Just briefly, let me explain the problem with fetishizing the work. We admire a painting we’ve done. It strikes us as having captured grace in some way. We value it for that. This is fine. It is a joy we can have as painters. The problem comes when we use that painting to build a temple to our own egos instead of seeing it for what it is, a manifestation of grace that has come through us. As soon as we fall into that trap, we derail the entire enterprise. We become addicted to a superficial result. We try to repeat it, control it, give ourselves the rush on a regular schedule. This takes us further and further from the practice. Makes it less and less likely we will ever be touched by grace again. Our reactions spiral us out of balance. Is this the work’s fault? No. It’s ours.
We all know this: that our experience cannot always be manipulated. Yet, we don’t act as though we know this truth. We try so hard to manipulate and control our lives, to make creativity into a game to win, to shortcut success because others say they have, to process emotions and uncertainty as if these are linear journeys.