It has been a long time since I have read Bertrand Russell's The Conquest of Happiness and his reference to fruitful monotony. I am thinking of it this morning, as my period of retreat with my paintings will soon come to an end.
I speak to my students about the merits of boredom, not as an end in itself, but rather as way of not rushing to an end result, of staying with your work long enough to discover what is on the other side of the door. To be delighted and surprised! I cannot cultivate images arising, or glimpse the the edge of the muse’s gown, without limiting my access to friends and entertainment– and enduring some periods of ennui. The long term effect of this gestation and interiority is even more than I could have imagined at the beginning. I need less sleep and cannot wait to get up. I am delightfully assaulted by images, so that my brush flies on its own.
This enlivening experience is a desperate need in this time where we have removed almost all traces of boredom, even for our children, by providing anytime access to gadgets and entertainment.
I will post some images from my upcoming exhibit soon– in the meantime, here are some photos of my recent visit to see my father on St George Island. I collected shells for my Poetic Landscape workshops, enchanted by their marks, and the way they feel in my hand. I am thinking of all kinds of possibilities with shells, paint, ink and paper.
Do you cultivate limitations or restrictions that make you restless or open the door to boredom? I'd love to hear from you.