February 7, 2013

Dirty Hands are Busy Hands

While the ground floor of my house is being painted, I'm trapped in my studio space.  I can get in and out through a door to the back yard, but the door to the house is covered with tape and plastic.  Yuck.  This is what I'm living in right now.

The kitchen under wraps
The living room, finally with lights, but weeks to go on the plastering

Being stuck in the studio space isn't a bad thing (I can do laundry at the same time), but being forced to sit in here without a plan has triggered a little bit of fretting. With time to kill I always hope for ideas other than just a tornado of cluttered thoughts about creativity in my head leave me like a deer in headlights, making nothing.  Once again, I sat at my desk, looking around at all of my supplies and not having a single productive thought in my head about what to do.

While rummaging through shelves and bags to organize more (always a good time killer), I did manage to find the torso of a new figurative piece that I started working on before we moved.  In the last few days, we've had so many people in the house related to our renovations.  A number of them have seen my earlier work hanging on the wall.  I didn't observe a single look or comment that was positive.  My lack of courage and confidence in my skills is creeping up on me.  Now what?  Time to silence the inner critic.

I decided I needed a prompt/kick and I just Googled something like "art prompt too many ideas in my head."  Brilliant, I know.  That didn't work.  So I Googled "Teesha Moore journal tutorial" because her work gets me rolling a bit, but I've seen it before and felt like I needed something fresh.  On the side bar, I saw a video by "jenniebellie" about a 15-minute art journal page.  I could do something for 15 minutes.  A recent article by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer suggested starting an art journal to get the creativity juices flowing, but NOT to start with a fresh, clean all-white pages journal.  That produces too much anxiety and pressure.  I remembered having a pretty leather-bound little journal, dug it out and started to play the video while I just painted and printed, rubbing pan pastels, smearing paint, and sponging over stencils.  It's not a finished page and it only took a few minutes, but it was great to get my fingers dirty and not feel pressured to produce art that someone else would find fabulous.
The beginning of a two-page journal spread
We'll see where this goes.  I am going to try to do something like this as many days as I can get into the studio (sometimes I'm trapped upstairs, depending on the work going on in the house).  I will try to draw/sketch a little every day, hoping that the practice doesn't make perfect, just better.