I took time to make something with my hands and some gouache paint today. It is always a grounding experience to push color around with a tiny paintbrush. This image has been in my head for a while. I tend to wait to start a piece until I have figured out what the most effective medium is to tell the story, and I don’t always know where the story may end up. The way I see it though is that the most important part is just to start.
I keep an old Whitman’s chocolate box in a corner on my tiny art desk. Inside that box are cut pieces of paper that I have kept after cutting up unused sketches, color swatches and just blank pieces of paper I couldn’t bare to throw away and waste. This once tiny stack has grown and instead of tossing paper I cut it and pile it inside the box. Why? What is the purpose of collecting scraps of paper in a chocolate box?
This simple and a bit raggedy little box has become an important part of my end of day routine. This chocolate box has freed me to embrace my curiosity, let go of expectations, mute the noise I’ve absorbed during the day and just have fun. Especially after a long drive home or a stressful day.
I sit down and begin to move my hand WITHOUT any expectations, desired outcomes or questions about the usefulness of these scribbles.
At the beginning I felt stuck, uninspired, scared of making mistakes yet by the end I just feel at peace. Once I feel satisfied I put the stack of layered scribbles inside the box until another day.
The cure for a creative block for me is:
1. Leaving the house
• This creates opportunities for new experiences that will influence the work in unexpected ways
2. Exploring a new place/more closely observing a familiar place
• Experiencing something new opens up space for new ideas and noticing something new in a familiar place strengthens observation skills that will develop a refined eye for things such as, seeing how light falls on a tree or how grass is made up of infinitely different greens.
3. Physical labor that benefits someone other than myself
• This tires the body and slows down a spinning wheel of thoughts and worries by putting them into perspective and in relation to the bigger picture of life and others’ lives.