A rut and a groove have a lot in common: in one sense, they’re both related to repetitive movement or action; something you do over and over until a corresponding rut or groove develops, eventually defining and even becoming part of the action.
So which would you rather be in–a rut or a groove?
For most of us, ‘rut’ has a negative connotation: a rut feels dull, mindless, done by rote without thought. You’re stuck in a rut.
A groove, however, has a more positive feeling: you’re moving easily, things are clicking along, you’re focused on possibilities rather than limits. You’re in the groove.
When I’m writing or painting, I want to be in the groove, because that makes the work flow much better and keeps it exciting. If I’m writing or painting in a rut, it can be hard to finish a project because I don’t really care about it any more.
Having taken up painting again recently, I’m enjoying a return to a creative groove that I’ve always liked, but stopped making time for several years ago. I don’t know why I stopped, other than the fact that I got busy with other things, or why this summer felt like a time to pick it up again. Doesn’t matter; I’m just grateful that the groove has helped lift me out of a rut!
My most recent painting is based on the book my mother and I just finished reading: In Search of King Solomon’s Mines by Tahir Shah. He met a salt merchant who used camels to transport salt along a desert route in Ethiopia, and I liked the photograph of the man with his camels, although I made him more of a bedouin than an Ethiopian. Here’s the process: