It is still dark outside my studio window as I begin this post. A strong wind is blowing, and I can hear and feel a change in the midwinter air. I am keenly aware how I am affected by elemental change, how my creativity responds to sunlight versus the absence of light, extreme heat and cold – all of which we experience throughout the year in Saskatchewan.
Such elemental changes affect my general disposition and the way I work. I used to embrace cold, rainy and snow-filled days, they were my reason to cocoon in the studio, pull out the sketchbooks, audition fabrics and dream up colorful new and exciting visual art pieces. Then came the opportunity to travel and teach – another great way to stay motivated while escaping the cold weather… but truth be told, traveling for work becomes less exciting with each commitment. I still love meeting new students to share techniques and exchange ideas, I always look forward to exploring new places, but what I dread the most is the way I have to get from home to my destination.
My first thought this morning circled around this dilemma… and I decided to give myself a new approach to infuse creative excitement into my studio practice. I have been up for well over two hours anticipating the sunrise and journaling. I have pulled out a precious leather-bound sketchbook, and I am exploring some brand new ideas, I am making notations about sampling specific aspects and I am building excitement within the studio and myself.
I continue to “savor” the David Usher Book “Let the Elephants Run” and it is a big reason for this personal shift and opportunity for self-evaluation. The part I am reading at the moment is all about the fact that creativity needs focus, it needs a structure to flourish. I analyzed my creative practice and realized how true it is, I always start with an idea, I make many notations, immerse myself in research, both intellectually and physically, referring to reading and the sampling of techniques and materials.
This practice has fallen short over the past two years with so many distractions associated with a heavy teaching and traveling schedule. Once identified I can begin to work on readjusting my focus. The best way to initiate change is by delving into a new course of action, a “new to me” interest area: I am entering uncharted territory which is both daunting and exciting at the same time. What will it do for my art practice? It will provide motivation to return to the studio space after a teaching trip and explore, create and finish new work. This strategy was successful for me in the past, and I know that it will guide me into the future.
Thanks for letting me ramble about what I am thinking. By typing the words I commit to becoming “an explorer” seeking adventure and hopefully finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow… The sun is shining brightly now and it is time to get on with my creative exploration!
What were your first thoughts when you opened your eyes this morning? If you care to share please leave a comment below.