Making Your Moves – Embracing the Value of Moves and Changes

Moves come in different forms and contexts.

Moves include not only our physical bodies, our locations and objects around us  – but also our mental strategies and attitudes.

Whenever a move is made, it creates a change.  When I was in grad school, studying organizations, we learned every change made to any part of a system impacted the entire system, and the same holds true for moves in other areas of our lives. Moves are the catalyst to change. 

Expect Good Things - Michelle Andres
For me, moves in art make a painting not only possible, but the creation of it more interesting. The time spent, and act of creating, offers a space to solve problems, explore possibilities and overcome fears.  I like to expect good things yet, sometimes, we’re afraid to make a move. We don’t want to lose what we have – and this is true not only for painting, but for life. Could the painting be BETTER? Could our lives be BETTER? If you make that move, you take a risk.  

Recently, we moved homes. It was a long process. We bought our new house before we sold our old house – a move I don’t recommend unless you have a compelling reason to do so, or thrive on crazy, unbridled stress!!!  Most of our belongings were left in the old house for “staging” purposes. We camped at the new place for over 5 months with a fold up table and chairs and a bed, slowly dragging back small items of comfort… kind of like Steve Martin in The Jerk. It was home-seller’s purgatory. During this time, my studio space changed, shrinking to a 5thof its previous size. I couldn’t find materials – everything had changed. Everything had MOVED!!!

So, when I ran across this quote, I was more than a little intrigued:

Moves create possibilities

It’s from Dr. Nancy Hillis. She’s an artist, author and existential psychologist. Her new , best-selling book, The Artist’s Journey, Bold Strokes to Spark Creativity offers support for creatives, helping  them work through the fear and doubt that many artists wear like a career accessory. I’d like the bracelet of doubt and the necklace of shame, please. Uh, no thank you. I work best unadorned.

So, in order to capitalize on our crazy transition I took the months of January and February to push the boundaries of the change and explore adjacent possibilities. I started writing “Notes From The Nest” documenting daily treasures I ferreted out in my surroundings to compensate for the interior décor  – which was a wasteland of starvation.  From an artistic standpoint, I explored new mediums and took classes that made me hugely uncomfortable, forcing me to push through the barriers that come with creating. I’m still shedding shame in certain areas. Darn those gaudy accessories!

Hillis’ quote reminds me to be thoughtful in the moves I choose to make; and to not only view them, but embrace them as  possibilities, teachers and stones on the path. They are not the final destination.  You can always lay down more stones – don’t hold on ones that will trip you. It’s the act of that choice,  that particular move, that  matters most. Keep putting down the path, travel bravely, with joyful abandon. If you falls, you falls. Get up – you’re not broken, you’re just learning.

5 Replies to “Making Your Moves – Embracing the Value of Moves and Changes”

  1. I don’t think it’s good to be always on the move, it can be senseless and unfruitful… A move may not change anything, I mean, but if it does change my life for the better, or my way of working, it’s okay, as its seems to be the case for you, though a bit laboriously, I understand…
    So, I wouldn’t say keep moving, but consider if changing is really necessary…
    Bonne chance à vous, en tout cas, Michelle,
    et au plaisir de vous lire,

    1. I agree Marc. But, I’m considering moving as more than a large act. Think of creating art. You have to make a move in order to make another move. Sometimes, we are unsure of our next move and stop – that doesn’t get us anywhere at all. Moving just for busyness sake is just silly.

      1. Yes, Michelle, I should have known, pray forgive me, that you were specially speaking about creating art, which cannot do without moving, I quite agree, for what is art if it stops being a discovery ? In the making, I mean… one move entailing another one…
        The fact is I have been stuck for some years now in my art, and maybe your advice will help me start moving again…

  2. Michele, I just realized why I move……I move my furniture……my closets……drawers……. my studio…etc etc….I used to move from house to house but now I keep moving things around…..purging and rediscovering me! I know now that I crave change. It is a life force for me. I have also been following and am now reading Nancy’s book. I have worried that I make changes in my art too often but I am truly understanding that is part of my best journey. I love you for honestly sharing with us . So to me CHANGE enlivens my very soul!

    1. Ah, Carol, those changes in our art! We worry we’ll venture too far afield and the work will be unrecognizable (at least I think about that). We worry we’ll over-work a good piece. What’s more, we don’t make moves because we don’t want to ruin things. I believe if we can make friends with moves and change, we’re less likely to get stuck. It sounds like you’ve mastered that! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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