It’s a serious question, because I’ve experienced this endorphin “rush” as I’ll call it several times while painting and it’s an incredible, unexpected and extraordinary feeling all rolled into one. I’ve read how runners experience this and recent medical studies have verified a physiological change that occurs.
In my case the rush I know right when it happens, it’s when I actually feel whatever it is I’m painting, I mean really mentally and physically feel the subject when everything comes together – like a one big “wow.” I feel this in my stomach and head – I know it’s sounds weird, but it is what it is.
I know what paintings and exactly when the rush happened, it’s usually when I’m painting skies or waves. For instance last week when I was painting Quiet Essence, it happened when I got the last of the sun painted, again when I was painting Open Wave there was a part of the translucent part of the wave that was incredible, and on Golden Glow it happened while I was in the middle of painting the sky.
I asked an artist friend about this and here is what she said, “You got it!! That zen feeling is what it’s all about!! The definite difference between (in my opinion) slaving over a photograph to produce a pretty picture vs. having a piece of art be born in front of you from somewhere beyond your comprehension. Those moments are what I live for in art. And yes, if only every time we painted it happened!! But I guess waiting and hoping for those moments is what it’s all about. Until you experience it’s a very hard thing to explain. And let me tell you, that the experience you felt when you painted is VERY apparent in your painting. And THAT’S what makes that piece so good. Not the detail, not that you got every leaf and blade of grass perfect, but that you had that experience of the painting moving beneath your hands. People can feel it and respond to it.”
I’m very curious to all the creators out there – painters, photographers, music creators, writers, etc. . . . while pushing paint on canvas, while shooting or in photo development, when finding the perfect note or score or verse, or when the chapter comes alive through your words or a line of poetry comes into being . . . do you experience the endorphin “RUSH?”