Thursday, January 12, 2012

Dry Spell

Skulls found on my walks!
What do you do during a dry spell? I don't believe in blocks, but dry spells, or times of infilling are rich times and shouldn't be thought of as bad. Think of it as artistic weather. We have some languid days where nothing much inspires us. So, do something else instead.

A therapist once told me about infilling and outpouring. These dry spells are a time of infilling. During this time you can go to the library and peruse art books, you can try your hand at a handmade book, you can go to an antique or junk store and dig through boxes looking for interesting junk, or how about galleries and museums. I love the art museum gift shop. Full of art cards and lovely journals. Bead stores, the beach, a hike to a vista, a run. Anything that shakes up your energy for the good. When it settles again, you're ready to roll.

If this doesn't work, try taking an Artist Way class. Through the years, I've discovered ways in which I stop myself from making art...old beliefs about artists or work ethics learned in my family of origin. We can't be artists without self reflection...I don't think. Some therapists specialize in working with artists. Perhaps look one up.

Another helpful tool for breaking through is the dream journal. Buy something that intriques you...cover, shape, paper texture, (or make one)and keep it beside your bed. Write your dream when you awake. You need not analyse it, just give some noticing behavior to yourself. A part of you will wake up. Ah, such richness to follow in the psyche.

Have a creative day!

Monday, January 9, 2012

In Process

The interesting part of the creative process is watching a painting develop, sometimes the artist feels frustrated with the image, even disliking it to the point of painting it out or even slashing the canvas.  Yes, I've heard of this. I believe painting is about decision making--so keep a cool head. One decision after another: Value? Compliment? Composition? Repeat!  And maybe the decision comes to go back to a blank canvas...gesso is good for that.

So, let's say the painting develops in stages. Some of the stages move forward more quickly than others. My favorite stag...Flow. This is when the magic happens. This stage evokes a feeling of excitement, actually excitement in the chest, a buzzing sort of feeling.  And my visual focus becomes acute.  It's one of the in the present moment attributes that Eckhart Tolle talks about.

Here's the beginning of a new painting. This stage is questionable for me...what next is what I'm saying, feeling a push/pull toward the canvas.

The creative process seems to be idiosyncratic with individuals.  What is your process?  Getting to know your own process will help you move past blocks.