How amazing things happen

The secret is to let go

Serenity, 2014. Cement fresco. See more images here.

Serenity, 2014. Cement fresco. See more images here.

Nothing amazing ever happens when we are reaching for it, or forcing it to happen.

Amazing things happen when we let go.
When we surrender, we are open, grounded, and in balance.
And while in serenity we are in a state of allowing. There is no resistance.

This is how art comes out of me: I let go and allow it to flow out of me.

I have to surrender my will because each cement fresco is completely spontaneous. That means I do not have any idea beforehand how it will look, nor do I know in advance the steps I will be taking.

While I do surrender my will to the artwork, I am fully conscious when I'm working. Also important to note is that I make a conscious choice to not resist any step or to judge a step as "wrong".

I surrender my will to the artwork.
I consciously suspend all judgement.
I allow the artwork to take shape in my hands.

Serenity, 2014. Cement fresco. See more images here.

Serenity, 2014. Cement fresco. See more images here.

When I begin with a blank canvas, I do my best to be an observer and to stay out of judgement. This is especially important because every cement fresco goes through a very long phase when it looks lost and hopeless.

The first stage was beautiful, but then...the artwork enters a long "ugly duckling" phase. It transforms with every pass of my hand, every new layer, and every addition of color.

It's through years of practice that I have come to completely trust in my process. The artwork always emerges, like a Phoenix rising from the ashes.

Amazing things happen when we let go.
When we surrender, we are open, grounded, and in balance.
And while in serenity we are in a state of allowing. There is no resistance.

 

Once an artwork tells me that it is finished, it’s my job to see its beauty. So I hide the artwork from myself overnight. The next day I get myself into a state of inner peace and serenity and look at the artwork as if I've never seen it before. After a few days of getting to know the artwork, I photograph it...and this is when I really see its true beauty!

Through the camera lens I see the subtle nuances of color and texture...

That is my process for creating art, which I wrote about in great detail in my book Cement Fresco: The Art of Serendipity. I encourage you to preview it because it's my personal favorite of all my books. It's written in a lighthearted way and contains as much about my philosophy of life as it does about creating art. To me, art and life are one and the same.

Serenity, 2014. Cement fresco. See more images here.

Serenity, 2014. Cement fresco. See more images here.

So now it's your turn.

Reaching a state of serenity is not hard, but it does take practice and discipline.
And like with all things, practice makes letting go easier.

Here's the summary:

1. Practice letting go. It gets easier the more you practice.
2. Celebrate every step of the journey. And remember it IS a journey!
3. Nurture yourself. Above all else, don't make yourself wrong.
4. Trust yourself. Practice builds trust and makes it easier to let go.
5. Slip into zen. Allow yourself to have it. No one else can give it to you!

Once surrendered, you have gotten out of your own way!

"Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes.
Don't resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality.
Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like."

— Lao Tzu