I make oil pastel paintings. I’ve made hundreds and hundreds over the years. A lot were taped or tacked to the wall. Others were stacked on a table. A few days ago they began to feel overwhelming and stagnant. The opposite of how great it felt to create the art.
I used to think I would try and sell them. But that wasn’t happening. It’s not my nature. I never got around to promoting them. So nothing happened. Though I still thought, “One day!”
It became clear to me that I was like some of my clients who had hung on to things they no longer wanted with aspirations to one day sell those things. I told those clients, if you’re not the kind of person who likes to sell things, toss them, or give them away. Otherwise, it becomes uncomfortable to live with those things.
I also felt like some clients with children who had hung on to all their kids art work. They felt it was too precious to consider letting go, at the same time, it was overwhelming to live with the piles. They couldn’t enjoy their kids creativity.
So I did a clutter bust. With the help of my partner Julia, I went through each one of my pastels and asked, “Do I love this, or not?” I knew I wouldn’t have been as honest without her there.
Some were an absolute, “Yes”!” Some were, “Oh, but this is such a nice one,” or, “I can’t throw this one out,” or I just stood there and didn’t know what to do. All of which were a red flag and meant, “No.”
It became clear that the joy for me is in the creating, and I create a lot. I think some part of me felt that if I hung on to the art, I would hang on to the feeling of when I created it.