The Urge to Paint

[caption id="attachment_751" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="San Francisco based Artist & CEO"]San Francisco based Artist & CEO[/caption] I know that it may be hard for some to understand why artists have such an urge to paint. Because typically it doesn’t pay the bills. Remember the book,  “The Flow”?  The author Mihály Csíkszentmihályi describes “the mental state of operation in which a person in an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity.” “One cannot force oneself to enter flow or even predict when one is going to enter flow. It just happens.”  That’s what it is often like when I paint. Csíkszentmihályi studied highly skilled people such as; athletes, surgeons, musicians, and monks.  But his fascination with the state of “flow” came from first studying painters. Time is lost, worry is suspended, focus is clear, that’s what it’s like to be lost in a painting.  It’s a rapture of color, lines, texture, and shapes. This elevated focus is what drives the urge to paint, a need to respond to the colors that surround me.  And when I’m away from the easel too long, like lately, I feel cramped. It’s as if I’m walking around unable to express myself completely.  This is the balance that I must maintain, on one side the weight of business and the other side the urge to paint. With business in balance I plan to revisit my newest series next week.
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