Literally and figuratively.
Oh yes, why am I surprised? Today is my first day without chores in, like, a month, and what do I do? Wake up with a headache. Can’t read, can’t enjoy the lovely sunny day outside, no painting, spinning or anything. I can’t remember doing anything physically challenging yesterday either, which could aggravate my spine. If I believed in such things as outside forces of Fate I’d say that I’m not “supposed” to enjoy myself too much with activities that nourish me. Just as I had every hindrance available to make me stop horseriding… (which incidentally worked, now that I’m out of money and my bones all beaten up) And there I was, all certain the thread collection was a little sign!
Sigh, I suppose I could wash the bed linen and s**t… Really, I could have done that WHILE I was weaving! <shaking fist in the air> 😉
Perhaps it’s time that I begin work on my next Keyword, Listen. To my body even more, although I’ve been trying hard to pay attention to it (some claim I should say “her”, but I’m not really down with that), but now also to my subconscious, my Self, everything around me. It’s really, really frustrating to want something badly and look forward to it and then not get it. I deserve a break! I’m not sure I’ll ever be content with a life purpose of cleaning woman, so I need to find out what else to do if I can’t pursue the things that light me up. What path haven’t I noticed yet? In the meantime I’ll probably fight back and do my things in tiny, tiny bits if that’s what I get, but wouldn’t it be nice if I figured out what this Resistance is really all about once and for all?
How do you talk to your Resistance? Apparently kicking and screaming isn’t doing the job, LOL.
“Everybody talks about it, but nothing is being done….”
This post has been a lot longer in my folder than I anticipated, the days seem to suddenly just have flown by with all sorts of nonsense no matter how I prepare. :/ It’ll have to be a prequel instead.
I actually chose “whoop whoop” a topic for getting some painterly skills back, while I ponder my problems with the figurative stuff. I do have ideas that include recognizable objects such as horses, a few tiny people and one very large fish! but I can’t draw for s**t without the aid of my computer. I always did best with a large brush.
So while I was on the background production theme anyway, I grabbed “skies” off my multi page idea list. Simple, fits well with my photography style too. To make it even less complicated I got a stack of really cheap-get-what-you-paid-for tiny 20 cm canvasses that I seem to have no fear of attacking. I don’t like working acrylics on paper unfortunately and I’ve given up on watercolours just now, also to simplify my task list. So there. Supermarket canvas. Boards would be fine too, but I don’t have any. I got 12 canvasses, then G went insane and raided two more shops on our way home from the big city.
It’s the first time ever that I’ve enjoyed working small. 50×50 and up used to be more like it, but for some reason I’m having a blast playing with these. (Still using 5 cm foam brushes, though 😉 ) Mostly just winging it, sometimes looking at cloud photos because I can’t quite remember the technique to paint them. My aim is not traditional landscape, really, so I hope eventually I’ll arrive at something that is “mine”. Currently I’m trying to get a feel for doing like I used to vs. wanting something different. Definitely fumbling, mainly trying to just do, not think. Wading through standard compositions to see if new things emerge in the process.
Some of the pictures comply and resemble skies, others persist in remaining backgrounds, my usual syndrome. Sometimes I let them, simply swiping the remains of my palette before ending the session. I don’t know what’s going to be on any of the paintings beyond the next step, and sometimes not even that, no sketching, I just begin by throwing paint. Makes life interesting… Some of these are getting A LOT of layers, another advantage over watercolour.
When I run out of storage space I’ll have to auction them off to get money for a new batch 😛 If all else fails, there’s gesso! Perhaps this pile will last me forever?!
While they dry, I play with some of the bigger wips. Colour blending exercises are fine too, I’m attracted to different combos than I used to, so I need to learn to make them, rather than my “goto greens”. Then we’ll see what happens. It’s a long way to go, but I’m not counting.
I felt I could find space to paint at least 3 days a week when I began this post and definitely feeling the flow and the glow, but reality has been different. There is no gallery of 20 weather pix for you to browse, just a few beginnings and sketches. I’m going ahead and posting them anyway, since I started the journey here, I may as well keep recording it.
I still feel it’s possible to pick up momentum again, if I’m “allowed”. If I allow myself. Complicated issues are happening on the sidelines and I tend to sponge some of it up even when it’s not mine to deal with.
Wish me luck pls! I feel right in this element, so there has to be something more to it besides wasting supplies. During this process it’s slowly dawning on me what I do want to make, that is not like this. Maybe. Things are lurking in the mists at the back of my head that would like to come out. Or I’d like them to. So I can see what they are. 😉 Perhaps that will help me become slightly less obsessed?
To be continued….
I’m painting today and I’m determined to keep at it even if there are loud phone conversations upstairs, lunch requests and various pet related incidents. I started out with something easy, filling in the poppy shapes I did months ago (I think I’m going to have a look at real poppies before I move on 😉 ), but I also want to get a sketch done which has lived in my head for a long time. I bet it’s blocking the way for others!
Why am I persisting with a medium that seems so difficult for me? (not new, I did paint quite a lot many years ago) I actually wrote a 3000 word blog post on that over the weekend, it’s not even done yet and I don’t think I’ll ever publish it. But the short version is: A because it keeps knocking, B that I suspect the things which are easy at first may not be the ones where you ultimately excel, and C I have to get over my story of how I need perfect surroundings before I can begin. At the very least I should tell it differently.
See, in just over 200 words! That was some kickass editing if you ask me.
Right, egg sandwiches done and on my part eaten, back to work. While waiting for the others to dry I’ve hauled out one of the used canvasses I “inherited”. At first I tried to work with the lines and colour there, but it’s not working even if I see some kind of forest scene in my head. But nevermind, today’s exercise is simply: keep at it. That’s my only ambition. All day, only the necessary breaks when somebody is either hungry or needs to pee. After all, it’s not Molly’s fault that I’m an idjit. (‘m allowed to blog while I eat egg sandwiches)
I think I may have answered my colour question from last week. I keep wanting to mix in clean colours with the black and olive, I even happily dipped away in phtalo blue when I thought I’d reached for the ultramarine…
Our chat on my mad colour schemes made me think of this old draft that I began a year ago. The talk turned more towards doing a variety of things, which we’ve also discussed before, rather than what I intended: a wide variety of styles. (actually I’ve now realized that my colour issues are all about the yarn, but more about that on Wednesday).
Frances mentioned how in her experience artists and crafters fall into two categories, the ones who do things by the book and have a limited repertoire, but do it well, and the ones that just want to experiment because they get excited about it all.
I see it mostly in my photo blog I guess, since I have too little time to produce all the paintings and textiles that I think up. I’ve been trying to find something new and different for each day’s post, which is the complete opposite of making an exhibition for instance, where you’d want a common thread either on the colour side or the method used or the topic. You just don’t put a photoreal seascape next to an abstract in red and gold unless you’re a very happy amateur (or very famous possibly). Most people develop a style when they’ve been at it long enough.
Question is, if I ever will, when I keep flirting with all sorts of things? Or is that, in fact, the only way to find it? There are some things I don’t do much, such as portraits and cities; nature, weather and animals are at least a reasonably constant inspiration. So is that narrow enough? Some really awesome photographers do nothing but mountains all their lives – but I just can’t ignore all the other pretties. MotherOwl, Raquel and I have been talking about working in a spiral, both in practical terms as well as personally, and if that is what comes naturally, don’t fight it. But can you tame it?!
Otoh I do want to be proud of what I’m making, and guess this is where I stumble. I spoke to Dre about mastery vs. project completion, and I think I want the skill more right now, than a collection of finished canvases (I haven’t got anywhere to store them anyway!) – but eventually I do want to have something to show for myself. You may have noticed it on the blog, I fling all sorts of ideas at you and show the materials but then you never hear of it again.
So if I want to keep doing all the things, why do I also keep coming back to feeling like I need some kind of plan? Birdie thinks it’s probably wise to make certain choices, my next thought is, perhaps my choices would sort themselves once I had a chance to work a little bit with everything and some ideas would end up exhausting themselves pretty quick? How are you to know which ones burn the brightest as long as they’re only in your head? Just beware the lure of new things, they can become a form of procrastination when you are addicted to learning as I am. Sometimes I even know that they are, but I let them take up a bit of space anyway. This kind of awareness I’d like to cultivate and act on more.
I was going to try out another way of getting the painterly juices flowing: Putting myself in a box. The idea is, if you limit your options, you are forced to find a solution and work on it, instead of being overwhelmed by all the choices in the entire universe. Paint only horses for a year. I just never get around to it. A way to limit yourself is not by topic or colour, but by medium. No drawing, collage, watercolour, stamping, just acrylics. And simply not even look at what everybody else is doing with those other media. As Birdie has also mentioned, things like Pinterest is truly a blessing in disguise. You can spend all day looking at pretty things and not MAKE a single one.
I don’t know if it’s in my nature to stay in a box at all for any length of time, or if I’m simply avoiding the long haul out of sheer laziness. See? Now we’re back to talking THINGS, not styles. How did that happen?!
I had a dream recently where I was in a theater, and to get to my seat I had to go through a passage so narrow it seemed impossible to squeeze through and not get stuck (in fact it got tighter as I tried, that’s a recurring dream theme). So I wandered around trying other routes, eventually ending up at a row of seats but my ticket number was not on any of them! When I woke up it was still very vivid, and I began to wonder if I really should have chosen the option of fighting my way through the tight door, and what the result would have been. (all the while my darker side suggested this was proof that I simply don’t have a place in the theater of life, but I’m choosing to ignore that interpretation) If this had happened in real life – what would I have done? If I had slowed down, examined the tight space instead of rejecting it? Would I have given up on finding my seat altogether or walked through every single one, checking them? Just sat down until someone else claimed that particular chair?
Perhaps it will solve itself, as I mentioned last week and above, if I have the luxury of working on 25 skyscapes without setting back everything else for 3 years. Could be just the massive backlog clamouring for attention. This week is vacation, which means I have to be available to make or supervise house repairs and stuff. And, you know, talk. I have high hopes for next week…. 😉
And I’d like to point out, I AM having fun and I’m not worried. I just think a lot. And I want to optimize my time. 🙂 As well as go with the flow….
I think I’ll have to go though all the old posts and comments and write myself a summary instead of bringing this up repeatedly. It ties in pretty well with my Focus/Intention keyword too!
Incidentally, yesterday as I was done walking the dog and shopping after my garden adventure, I had to have a nap and then to wake up again sat myself to browse the book I won from Quinn McDonald “Inner Hero”. My recent pains had been keeping me from concentrating on it, but they’re on a break for now, most of them. I quote from the introduction:
“Most comments your inner critic makes will encourage you to start something new, take a break or get serious about your lack of talent or creativity by swiitching from one medium to another (I don’t know if that’s the only reason one switches, though)….This book is about sitting down with your inner critic and calmly listening, deciding on your truth and then replying to your inner critic with a strong voice of conviction that honors your creativity….. [it] assumes your creative cup is not full. (well, ahem…) If your creative cup is already full, then one more idea, one more project will cause it to overflow and lose content…. I wrote the book for anyone who strikes sparks of light and wants to fan sparks into a flame.”