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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Art of Life is Improvisation

Wednesday. ..

Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.


You can say a lot of my work comes from sheer improvisation...
 Even in the kitchen when I'm cooking...

 Sometimes a formula has a time and a place.
 Like with still lifes...

Although there is a sense of "improv" wondering what all those colors on your palette are going to end up doing...

But with some trust that everything will turn out okay, it will, because you trusted that it would.

Trust is just believing in your instincts.  What evidence do you have that they're wrong until you try and follow them?
 Here's a fun fact - I bet you don't know that Walt Disney was thinking of nature documentaries long fefore National Geographic and Animal Planet.  His first nature film - The Living Desert - barely made it to theatres because nobody thought anyone would be interested.

Walt Disney went ahead and made it anyway, because he trusted his instincts.  And that is the art of improvisation.

 I wrote a bit about the art of improvisation for Sammiches and Psych Meds - you can start reading it here:

We’ve all encountered things in our lives that have gone in different directions than we had hoped or at least anticipated.  It’s what makes us human – living at the mercy of whatever life throws at us.
But that’s the art of life – the improvisation.  That’s where we get to be creative, work with what we’ve got, and sometimes, we end up being pleasantly surprised by what our efforts amount to.

I’ve found that “sometimes” can be “all the time” in three ways:

1.) We can choose to view the “hiccup” in a certain light, seeing the glass as “half-full.”

2.) We can just follow that detoured path and patiently wait, holding onto the idea that things will improve, hoping that eventually the “bigger picture” will come to light. This reminds me of a favorite quote: “Everything will be okay in the end, and if it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”

3.) If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.  We can just shrug off what we had anticipated, laugh it off, go with the flow, and surrender to the uncertainty, which is neither good nor bad – just be with it and experience what is rather than what should be  (i.e. “Man plans, God laughs”).

This is what my paintbrush teaches me day after day. I love the feeling of moving around a big glob of paint on a fresh linen canvas and having no idea what to expect.  Sometimes I feel like creating very exact detail…and sometimes I just want to throw some colors around on an empty space.
Painting is just a great exercise for learning how to live.  Or at least, it’s a lesson I need to learn myself day after day.  To have the courage to just start from somewhere – anywhere. To not judge it, and to just keep going, even if you don’t like how it is turning out.

Sometimes you have an image in mind, and you start with that idea.  And sometimes you even stay with that initial idea for a bit.
But when the paint smears, or you blotch something up, or your sleeves get on the paint and smear the nice clean line you just painted, it’s a little frustrating.  But then you just learn to go with it.
And with a bit of patience, and the determination to eventually see it to completion, you’ll get there.
And then sometimes, you start off painting, and you’re on a roll. You feel the adrenaline of creativity jolting through you like a fluid wash of watercolors, and then – HALT – painter’s block.  You have no clue what comes next.

You can read the rest of my article, published on Sammiches & Psych Meds, HERE...

Before I Go...

Go ahead and trust your instincts today.  What direction will they move you towards?


See you there! 


  1. Your art is gorgeous Amy...and you... you are an inspiration!

  2. I am not creative like you, I need a muse...

  3. I enjoy reading your posts. So inspiring and eclectic.

  4. I absolutely love this post! Improv is inspired in everyday life!

  5. I'm definitely on board with this! It think you have to be willing to jump in with both feet and follow your instincts. That way you can surprise yourself with all the things you DIDN'T think of! I love that Childhood piece, and your still-life---so atypical of your style! Walt Disney...who knew??

  6. I really admire these works of art.

  7. What a fun -- and edifying post! Thanks!

  8. Thanks for sharing your art. I wish I was able to trust my improvisation efforts. I am more of a rule follower. It is tough to break out of those roles!

  9. Fun, awesome and true are words that come to mind.
    Fridays Blog Booster Party

  10. Love it!! Thanks for sharing with the Pinterest Love Weekend Pin-It Party :)

  11. I always enjoy seeing your art! I saw a few guest posts you did this past week and I instantly knew it was yours, that is so cool! Thanks for joining the Link-It To Me Link Party, I hope you will join us again this week :) Pinning!

  12. Sometimes you just need to let things be and see where it take you. I love the quote at the beginning of the post. Thanks for sharing! #ConfessionsLinkUp

  13. Your paintings are great and I love the points in this post! I think my baking is always improv by the way LOL! Thanks for sharing at the #HomeMattersParty with us! Hope to see you there again this Friday!