Last week, Wednesday, I am pulling books from my studio shelves. Preparation to lead a writing workshop on Friday.
I pull down Living Color by Natalie Goldberg. I have had this book since 1997. Have read it through at least four times, and thumbed through it many times more. Inspiration, from writer to writer, from artist to artist.
I open the book and a piece of folded, loose leaf paper falls to the floor. I pick it up, open the page. In pencil, all caps, printed across the top margin, underlined, in my hand—what I learned from Natalie’s book ‘Living Color’.
Mystified. I don’t recall writing this. I did, obviously. After the first reading of Nat’s book, or the fourth. I sit down and read.
Here is Natalie’s wisdom distilled through mine, writer to writer, artist to artist:
‘Finish every piece, even when I think I just doomed it with my last marks or words. Take off from there into a different relationship with the drawing or the writing.
Nothing I ever create will hold that same intensity of joy I feel while I am creating it. The joy is inside me.
Trust and act on how I feel (my artist’s instinct).
Slow down and look.
If I really know a thing, it is there in my work whether I can see it or not.