Diary of an Exhibition – Ego Gets In The Way

I have had the intention of writing a follow up to my free creativity e-course experiment – Any Body Can Paint, whilst working towards my exhibition. It has been bubbling under the surface.


On Monday i decided to get up early, 5am, and wait for daylight 8am, to go into the studio to be brilliant! Yes rational behaviour on a freezing cold late November morning I know…..but I was excited as my new water soluble oil paints had arrived.


Things did NOT go according to plan AT ALL!

The water soluble oil paints do NOT behave like ordinary oil paints. I couldn’t work them…

The paints are NOT odourless, they had a horrible smell that made me feel distinctly queasy..

and my feet got freezing cold – mid winter Scotland, unheated studio – durr!


I was back in the house by 10am feeling miserable as sin and wondering what on earth am I doing?

I climbed back into bed to get warm and watched art documentaries on I-player, feeling really unwell – big sob for the suffering artist!

Later i lay in Alexander Technique semi-supine on my fabulous new infrared heat mat, a gift from a pupil.

The thought came to me  to doodle with no need of the end result…no ego… not to make anything finished…. just play….just dream a bit on paper…


More semi supine….the infrared heat is great

More doodling….

and looking at this photo of sand… meditating on the way it looks a bit brain-like…

The way it shows tide and flow, yet is not regular…


Gradually I was gettng in a better mood…

I had returned to present moment, present time….not ego time!



And then it struck me – a great big light bulb moment!

I was going through the process I want to teach in my body of art –  Alexander Technique and Art book.

Meeting my ego, my frustration, my resistance, my judgement, my desire to be good, failing…and working my way through it…


I have been typing furiously ever since and have got the first chapter and an outline of the book sketched out….


Art has a funny way of teaching us…

Showing up to paint is facing yourself in many unexpected ways.

My ego got in the way because I was excited to paint another big painting, to repeat the fun I had with ‘Wind and Sea’.

Trying to repeat something NEVER works.

‘Wind and Sea’ arrived out of the moment.


Somehow we have to bring ourselves fresh to each canvas and sometimes we get in the way by thinking it is going to flow in a certain way at a certain time.

By trying to control the outcome…

My outcome for Monday was unexpected and exciting and absolutely NOT what I thought it was going to be!


(Yesterday my new vapour mask  arrived so I can get the PROPER oils out

again! Yippee!



‘Wind and Sea’

Oil on Canvas

122 x 92 cms

Share Button