Pondering the "Zone"

Did you ever say "I can't draw a straight line"? Or, perhaps, "I don't have an artistic bone in my body"?

I can't count the number of times I've heard that in my gallery. Usually, I say, "If we were all artists, then who would collect our work?"

The truth is, at one level or another, we probably ARE all artists. On the surface it's easy to see. Visual Artists (painters, sculptors, potters and such) and dancers, musicians and stage performers and writers...clearly artists.

But what about the rest of us? Do you have an uncanny ability to make new from old..say, in your home, or with your clothes? Does your ensemble, earrings, necklace, clothing, shoes and handbag all coordinate to look like you just came off the runway in New York? Or what about the prize winning garden in your front yard or the fabulous dinner you take such pleasure in preparing and presenting to your family and friends?

Perhaps those things don't fit our conventional perception of the Arts, but they are trademarks of creativity, talent and (ahem) skill.

I am positively passionate about demonstrating that you have it in you. The creative flow that for most is quietly waiting for the opportunity to erupt, till it spills forth beauty and joy, or expressions of pain and anger.

My best paintings have come spontaneously from the deepest places of my being, and in fact I couldn't tell you how I did them. I don't remember. Finding the door to open the flow of soul expression can be tricky. We like to bury it deep. But if we can dig it out, unlock it, unleash it, it is an exciting, deeply healing, life altering experience that you can actually learn to repeat! Honest! It's that timeless, other-worldly sort of experience. Whether you are drawing, painting, dancing, acting, writing, playing music; what ever it is that your natural creativity flows into; that place where you lose track of where you are, what you're doing, what time it is; that "zone" as some call it. Warning: it's addicting!

The truth is, that ability lies within you. Pay attention to what you find you lose yourself in. Then pursue it. It doesn't mean you'll become an artist. It means you'll find a quiet place of restoration and retreat, or a happy stress-free place to visit, so to speak.

I seriously think that there are "tricks" and "triggers" to unleash the creative within you. Actually, now that I think about it, I'm sure of it. I'll have to chew on that some more, but as i ponder what I observe with my students and with other artists, as well as my own experience, I'm sure it's true and that I just have to put it down so I can see it. You know how it is.

Have you been there? When you enter fully into that which you love to do, can you stay there for hours, unaware of time and light and temperature changes? Do you emerge, looking at what you did and wonder who did it? If so, please share it! I'd love to know what company I'm in!

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