“Open Hand” 24×24, oil on canvas Buy Now

“To make art is to sing with the human voice. To do this you must first learn that the only voice you need is the voice you already have. Art work is ordinary work, but it takes courage to embrace that work, and wisdom to mediate the interplay of art and fear.”— David Bayles and Ted Orland, Art and Fear

Typing day 31 brings a lot to the surface: relief, an ever so tiny tinge of sadness, celebration, wonder, and, even still, a little fear– have I really accomplished anything? Did I push myself or just pull up a lounge chair and settle right into my comfort zone?

If I have learned anything this month it is to just let go. It is enough to have showed up, to have, by painting day in and day out, accepted my voice as the only voice I need. Today’s painting was conceived days ago. I was wondering what “letting go” might look like as an abstract painting. After a couple primitive pencil sketches, I decided to take paint to canvas. The idea was for the blocks of paint to be falling from the top of canvas, as though being released from a hand that was once tightly gripping them. “Letting go” was the title for this painting before I’d even painted it, but when I realized I’d named my day 29 painting that exact same thing, I had to reconsider. “Open Hand” seemed a good alternative, and it hit me that by letting go, we open ourselves to receive. No longer bogged down by impossible expectations or all-consuming fears, we can accept hope, joy, even love.

I hope that after 31 days and 31 paintings, I am little more open and that my vision is a little less clouded by fear– possibilities more exciting than they are overwhelming.

Once again I have a village to thank– to all those who took on 31 days with me, I have been inspired and humbled by your efforts. Thank you for sharing yourselves so openly.

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