Every once in a while, a painting becomes a turning point, a  visceral reflection of what is happening inside.  The process is either a frenzy or it is bogged down.  And it is literally a picture of where the artist has fallen off the path, taken a wrong turn, and gotten completely stuck.  This painting, or non-painting, as it was for almost six months, was that brick wall for me.

Yet it was also the door, the means to the other side, the first step to the fresh start.  I took the photo for this painting on a road trip several months back, a trip that, in and of itself, was a turning point.  I just didn't know it then.  From the beginning, this painting spoke to me of change, pain, and growth.

So it is that painting becomes journalling, the visual diary of the internal journey.  And as I worked and agonized through these months of no creative work, even the lack of progress spoke its own lessons.  I knew I could not leave painting behind. It is part of me like bones and sinew, like breath and soul. Being without it is an agony unto itself, and knowing that was another important lesson learned.

Leonard Cohen, once asked about the creative process and what inspires it said, unlike the romantic notion that artists must create from a place of dramatic emotion, whether dark depression or the heights of ecstasy, instead we create in spiteof those things.  So true.  Art, as it turns out, is more like G-d than I thought.  It is the rudder that leads and directs.  And it is the anchor that keeps me steady through the worst storms.

Now that this painting is done, there is a real sense of accomplishment, a sigh of relief.  The burden is lifted, the spark is back, and despite painful moments it has still yielded beauty.  It has opened the door to a new life, new experiences, new creativity.  And peace....