After a painting break, I use various strategies to get back into painting again since the previous work flow has been interrupted and I need a new place to begin. I had a really lovely week-long beach vacation and am feeling refreshed and ready to go (back to work)!
|sometimes I start with just a color and an image of a previous painting|
And it is in these times that I remember how hard it can be to start; the feeling of "stuck-ness" that can come from approaching the blank page. In these times, I think to the words of John Cage that the paralysis can be broken by "beginning anywhere." To pick something and start (easier said than done, right?). It's a good practice to find a limitation, to select something whether that be a certain color, a line, a found image, or a piece of fabric. By simply selecting something you rule out many other possibilities and narrow your focus. Or, in the words of Joan Didion:
"What's so hard about that first sentence is that you're stuck with it. Everything else is going to flow out of that sentence. And by the time you've laid down the first two sentences, your options are all gone."
(this quote is from American aurthor Joan Didion as quoted in Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking by David Bayles & Ted Orland)
|or sometimes to start I need to get out a lot of different supplies and just "play" (and make a mess)|
|or sometimes I take an old abandoned painting, like this one, and start over...|
|...and that painting became this painting!|
Another approach I like to use is to go back and look at older work because after a long laps of time since seeing an image it feels fresh and new again. Then I also look for patterns in the work, and notice tendencies I had not noticed before (what are the items in my "visual vocabulary"?) For example, this painting I made in 2006....
|Blush 24x24 inches acrylic and fabric on canvas 2006|
|Minty Shore 20x20 acrylic on canvas 2012|
Do you have strategies you use to start painting after a break? Or in whatever creative realm you work in, like song writing or sewing?
I would love to hear what you do. I'll share more later on in the blog, so stay tuned.
Happy Monday! ( I actually kind of love Mondays since there is so much possibility for the week ahead) Here's to starting!