Kisses in the Rain and Your One and Only Life

“Kisses in the Rain”
Molly Larson Cook, copyright 2018
20″ x 24″  Acrylic on canvas

Elsewhere on the global readerboard otherwise known as the Web, I wrote recently about not letting pressures – specifically, other people – keep you from living your one and only life the way you choose.

A lot of people connected with the idea of setting boundaries, of standing firm in the face of families who may not support your choice of how to live that one and only life, of having the courage to keep on in the face of opposition.

What I didn’t include in the two-part post was the unfortunate tendency, nay willingness, of too many creative folks to get themselves off track, to be their own opposition.  I count myself among this number.

In the scientific world there’s a phenomenon known as “felt difficulty.”  You know something’s wrong, but can’t quite figure out what.  Sometimes we chalk this up to intuition, but more often there’s a real and solid reason for the feeling.

For the last few days, I’ve been going through it (whatever IT was) and finally this morning, I got the answer.

For various reasons, I have fallen back into a very old pattern of putting my art on the back burner.  Everything in my life seems to be more important than the painting. Okay, time and people and obligations come and go, and sometimes the painting won’t be number one on the list for me. I can live with that.

But what jarred me was the recognition that writing seems to have become more important again and that is a truly unsettling realization.  Writing, which has come so easily to me over the years, has been what kept me from doing the art for so long.  Writing has been the damned snake in Paradise.  The tempter.  The easy out.

Writing has been – and still is in a smaller way – my bread and butter.  But it’s also been my go-to as a creative outlet because it’s so familiar and, in a way I can’t explain, “companionable” for me.  Kind of like a friendly conversation.  And I know a lot of friendly words.

Painting is different.

I know things about painting, but I learn new things every day.  Painting is not a conversation for me.  It’s a discussion, an argument, a love song, a howl, a lover’s whisper in my ear. Time and again, I read the book Art & Fear and understand the title completely.

Writing is abstract.  Painting is concrete.

Finishing a piece of writing is like eating a jar of marshmallow fluff.  Finishing a painting is like eating the best burger in the city.  With fries.

Writing may bring comfort, but painting brings joy and I know the difference!

I will always love writing and coaching writers.  But I’m no longer so crazy about words and words will no longer be allowed to steal my energy or time from the painting.  I’m setting some boundaries.

I’m also putting painting right up there at the top of the list again. I’ve spent time today working out plans to sell more art.  Concrete plans – figuring out how to use the Square, figuring out the place, figuring out the way to do it.  It won’t happen over night, but it won’t take forever either.  And by this time next month, who knows?  Anything’s possible.

This is, after all, my one and only life.

“Kisses in the Rain II”
Molly Larson Cook, copyright 2018
20″ x 24″ Acrylic on canvas


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