Learning to Fly

The most wonderful feeling I have ever experienced as an artist is the sensation that my hand is moving effortlessly over the surface, as if guided by an otherworldly force. It's as if the brush, the pencil or the pastel knows exactly what to do. Everything is in sync: eye, hand, heart and medium.

The regular practice of drawing, painting, or other visual work is integral to making this moment possible. Equally important to the process is an internal change that must happen within us to experience this moment of heightened artistic awareness: we must surrender.

Surrendering to the process ensures that the experience will eventually arrive... quietly, unannounced when we least expect. It feels like flying, and it is one of the most satisfying experiences an artist can have. We lose it, and we find it again, if we just surrender by getting out of the way of what the art wants to become.

ACTION: In your practice today, contemplate surrendering. No self-criticism allowed. No overworking whatever it is you are working on. Just let it be and surrender.

Credit: "Bird over Rockaway Beach." Digital Photograph. Denise Laurin 2011

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