Restrictions: A Key to Artful Living

AutumnGarden

The above painting was made last Friday at the Ciener Botanical Gardensher in my town. I decided to place a restriction on myself and only use oil pastel and watercolor. It can be a lot of fun imposing a limit on your creative utensils. It works like a guide or a path marked out for you, narrowing the scope of what you have to work with, so you can really focus on making the most of what you have right then.

I’m rediscovering that this is also true for living an Artful Life in general. So many times, I find myself bewailing all the restrictions in my life that keep me from being as creative as I’d like to be. Maybe you have things that feel restrictive too, like a job, or family, or domestic shoulds, or volunteer work, or health issues. So many things, both which I have chosen in life and things which I have not, can feel stifling and confining to our creative dreams. There are times we just don’t feel like we’re moving forward in any way creatively due to these constraints.

What we lack is a way of viewing these restrictions as guidelines.  Like I said in the first paragraph, we need to see each restriction as “a guide or a path marked out for you, narrowing the scope of what you have to work with, so you can really focus on making the most of what you have right then.” A fellow online-artist posted this youtube of Phil Hansen who did just that: embraced what was limiting him and in so doing, found a wealth of creativity he never knew he was capable of. Be sure to watch this amazing video…you’ll love it!

My hope for us all today is to Live Artfully by embracing the places we feel constrained, and then be the artists we are guided to be!

May we Seize the Day our Limitations!! 🙂 -Phil Hansen