Happiness is NOT overrated!
Yesterday's post was much dedicated to questioning the possibility of obtaining happiness. I wrote how certain phases of making art are sheer labor. I opened a channel into myself. When I draw I am mostly happy. For me, being happy is feeling all my cylinders (my physical self, my emotions, my intellect) firing together in unison. It is a grand experience out of space and time. This etherial experience does not always occur while drawing, but it is more often true then when I paint. This speaks of competency. I am working and moving toward this realization of competency and happiness while painting. Clearly, happiness does not mean I do not feel pain, anxiety, and frustration. These feeling are all part of being centered in one's existence and humanity. This is the stuff that makes true art.
Here is the painting "Pond" as it sits on my wall today. Reproduction does not do it justice. Standing in front of this painting, which is nearly 6 feet tall, and feeling it radiate space, form, and light, is a grand experience. This is the experience I believe Tony Schwartz wrote about in his guest blog in the Harvard Business Review (quoted in yesterday's post) when he wrote: "Happiness — or more specifically, satisfaction — is something we mostly feel retrospectively, as a payoff on our investment." I agree, this is true, but it is a limited definition. I feel this kind of "happiness": when I look at "Pond." This happiness is an important factor in my continuing to paint. More important, however, is the "happiness" I feel while making art. The satisfaction of feeling one with oneself, firing on all cylinders, is truly the stuff which pulls me into the studio every day. Looking at a painting as well constructed as "Pond" is a payoff.
No, "Pond" is not complete, but it is very close.
And here is the one drawing from yesterday...
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