Thursday, November 17, 2011

drawing board

Yesterday I read my brother's post on 'The Art of Thinking' (his reaction to an interesting article on Sparrow Salvage) and it got me thinking about my expectations of a days work and what I consider wasted time: fooling with materials, testing paints, organizing beads, picking up the house (how many times in a day?) and the worst time thief of all - staring at my laptop, searching for inspiration in beautiful images, reading tutorials and perfume descriptions (of all things!). Why I love to read how a particular fragrance smells is odd - I guess they paint a fantastic reality, imagining opening a bottle and smelling a cedar forest, all sharp, dark and green. While I love doing this, it doesn't help me carve beads, or work on my shop, or tend the kids. So I feel guilty and try and make up the time by furiously carving away on something. More often than not, these projects born of guilt look shoddy and done by a lunatic, so of course I don't cast it! This bit of failure leads to its own set of insecurities all artists have about their work.

The last few weeks have seemed incredibly unproductive. I keep staring around me, sort of shocked at all I need to do, but can't find the time or energy to finish anything. There's a huge pile of wax that needs carved, but I took out my watercolors and made a little booklet called 'possibilities' to sketch ideas for a little book. My esty store needs updating, so instead I began designing paper doll creatures that look like the forest floor has come alive- little beings built from mushrooms, lichen, bulbs, roots, sticks and flowers. Azalea will enjoy putting the bits together, since I'm designing them so the parts can be interchanged to form new creatures. Again, this lovely little project doesn't include carving, so I consider it frivolous.

After reading Andrew's post, I understood the idea, that its necessary to let yourself idle, to not make anything.... in order to create something wonderful. Of course this is an over simplification of the idea, but I see the importance of slowing down and allowing ones mind to process the stimulation, to let the creativity percolate uninterrupted. The stubborn part of my mind argues that this is a ruse and that I need to stop fiddling around and just get to the drawing board or nothing will get made. The inner argument continues, one side validated and delighted to have an excuse to stare at dolls and read hundreds of perfume descriptions, the other side appalled and furious, insisting I get off my hind end and finish something! Ah well, I think I'll have a glass of wine, the workaholic self will settle down and let my hands make what they want to.... I don't think this discussion is over quite yet.


Kathleen Lange Klik said...

It is comforting to know that their are other artists who struggle with the same concept; time and creativity. Your post, along with Andrew's and Sparrow Salvage have helped to put some much needed perspective on the subject.

Sharon Driscoll said...

I had an art professor who was so wise - he said to me that when you are away from what you are creating it was your time to "observe". He said to drink in and enjoy everything else you were doing, soak yourself in it, and eventually it would come out in your work. I think you should submit a set (or pitch the idea)of your new interchangeables to Belle Amoire or one of their magazines for a set of cut outs to go into shadow boxes. You are such a wonderfully diverse artist...I dont' see where any time is wasted.

somethingunique said...

Hi nice to see a post from you...hope all is mother in law loved the dolphin pendant i got from you i made a necklase with her moms birth stones with was like you carved it out knowing exactly what it was for down to the waves... and now she has something to wear to represent our Gee Gee's final was a very special gift i was able to give to her thanks to you :) it's nice to know we are not alone...i have been having a hard time sittting down in the studio and focasing on creating...i have no energy and what energy i have i spend organizing my hoard, LOL thinking maybe i will get inspired it usually helps because i coem across stuff i forgot i i have no choice i have a big show coming in 2 weeks and in my usual fashion wait till the last minite to get ready...although that is when i usually create my best stuff...well i think i will go now and make a list of what i need to do...take care & have a great weekend ttfn Lana

Georgene Lockwood said...

I call this process "grazing" and I think we all need to feed the creative process in this way. I also find sitting outside in one place just listening, smelling and watching is renewing in every way. And let's hear it for "puttering!" Nothing wrong with that. But I find it is most effective when I give myself FULL permission and ditch the guilt.

TesoriTrovati said...

Must be something about the seasons changing that does it for me. I like the idea of observing, or grazing. I call this time the 'fallow season.' In farming that is when you leave a field to grow without planting its intended crop. This time allows the soil to rejuvenate and gear up for the next growth spurt. I must be in one right now. I have been too consumed with the computer and maybe that contributed to the nasty virus it caught! That has forced me to step back and reevaluate where I am and where I am headed. I plan to try some new things in the coming year. Maybe this is my way of gearing for the next big leap? I love your little journal of possibilities. That says it all right there, doesn't it?
Thank you for sharing this glimpse into your creative life.
Enjoy the day, Miss Cynthia.

lunedreams said...

You're loading up your mental kiln with exotic goodies! And then it will fire as you sleep...And one day soon some magical things will tumble out. Sounds like your mind has its own plans about renewing its creativity. Trust it! Perc away!