Search This Blog

Monday, February 9, 2015

Embracing Chaos

Nanny Wisdom:
They say that there's a place for everything and everything in its place. 

This may be true for some things, but it may not always be true for my studio.

I keep a photo of my studio at its pristine best to remind myself of how good it can be when there is a place for everything and everything is in its place. Periodically I literally hold the photo up against my studio to compare the differences.

Everyone wants a clean and organized studio. That's the picture artists submit to magazines to show their studios at their finest. That's the model for which all we long.

But is it the best way to work?
I still do the things I did when I was eight years old, because I'm still me. It's in my nature to draw and paint, make music, explore new places and leave my stuff in a chaotic pile.

The inside of my bag today looks exactly like the inside of my school bag fifty years ago.

Recently I had a jewelry show. I ransacked my jewelry workspace to find the beads I needed to replenish stock, and in doing so, I inadvertently arranged boxes of beads which had never been together before.

Suddenly I saw new necklaces, waiting to be made.

They were made out of the beads I have used for years.

But in the new combinations created by randomly placing boxes of beads together which would otherwise be in their "proper places", I saw new combinations of color and design.

The chaos forced me to see with new eyes.

Don't misunderstand me: I am inspired by the clean white counter, where I may begin a new project without having to dig through piles of other works and tools and materials. 

Having my materials at hand and at the ready is very freeing.

But there is something about the seemingly random interaction of materials that can really start my creativity flowing.

Did I put these things on this table or counter simply to free up some space in which to work? Or did I unconsciously place them together in the early stages of Creating Art?

The former answer makes me look good and virtuous. The latter answer is closer to the truth.

I take great delight in looking at and caressing my art tools and materials. There is creative energy stored up in them, waiting for my touch to free them.

I savor the unexpected combinations I see before me in the random chaotic mess.

Do I want to always live in chaos? No. I work best when I can quickly access the tools and materials I need.

But an occasional visit by chaos in my studio is a welcome change, and one which always engenders some exciting new art.

I embrace my chaos. That's where I lose my keys but find my muse.