Tuesday, April 25, 2006

back for real

I've been back in the studio regularly over the past couple of weeks. I've come out of it with one new painting finished and a couple of others nearly so. I really feel that I'm back in a good space, mentally, unlike how I was feeling when I wrote the last entry. I'm still fighting to maintain some focus and make sure I take care of the things I need to with my creative life.

Things are changing in my life in ways I never knew they would. I'm still a little too close to what's going on to have any real perspective, but it's a good thing...or crazy as hell. I guess I'll have to see what happens over the next few months.

Someone recently sent me an email asking me do describe what it feels like when I'm painting. She also asked what I did to revive when I wasn't feeling particularly creative. These are my answers which I've expanded on a little:

How I feel when I'm inspired and painting is hard to pin down to exact words, but I suppose being 'in a zone' is one way of putting it. There are times where I'm so into what I'm doing that I might forget to eat. When i'm painting, there's usually a feeling of excitment. There's a feeling that there's this unseen energy flowing through me that only becomes visible through what I do on the canvas, paper, or whatever else I happen to be working with. It manifests itself in the brushstrokes, scrapings, lines, pencil marks and more...

I've thought about what I feel when painting or doing some other creative activity. There are definitely different energies contributing to what I do. Some are sexual in nature, others are more aggressive and still more that are subtle. More often than not, there is a combination of these and more that I haven't been able to identify.

If I'm feeling creatively blocked, these days I give myself permission to lay off for a bit. I used to agonize over not being productive all the time, but I found that approach to be more taxing than letting it go for a little while.

I tend to work on more than one piece at a time, so if I'm having issues with one painting, I'll put it aside and move to something else, usually another painting or drawing. If nothing is working, then I'll call it a day and leave or not go into the studio in the first place. It also helps to focus on other things for a while, as I get inspiration from sources other than art, like design, music, books, films, etc...