate the “dry spell” problem. I eat too many sweets for energy (counterproductive), and when I am not going to the doctor, I am grocery shopping and doing other chores, but not painting. My excuse all winter has been the lack of heat in my studio. I tell myself, now that the hot weather is settling in, the studio will be the coolest place in the house and surely then the creative juices will flow! Now I am whining, which I really dislike, but I thought if I came clean with my fears, then I could deal with them. I hear the clock ticking and avoiding my studio will not slow it down. Maybe this will be my epiphany. Today I will go down and just throw a little paint on some paper and hopefully the muse with appear!
An epiphany is the moment when you run out of excuses for yourself, and nothing is left but the truth. ~ Kenji Crosland,