Monday, April 26, 2010

Do the Math Baby!

OK, so I had a really good day the other day! And yes, it carried me for a while. But how do you create when you aren't having a good day? Well, I guess for me it used to be I just didn't! I always had to be in "the mood" to paint. I had to have "inspiration" to start. The planets had to be aligned and the god's in their good mood's!

As you can imagine, I didn't get a lot done. I think that was creative immaturity. Sure we all have times when you get in a zone and can do no wrong. But that's the exception to the rule. Waiting for those times is like waiting for lightening to strike!

When I began to take my art seriously, I really struggled with how to make art and create when I didn't "feel" like it. The model then would be the dinner dishes. Who ever wants to do the dishes after a long day and a good meal. Wouldn't we all like to just sit down with a glass of wine and the TV or good book and that full stomach? But the dishes don't take care of themselves, just like a painting won't paint itself. So if your waiting for the dish fairy, good luck with that! (and send her/him my way!!)

So then, my art becomes work? Well, in a way, but not the way you think. And if it does, don't you loose the magic and "therapy" that art brings to your life? Not at all. Beginning is just that. When I start washing dishes, I may hate the idea, but there is a certain meditative thing that happens while I mindlessly clean up my mess. I forget while in the process how I might hate this job, and my mind drifts to other things. I've solved problems, righted relationships and sung show tunes! And it's funny how when it's over and done with and I feel so much better and have a nice clean kitchen to wake up to!

I think the same holds true of the creative process. I might just dread starting a painting. But once started, the creative juice kicks in and I begin to feel the source and find my strength. I get a charge, so to speak, and if I do this routinely, I am less likely to loose the charge and let my batteries drain completely. (another problem-another blog)

Does this mean I have a masterpiece each day? Heck no! I'm talking process, not results. I still fight the thought that results are from the gods! But the more I use the process, the more often the chance for a great result!

That's just doing the math baby!

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Good Day

Yesterday was 78 degrees. The sun shone bright and it warmed the last of the cold dark Midwest winter away for good. I was thankful for it's warmth and light.

I'm also thankful for a big dog who needs a daily walk to burn off excess energy, which means I get a daily walk. I'm thankful I can walk! My mom had both knee's replaced and I have friends who have issues that hinder walking. So every step I take I am grateful.

I walk along a forested path that skirts my "hood". On warm days-like yesterday-there are people walking, biking, skating and kids playing. As I walked a young boy headed down the path toward me carrying a squirt gun. He was preoccupied looking for his prey. As he got closer I said "don't shoot!", which brought and impish grin from the young warrior. The hunt and the grin were universal. As I walked on I was reminded of my own early hunting days.

The late afternoon sun and air was full of gifts for my inner artist. Colorful birds darted among the canopy of trees, singing at the top of their lungs. The forest floor was covered in patches of nodding light pink flowers, singularly nondescript, but en mass a pink carpet. Among so many bare or barely budding trees appeared the occasional apple tree blooming away. How did they get in the forest, I wondered. The air was fragrant with the lilac trees that lined the street off the path. Further down a gust of wind sent the petals from a flowering pear like a blizzard through the air to dust the ground like warm snow. My senses were on overload, as were my allergies!

Almost home, I stopped to let a small toddler and his mother pet the dogs. He was afraid of big dog, so I made him sit away from the child. As he reached down to pet small dog, she reached up and licked his little hand. He burst into wonderful two year old squeals and giggles!

Yes, yesterday was a good day. I painted outdoors in the morning. I taught a class in the afternoon full of women who teach me as much as I teach them. And I took a walk. What more could one ask for? Legs to walk, nature in bloom, doing what you love, and the delight of children. Yes, it was a good day!