I had a wonderful epiphanic moment this week. A moment that was born of my insanely competitive nature, and brought into focus by my 14-year-old, deaf, asthmatic cat.
My husband recently went on one of his organization binges. The result was that his home office was spotless, everything in its place. Usually, I just get jealous that he has a pristine work environment, but this time, I got competitive. “If he can clean up his office, I can organize my art studio even better.”
So I did. I went through everything, organized and cleaned. When I finished, I had this huge pile of old paintings, collages, and drawings — some were half finished, and some had fallen victim to the inner critic, and were long ago consigned to the junk heap. I dumped them on the living room floor, prepared to banish them once and for all.
That’s when the cat came in. (Pic #1) As she often does, Piglet wanted to lie in the most inconvenient place, and that was right on top of the pile. At some point, she began to play with the paintings — pawing and shuffling, shuffling and pawing. When I came back out, she had uncovered some of the artwork which had been hidden deep in the stack. (Pics #2, 3, 4, 5, 6) So I was forced to look at it again.
Suddenly I saw it all differently; maybe none was a masterpiece, but then again, some were actually okay. I had convinced myself that the time I had spent on those paintings was wasted, because I was not satisfied with the results. With the passage of time, I actually now really like some of those cast-aside pieces.
And more important, here is the epiphany: the time I thought I had wasted on those paintings, was actually time wonderfully well spent. Looking at that discarded art with a fresh set of eyes has inspired me. Right now I am loaded with ideas for what I want to paint next. And I have a clean studio in which to do it.