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.
This year I’ve been experiencing a more unplugged life than the past couple of years. So far the first things I’ve noticed is that time feels slower paced, more spacious, and solitary. It’s as though each day is a page being turned without hurry in a crowded room.
The other day I went to visit the ocean to recharge with the smell of sea salt and the steady hum of the waves. To my surprise several Horseshoe Crabs were mating by the shore. I recorded the moment in my sketchbook which is starting to become a visual journal.
I usually don’t use reference for my drawings or paintings. Over the years I have tried to work from memory. I’m now going back to basics and committing more time to life drawing to better understand my subjects and how their existence makes my existence possible.
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.
Head over to a grocery store or health food store and pick up the March/April 2018 issue of Spirituality & Health Magazine. One of my watercolor and gouache paintings is featured with a very interesting article about protecting our ‘Flow’ by AllanHamiltonMD.
Protecting the flow is an ever important aspect of the creative journey. Specially in our social media times where attention vampires are everywhere trying to drain every second of our focus and addict us to multitasking. In fact, halfway through writing this I got up to do the dishes and clean the bathroom before I realized I had lost my focus for the writing. Multitasking is a habit I’m trying to wean myself away from as much as is realistically possible in my daily life, and definitely in my studio time and art making process.
Many of you know that creative practices take a lot of work and energy, hours upon hours. It’s not magic. Sometimes I have to uninstall Apps for a while to focus on the work that I love and have been doing since I was a kid simply because it filled my soul back up with joy after a long day or a difficult time. As well as to regain the clarity that living on this Earth is a one-of-a-kind opportunity.