In 2002 Robert Genn shared in his twice-weekly newsletter about the possibility of doing good work when dealing with unresolved tension. He quoted William Faulkner, "People need trouble -- a little frustration to sharpen the spirit and toughen it. Artists do; I don't mean you need to live in a rat hole or gutter, but you have to learn fortitude, endurance. Only vegetables are happy."
At that time I responded by saying, "Being in the early stage of my career, there are always obstacles and though I've been extremely fortunate, I find I can easily concentrate on the setbacks instead of my good fortune. I often feel I cannot work under
stress - but I do believe that painting is a type of meditation and when I don't paint, my life can become overwhelming. It's nice to know that I am not the only one who suffers self-doubt and anxiety, and it certainly puts my creative life into perspective to hear William Faulkner's words."
I don't like tension in my life. In fact, when I don't paint for more than one day, I feel too much tension. Restless, anxious, frutrated...I spend too much time on things that don't matter, like constantly tidying. That is why I struggle with too much commitment. I desperately need time in my studio. It is definitely my sanctuary.
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