I had intended to follow-up my “Artist Talk” post with a discussion of “Artist’s Block” but in thinking about where I am at the moment decided to change the topic name because it is not quite right. Now is a time when I am in a transitional place, not blocked just drifting. Having finished a number of paintings in the “Estratos Dinamica” series, I am at the point when drift is a good idea for me. How do I know it is time to drift? It is because painting ceases to be fun.There has been so much written about creative block, writer’s block and I am reminded that Chuck Close’s approach is to work, just work everyday not waiting for the illusive inspiration whatever that means. In my practice and for as long as I remember, I have never had artist’s block either. But that is not to say that everyday there comes from my brush, pencil, pen or other drawing tool work that I would show others unless to my close friends that is. When I reach one of the points when I don’t hurry to the studio to begin working on a series of paintings or drawings, I start to experiment asking myself “what if”? There are “what if”s” littering my studio as I write. What about combining this image with that one, what if I rip this image and reassemble, what if I totally destroy this image, why not use this very unusual hue combination, what if I make an oil painting. There are endless possibilities and I am asking and experimenting with no goal in mind. It is the practice, it is the working through, it is the working. I am practicing my craft. I am honing my skills. I am trying to see with new eyes.
Everything is my subject right now and either with my drawing tools, iPhone, or camera I am literally looking at everything, photographing anything that comes to my attention. I’m look at puddles in the driveway, the cinder block building I see from my windows, lichen on the tree where I park; the most mundane and interesting objects (to me) in my path become fascinating for absolutely no reason at all. Texture is everywhere and I like to see it, feel it, capture it, take it with me. I have no expectations but I know from so many years of experience that soon I will begin again to paint and I will have new eyes. Once the time is right I will know to begin again. The strange thing is that the series will seemingly continue as if it had not been interrupted and I will probably be the only one who will see any difference but there will be one and it will be significant.
Even if you don’t make anything, thinking about it is being creative too, I think!
Totally agree with you. You have to continually stoke the fire. “Eyes on” all the time. That is my motto, or one of them anyway.