Have you ever created something you felt unsure about? It could've been your attempt at a potato pie or a text you sent in the heat of anger. I'm sure there's been AT LEAST one thing you've made that didn't come out the way you had hoped. I would say that was my...wrestle with this painting. It was not what I had hoped for. How so?

Well I was pretty hyped. I had just come back from the art supply store and I was giddy from all the goodies I had picked up. One of them being, texture paste. It's a medium that adds surface texture to a painting depending on how you mold it. So, your girl was E-X-C-I-T-E-D! Trying something new? I'm all for it. 

As per usual, I put on my headphones, it was time to get to work. As mentioned before, my music tastes are wide and varied. When I sit to paint, I take a minute to review my mood and the intentions I'd like to convey. That day was a sombre mood. I had recently lost a family friend who was heavily on my mind. The reality of how unfair life could be sometimes was striking me more than usual. Without a doubt, I would not be listening to pop music.
My choice? RY X and The London Contemporary Orchestra Live from the Royal Albert Hall. The warm voice of RY X's coupled with the Orchestra was soothing and all I needed to calm my thoughts. My favourite song off the album was "Clasp." I think it perfectly captures all that I experienced with this painting. Take a listen while you read.

My favourite song off the album | "Clasp"
Clasp is short song but still a slow burn. Almost like you're trying to reach for something and you're not quite able to reach - UNTIL you finally do. The second string section comes in and BAM! The epiphany hits you. And well, it's an experience to marvel at. However, that was not my initial reaction to the song. What am I going on about? Just get to the point right? Okay okay, I just have to make one more detour before I get there. 

I have a problem with control. I hate losing it or having to surrender it when clearly holding on to it would be better for me. It's difficult for me when things get out of my control. It brings on a feeling of unease and almost a sense of hopelessness that I just can't shake. That's why it's a problem - because that point of view is unrealistic. We will never ever be able to control all and every element in our lives or surrounding us. I've been working on it though, I promise. 

Doing this painting brought me that much closer to healing this unhealthy thought pattern. Actually, I feel like I made a lot of progress. Remember how excited I was to try the texture paste for the first time? Well it turned out exactly how I intended. I got the surface texture that I desired, I had everything under control. Turns out I would soon be humbled. I applied the paint and was able to finish it within a day BUT, I hated the end result. I couldn't wrap my head around what went wrong. I had a plan and executed it the way I intended. Yet, it felt unfinished. 

Okay so here we go again, I was going to "finish" the painting. I decided to try something different this time - I listened to the music BEFORE I started. Got to number 7 on the album, Clasp, and as you know, the realization sunk in - I was going about this all wrong. I was so focused on controlling every element of the process that I lost sight of the beauty in making art - being free, having fun. I had to let go of the control that I was so relentlessly holding onto. I just needed to have fun with it. So I yielded. I had to think, in what you could say, A Lateral Way, to turn it around.

And so I did.

Out came the painting, "A Lateral Way."
It was unexpected and not what I had imagined at all. Initially, I still didn't know how I felt about the end result but it grew on me. Sort of like the slow burn of Clasp. I just needed to adjust my thinking. Relinquishing control or surrendering to the painting process meant that I might not always like what I create, but because I had fun, it would still be okay. If I were to look at it from another direction, I might even find that it's beautiful and it might even surpass my expectations as this painting did.

So, have you created something lately that you felt unsure about? It's okay, it happens. Maybe it'll take you a minute to figure out how to improve next time and that's okay too. Everyone grows and evolves at different paces. Sometimes all it takes is a step back and to go at it from another direction -  to think of it, in a lateral way.
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