I’ve been stuck. My creativity has not been blocked, per se; I have ideas for artwork, see images like I always have. My blockage has come in that I am running a business in a recession, don’t have my art space set up as I used to, and don’t have the time to drop into painting in the manner I am used to doing. That is the key. What I am comfortable with, the long hours of exploration on paper moving into a final set of painting, a series, or one finished piece among sketches.
So what to do?
Intrigued by Soul Food (even the name is perfect for me), which was brought to me by an art friend (she is teaching), I signed up. (By the way I think you still can if it moves you.) Most of what is being taught are techniques — I’ve always loved short classes on techniques! YAH! So I signed up for the six months of weekly blasts, and in the process joined Community Thrive, a group of people making art, beginners to experts, having fun, sharing, no snobbery. On top of that, they have monthly challenges. I decided to do mine in less than 30 minutes — just let ‘er rip! Just what the doctor ordered.
So my goal for next year on a personal level is to loosen up to do what I can in the small spaces and short times allowed. Sketch, color sketches, journal sketches, and rediscover having fun without thinking about making art so much. When I was a young architect, our project director at Gensler impressed me by saying that the budget had nothing to do with making good design; it was all about knowing the materials and being creative. I have been waiting for my easel, my paints, my space, and so have not made art. I need to make art with what I can grab — pencil, pens, small paper, maybe gouache or india inks.
I do it in my writing, write every day no matter what even if it is just to say I am the crappiest writer in the world. Now I need to loosen up and foster my creativity in my visual world. I need to stop “knowing what is my best or what is good” and just be with color and lines. I need to DO what I have always told my design and writing students!
So my office set-up, which was moved to a north light-filled space in our upholstery studio, allows me museum conservation work space when I am facing the window and the computer. I try not to look out the window but here is where I write our treatment reports and blog for our business and for the foodie in me, and also write our book. (Whew, yes, I am split.) One of the men in my life encroached on 16×18-inches of the space by sitting and staring at me until I was willing to give it up.
However, when I turn around from all that, abracadabra, a small art desk, with everything I need to play.
My commitment to me is to make art once a week, to blog on art-making once a week, and to change my mindset and rediscover what it meant to have fun making art.
So the art challenge for December was the word Spirit. I took a practice sheet of paper where I was experimenting with shellac and what can mix with it (watercolor pencils work well). It didn’t turn out right but had a nice ghostly image in which I could see spirit. Pen in hand, 30 minutes or less, critic please go into the next room and edit something, GO.
How fun. One of my little naked mediating women (alter ego?) appeared, and missions, waves, and of course, the moon. No pencil, just ink, color, thoughts. and I am posting before I can think too much!
My images/blog posts can be reposted as long there is a link back to zenkatwrites.