Monday, May 3, 2010

Creative Lulls and Cycles

It's been quiet here on my blog, and quiet in my studio of late. I used to think there must be something wrong with me if I wasn't producing art work on a daily basis. While I do think it's important to be in the studio with my hands in "something", I have come to recognize that my creative energy comes in cycles. There are times when production is fast and furious and the ideas are coming so quickly I can't always get them in my sketch book in order to remember them.

Then there are the other times when nothing seems to work, and even the inspiration for things escapes me. I can only clean the studio so many times in a week, so what then? What is one to do when creative energy is at an all time low and everything that worked before, isn't now?

The past couple of months has been the longest uninspired time I've spent in many years. It's been excruciatingly frustrating and a bit depressing to just sit and stare at the unfinished work on the design wall. What was it asking for? Why doesn't it seem to be working? Where do I need to tweak the composition? - Nothing. Nada. Zip. No answer. I was staring at it, and it was staring back at me. So I left. I left the studio and headed out.

I began a drawing class at the art center. I thought perhaps this might kick me back into gear. At least it would keep my hands in something and take me back to my roots. Drawing in pencil and charcoal. The class is over for now and I found it quite enjoyable. Even have a drawing or two that turned out fairly well and will keep my hands in the charcoal and pencil for awhile.

At the same time, I began painting a house. Every wall of every room and closet. Every baseboard, door and piece of trim. Methodical. Quiet. Dip the brush and stroke. Push the roller, back and forth. Mindful. Meditative. Five weeks later, finished. Job accomplished. But something else happened. While moving that roller and brush, I began to focus on my unfinished art on the wall. Not really thinking about what it needs, just seeing it in my mind. Nothing concrete occurred, but, with the house painting finished, I am back in the studio filled with creative energy. The work on the design wall has been taken down, stitches ripped and sewn back in different configurations. It's working. I like where I think it's going, at least for now. Ideas are flowing again and I'm struggling with the sketch book and making lists.

I know there will be other non-creative and/or low energy times. I hope they don't last as long this one did. I don't want to have to paint another entire house, but . . . . .

1 comment:

  1. Great to meet you at Spring Quilt Market. I expect you'll be jazzed when you get home!