Thinking about my artistic journey and how much I’ve grown and changed over the last last twenty-five years has made me realize that many of my earlier feelings about painting were centered around struggle, not knowing, and doubting my creativity. I am happy to report that many of those feelings have been replaced with a little more confidence.
However, that feeling of not knowing still accompanies me at the start of each new painting. But now I view not knowing as a positive rather than a negative thing. What I have discovered is that it is the not knowing that actually generates the passion that motivates me to see my painting through all the ups and downs and struggles involved in its creation. It’s like anxiously awaiting the birth of a child and being so excited to finally see what the baby looks like.
The biggest gift of all, after all the years of struggle, intimidation, and self-doubt was discovering my imagination and creativity, which I now realize were developed and nurtured by continually being willing to dive into the abyss of not knowing – a state that John Keats called “negative capability” – a place of intentional openmindedness that allows us to step into the unknown, to let things be as they are in their uncertainty, and frees us to explore the world of possibility.