Yet, time and effort it takes in great abundance, adequate conditions, absorption of nutrients, and periods of rest and gestation. As nature has its requirements in order to paint a healthy and rich spring season, so indeed does every artist. Like soil that loses its fertility, the artist’s work can become stagnant and weak if the creator is not nourished with experiences and allowed pause.
Sometimes I feel guilty for taking that time to absorb, to incubate – thinking I ought to be able to visibly work intensely every waking hour of every day. In this United States culture, being busy and working overtime is often highly valued and admired – perhaps a holdover from our Puritan heritage. I am insanely guilty of that attitude myself. I have to remind myself that the effort to become an artist with a meaningful voice requires time away from work. Time that is spent getting to know, appreciate, and experience a vast diversity of the opportunities, people and places on our beautiful Earth is food for human creativity. Breathing time to let all of this sink into the subconscious and become an integral part of one’s soul is the artist’s winter incubation. The flowers and leaves that burst forth from such an artist are bound to be stronger, brighter and more fragrant – full of more life and power than they might otherwise have been.
Spring – nature’s yearly act of artistic creation – a bursting forth of stored energy into flowers and leaves after winter’s incubation. Our world is refreshed with beauty and bird song, new life everywhere we look. It seems effortless. Like watching a well-trained ballerina twirl and fly across the stage. As observers we do not always consider the hundreds of hours spent to achieve that seemingly simple moment of absolute beauty – whether it be ballerina or apple blossom.
Photo by G. Mark Lewis
So, let us not feel guilty for taking time away from work, taking time to diversify our experiences, time to gestate. Our own spring seasons will be all the more abundant and inspired as a result