Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Creative Process - It's a head game

The Thinker by J. Binford-Bell

I had a very interesting conversation with another artist yesterday. She, like me, has been stuck on don't paint. Yes, that is don't and not can't. Unlike writer's block I think painters can always paint. And even if you cannot come up with a totally unique idea you can pull out an old sketch and do it up in different colors; change the sky from day to night, reverse the sketch so the main subject is looking another direction.

If there was a fair to be preparing for this June like last June I would no doubt be producing a number of "new" paintings for that. Before Christmas I sat down and did a few new works to sell from my studio. But it was that sort of painting I was trying to get away from when I decided last summer to not do fairs any more. I was very tired of doing another church or coming up with another goddess in a canyon wall.

In a way a series of "dark" paintings I had done rather spoiled me for formula paintings. I began to want a painting mean something. I had always produced the occasional thought piece for entry into exhibitions and they won their share of awards. I suddenly wanted everything I painted to be meaningful and I was totally unsatisfied with any painting I began that wasn't.

Today I finally pulled canvas off of several sets of stretcher bars. Canvas I had begun painting but totally lost interest in where those paintings were going. I have been working on some sketches. And have three new canvases stretched. And during the process part of me wanted to put together a couple more canvases. I am used to working in "lots" as it were; doing four or five paintings at a time. Getting ready for that active summer fair time.

I had to stop myself at three. I have sketches for those three. But I want to do them one at a time. I want them each to be special. Yes, I could still go to the studio for a week and produce 10 churches or ten poppies but I really don't want to go there. It was seeing that future that made me stop paintings.

I am looking forward to doing these three paintings and playing with my new oil sticks on top of the water media. I think playing is the key word in that sentence. Art for me has always been a type of creative play until it became too much of a business.

This should be a different summer art season. I have only myself to please. And only my studio to supply with art. I want to do more lessons because I enjoy teaching. This is all about getting back to the joy of art.

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