As an artist, there was a time when I would feel guilty for not actively making art. I would shame myself by thinking, “If you were A REAL artist you would be doing this.” I would doubt my skills and identity as an artist just because I wasn’t working. I would also say things like, ” I SHOULD be painting.”
I realized that all this harsh self-talk was actually pushing me further away from making art, the guilt that I felt made me not want to even think about working. I also began to doubt whether there was any point to me creating new work. This line of thinking was invalidating the very notion of me BEING an artist.
During my personal and spiritual journey, I began to connect more with the natural world. I also began to understand my own deep and internal connection to Nature. If everything in Nature has seasons of new life, fruitfulness, harvest and dormancy, then why not humans?
As I explored what this meant for me, I began to identify my own seasons. Every Fall I would crank out a ton of art, so where did it come from? If in the Fall I was “harvesting”, then wasn’t I planting and ripening ideas during the Spring and Summer? This time may have looked like there was nothing happening on the canvas, but inside me, ideas were gestating and growing. Understanding this gave me a whole new appreciation for what I had thought of as “dry spells”, or “being lazy”. I am not a lazy person, I am an idea incubator.
I felt so relieved of guilt as I came to understand and embrace my own personal seasons. When the Winter comes, I rest my brushes and canvas. During that season all my creative energy goes into nourishing our home, cooking, knitting, crafting and other types of creation that are family focused. Our household energy draws in and we “hibernate” together.
We all have our own seasons of expansion and contraction, harvest and hibernation. Tuning into yours will give you balance and perspective. You may be surprised to find that your personal seasons align with the natural world around you.