Philosophy in the Dark, and Other Tales from the Studio


This past week I was in the dark, literally. I was one of thousands of Michiganders without power due to Wednesday’s wild windstorm. I felt a bit like Dorothy in Kansas.

What resulted was a break down of “Flow.” “Flow,” you ask? Yes. It’s that place when you’re in the groove, allowed to practice art in long uninterrupted hours and the art becomes a conversation you’re very present in.

I cannot tell you I have reached that place where time stands still, and there is nothing but art. I dream about that. I’m always a bit jealous when I meet someone for whom that happens. (Or perhaps better said: I’m happy for them, and remind myself it’s on my list of goals.) But I do hit a groove. And it happens most often when I have long stretches of uninterrupted time to paint. When my schedule is cleared of other “must dos”that are involved with running a business. And I was just hitting that stride with my Goddess series … when the lights went out, literally and figuratively.


I kept painting until I grew too cold to keep going. And then the electricity stayed out for three days, so the Flow was interrupted.

I’ve been longing to get back in the studio with mounting excitement. I am so eager to get back to it this week. And I’m hoping for Flow. But I want to do more than hope. I want to prepare to get back into the groove.


I have a theory. I’ve always thought you could control Flow a lot with your mindset. I think you can set yourself up to be so present with your work, casting away any feelings about the results. Because the minute you begin to doubt the outcome, you affect it. The key is to dismiss your inner critic, in the way that a small child beams with pride upon sharing any art project with you. They were so into process that they didn’t think of the outcome, let alone to they judge it.

And all that from a little power outage.

How about you? Are there times you reach Flow? And what helps get you there? I truly appreciate the interaction, and hope to see you on Facebook and Instagram, where you will find me most days!

About Stephanie Schlatter Art

Stephanie Schlatter is an Artist who draws from the world for inspiration. While she calls Grand Rapids, Michigan, home she’s often off on new adventures. For more than a decade, her journeys have taken her across the globe. She has studied art both locally and abroad, including time in Mexico, where she decided to shift her focus from photography to painting. Stephanie's travels led her to found Absolutely Art: A Project for Change in 2006. Through this non-profit organization, she brings art instruction to the children of Ethiopia while supporting their education. Stephanie's work reflects an expression influenced by other cultures which resonates a variety of influences that have given her work direction.

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