I often go to sit in or wander around my garden when I want to think about things. Although we're near a busy road I automatically filter out the sounds of the traffic nowadays, and the sounds and smells of the garden come through in sharp focus. It must be this that helps me focus my thoughts.
I was thinking about something that one or two of us had mentioned on the EDM forum in the last couple of days which was about the fear of doing art. It seems I'm not the only one who spends a lot of time thinking about what I'm going to put onto paper, reading about the various methods available to me, deciding which medium would be best and generally prevaricating. I now know prevarication for its real name - fear.
Once I've decided what I'm going to sketch or paint, I spend a lot of time visualizing it in my mind's eye. I can see every nuance of every hue I'll use, each mark I'll place on the paper to form the composition, and exactly what the finished piece will look like. Naturally, it's beautiful, colourful, perfect in every way. And all the time I know that it will never look as good as my imagination has painted it. So I put off starting, think of something else I should be doing; clean the cooker, tidy up my painting materials and put all my drawing pads in a neat pile, take Misty for a walk. Anything that will put off having to put that first mark on the paper. Because if that first mark isn't absolutely perfect the whole thing will be a disappointment; no good, rubbish, fit only for the recycling bag.
And that is what my fear is. I recognize it for what it is and I know, without a doubt, that if I get rid of all that angst and just get out a pen, pencil, paintbrush, marker pen - whatever - and go for it without thinking about it, then even if I do consider it to be rubbish at the end it will have been a step towards being able to produce something worthwhile one day.
But how to get rid of the fear? The answer lies in the garden somewhere, I just know it.