Tag: creativity

Summer Breeze…

With coffee in hand, I am sitting outside waiting for rain. Just a sprinkle to cool down the scorching heat of summer. Still in my night clothes at 3 p.m. And trying to get motivated, I tolerate the heat outside on my back porch, private and green, flourishing plant life from these summer showers. Herb garden is plush and fruitful. Vegetables, not-so much. The summer was too extreme and each new leaf withered without bearing anything yummy. The one puny, green tomato that endured was maliciously snitched from me by a hungry fruit rat. Under my watchful eyes, a mere 20 feet away, the slinky critter plucked it and ran into the night. I think I heard it laughing at me… My nurturing efforts were abolished in one clean sweep from this bandit. At least the caterpillars have abandoned the basil for now and caprese salad is abundant. We are now a gluten-free household and even though I miss my Saltiness, we are glad for the rain to nourish the herbs and flowers, making the temperature and the stagnant breeze a bit sweeter.

My studio has remained unoccupied for months and it looks as sad as I am for abandoning it. The unfinished work stares at me each day as I peek in to jog some inspiration and motivation. Thoughts are brewing and ideas are abound. Energy is at an all time low. The mundane household duties have over run my time, mixing in with somewhat mandatory social engagements and work that actually pays the bills.

This is the week, though, that breaks the cycle. Things are coming to fruition and time will be allotted to unleash the creative flow again. It seems I’ve painted everything except canvas these past few months, and even as I admire the newness of the media room, kitchen and front bathroom, it fails to fulfill any artistic need. The living room will come together soon, as scheduled, but will definitely come behind time in my lonely studio. A garage sale is in order here to alleviate the clutter bogging down our energy. I believe we have just too much furniture, for when we are in our creative mode we have the fewest guests to utilize it. My adoration of antique chairs must be squelched for my own good!

For tonight, work is scheduled for me and Nolen’s melodies will fill the house while I am gone. I will plan tomorrow’s clutter resolution for a productive weekend with my oils and brushes. Dinner is in the oven and I am 3 tall cups into a pot of coffee. Ready, set, go!

New Work

I am back in cyber-circulation, folks.  It has been many, many months and my thoughts have been a whirlwind of chaos over my head.  Last year went out and the new year came in quietly, shuffling in wearing fuzzy slippers.  Now, though, the overdue inspiration is flooding into my quiet space and creativity is abound!  My senses are alert and every waking hour I am dreaming of putting brush to canvas,  unnamed colors mixed on my palette, the smells of oils and turpentine.

I have little time actually in the studio, for life calls for my attention – loudly.  I have begun, though, to ignore the beckoning somewhat, to deal with the allure of my dreams.  My studio is lively again, smelling of those rich studio smells mixed with coffee – and fabric softener  (by day, it poses as a laundry room for my domestic alter ego).   I have started a new series of figurative work while working on some nature pieces I started a while back.   I have abandoned the encaustic projects I was working on last summer, as my studio lacks good enough ventilation and lighting over the work table.   I have traded ventilation for space – this may be the reason for the creative flood going on here…

I have been working more with glazes for this series and am having a lot of fun allowing myself more room for color experimentation.  The drying time in-between glazes allows me to go back and forth between paintings, creating continuity in movement, color and style.   I am looking for a softer finish and richer depth of color in this series as compared to the bolder  impasto style in my last few paintings.  The figures I am using will benefit more from a softer stroke and color palette, focusing on the expressions of the figures and what they are conveying to the viewer.  I will post images soon.

Out with the old…

This week I have been going through boxes and bins of old treasures, only to find that we have way too many things that aren’t really treasures anymore.  Too much clutter just jams up my head and makes all creative flow slow down to a tiny little creek of ideas instead of the river of ideas I expect.  A garage sale, I’m afraid, is in order here.  I dread the day of just waiting for someone to offer me half of what I’m asking for for my old treasures – which is already a fraction of what I paid for it to begin with.   But the time is here for refreshing my space; creating a better flow in my space and in my mind. So, whatever doesn’t serve a purpose or cause a warm and fuzzy for us anymore must go.

My home will never be sparse, will never be feng shui, never the sleek style that is so attractive in other people’s homes.  It is full of memories and purchased artifacts that make me smile and remember all the good times and bad – and just pieces of  time I will never see again.  All our travels are documented in these artifacts and knick-knacks.  The books, pictures and baubles of my past make me know who I am, who I’ve been.  It may be that I am a pack-rat of sorts, but I like to consider myself a collector.  It is my nature to make a home of wherever we land – wherever we are for even just a piece of time.  And the next place, wherever it may be, I will take another bit of memories from here along for the ride.

beeswax

I have been playing around with an encaustic project since over the summer – dawdling happily toward what looks kind of cool.  It is so different than what I’ve been working with (oils, mostly) and is very interesting to see the layers of wax transform everything underneath them to a soft and fuzzy form.  I like this softness – this underwater-like feeling they project.  I have only begun this venture, but I can see a lot potential pieces coming up!  Must find a reasonably priced lot of beeswax, though… Have been looking in the local stores to find it at pretty high prices.  Suggestions, anyone?

Social neglect

I’ve been hibernating in my studio more in the past couple of weeks than I’ve been able to for months, now, and am cherishing every moment.  Whether I am at the easel, drawing or just reading and blogging about it, I am here in my cave, breathing in the glorious odor of paint, mineral spirits and the coffee that is perpetually brewing.   I’ve hung better lighting, which makes it all so much easier in the night hours to get the color right the first go around.  Unfortunately for the other activities in my life, I have been neglecting what little social life I’ve had, but have been more productive and happy.  I occasionally get those pangs of guilt, but then I can’t afford to jeopardize what I’ve been longing for – time to get out all that is twittering around in my head.  It is not that I don’t enjoy the relationships I’ve made over the years, but I have learned to become selfish for my own good.  My expressive creativity bears too many rewards to ignore when it calls.  The sociability of artists is a paradoxical and precarious thing, and ceases the instant they begin their actual artistic work. – (R. G. Collingwood)

Stuff in the works

Thought I would blog quickly before I really dug too deeply in my studio.  I have put aside several unfinished projects over the summer, as I was moving my studio location and trying to make it all fit together efficiently.  Its comfortable at this point, although I am in desperate need of bookshelves and a good slab of glass to mix on – mine has transformed back into the patio tabletop  🙁

I will be digging my hands back into a small grouping of drawings/paintings on small, scrap woodblocks cut from the ends of lumber, as well as a 3 dimensional project using used materials that I started saving when I couldn’t bear to waste all these beautiful, although now “useless” metal castaways.  My good friend and very talented artist, Susan Mulder works with a lot of used and discarded materials, creating the most beautiful and innovative work that reflects the beauty and organic core of women.  Looking at her new innovations inspires me to really dig back into these old projects that have been shucked into all the corners and hiding places of my studio.  Check her out @ susanmulder.com – you won’t be disappointed.

Tonight, I am on my way to finishing this painting – I am also still working on a large diptych from my For Your Entertainment series.  My hands are full, but it’s a good full.

Paul Gardner’s bit of wisdom

In a previous entry I expressed that I was deliberating over paintings and reworking them all in my head.  I have to stop that because I need to keep producing and progressing instead of over-thinking and obsessing.  My obsessiveness will have to transform some other part of my life – like maybe my house will become cleaner…?  Another artist with a similar point of view seems to have to terms with this craziness – “A painting is never finished – it simply stops in interesting places.”(Paul Gardner) I will adopt this concept to maintain a new painting on my easel and imagery flowing freely from my brushes, without looking back.  Well, maybe a little.

Paul Gardner is a Scottish artist now working out of southern California.  His work is amazing and beautiful – I wouldn’t change a thing…but it isn’t mine  🙂  Check out his work @ artlanegallery.com.

Quiller stealer…

Sometimes I can rework the paint on my palette over and over, trying to find the exact color that is in my head.  It isn’t that it is necessary to the integrity of the subject matter – I just want what I want and will work the paint until it is there, glistening and silky and has turned exactly the color I see when I close my eyes.  It is rewarding. Nonetheless… I am in search of a Quiller wheel – like the one my Color class teacher from school had us use every time we even thought of mixing paint.  She was crazy as a loon, but right on about color.  I have other color wheels, but not the same as the Quiller wheel which, by the way, someone “borrowed” from my school studio- Quiller stealer.   I will search one out online, as I haven’t found one locally.  I think it  may save me a bit of time – and precious energy, and I am in need of both.   The imagery in my head seems to  fade as my energy level drops…just like a video game.   Need to fuel up at the coffee shop, now……mmmmmmmm.

the path

Pinellas Park, Fl, I have found have found, has a farmers/art market on Tuesday mornings.  Nice to find one that is not on the weekend and overcrowded…   I will go and check out the wares next week.  Also, in the Park Station building is an open painting studio open most of the day – a great treat for my Tuesday mornings (late mornings, that is) that are otherwise spent running errands and trying to get motivation and creative inspiration at the grocery store.  I am looking forward to seeing the other artists in the area there extracting creative passions during the daylight hours with great hopes that I, too will become one of them.  I know I can never give up my sacred studio time during the late night and wee morning hours, but surely painting with the daywalkers will secure my inspiration around the clock.  Another dedicated block of forced creativity will train my lazy old body to put  those beloved brushes to canvas when I tell it to.  My better half insists that if art is the path I am truly destined to follow, then nothing would block my travels.  He is right, and my aim is to keep walking forward and quit stopping to ask directions.  I know the way – I just need to believe I do, just as he has always done.