You Can't Go Back

You can’t go back home to your family, back home to your childhood.......back home to a young man’s (woman’s) dreams of glory and fame....back home to places in the country, back home to the old forms and systems of things which once seemed everlasting but are changing all the time.....
— Thomas Wolfe

As an artist when I put a line down on paper, it is done.  I can't go back.  I can erase it or I can paint over it, but I can never really get back to the empty image again.  It is changed.  Isn't that wonderful. 

I suppose this act of putting down a mark or a brush stoke could cause me to stiffen, freeze or contract and go into lots of thoughts about the quality of the mark, who I am and what my qualifications are for making such a move.    

If I "kind of" made a mark or a brush stroke, it would look hesitant, wimpy, weak.  It would fall flat.   I would wonder what direction this mark is leading me.   But what I find is that making a definite mark allows me to be bold, confident, daring. So whether I am feeling  confident or not, knowing that I cannot go back, I make a mark with conviction.  Knowing I can't go back is a strength, gives me courage and the mark I make becomes my guide, a pointer, a "stand" that reflects right back to me and shows me what to do next, going forward on my journey of painting. 

I believe artists must be risk takers. To attempt to make art I must be willing to push boundaries of what is comfortable, what is known, and explore new territory for discovering deeper meanings.  To make an exciting image, I must be willing to continually move forward to plumb the depths of my immediate experience and to question and challenge my habitual ways of being.  So not going back, is inspiration to go forward.  Then and only then will there be a vitality in the art that can be seen..