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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Escape Velocity

Some days, the simple effort it takes to cross the studio to my desk seems overwhelming. Other days, I fly.

What is it that allows my creative self to take flight and soar?

I try to keep a journal...random sketches and paintings, not huge masterpieces, just small visual notes of moments in time. I steal a few minutes while waiting for the watiress to bring my meal, I pull off to the side of the road near a river, I grab my paintbox and journal when I see that "certain slant of light". And so page by page I have a chronicle of what inspires me.

Sketchbooks can be intimidating or liberating. Long ago I surrendered my need to complete annual tasks, like New Year's Resolutions or daily journals. I admire people who can keep day by day every day journals. I cannot. So now I simply open the books ( yes, I keep several journals. One for paintings of rivers, one for paintings of light, one for paintings of places, one for flowers, one for sunsets, well, you get the idea.). I open them when I can. I make time, take time, for this creative act. I make the doing of art a sacred task. I make it a mundane task.I do it.

When I look back through a sketchbook, I can see the map of my creative self. Here a turning to the spontaneous, there an exploration of the new palette. One page is all about control, another is all about not having control. My work veers and detours, it meanders through the creative choices like a drunken butterfly.

Don't measure your work by anyone's work. You are unique. And in that state of being unique, you are not alone. We are all unique. Each of us has been formed, informed, by our experiences. The places where our experiences overlap is where we meet, and there compare our unique journeys. We are all different, we are all the same.

Where's that new paintbrush? I must capture this texture, right now.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful. I'm going to print that next to last paragraph about not measuring your work by anyone else's and hang it over my desk to remind me. It's such an easy mistake to fall into.