Pre-Thanksgiving Leftovers

“I have to keep working, not to arrive at finish, which arouses the admiration of fools…I must seek completion only for the pleasure of being truer and more knowing.”  Paul Cezanne

Piles and piles and piles. That’s what we do –we make piles of would-be art.  Would-be if we had the time or the inspiration or the skill-set or the discipline, or, or, or. Our culture prefers we mark off our to-do list and complete what we’ve started.  But for
the artist whose job it is to explore and “find”—ideas, images, truths– we are often at the mercy of forces with lives of their own. Unfinished is really the norm.  We make piles of the fragmentary.  Renoir, for example, left his studio bursting with over 700 paintings and drawings-many considered unfinished.  It is a natural consequence of a desire to discover.

In our ArtHouse 23 community we collectively “pile” which means the tray under the table fills up.  The good news is it gives us the opportunity that is the “underpainting”.  Time
to seize that opportunity.

With consideration given to the last couple of exercises, editing and imagination, we will mine that treasure-trove.  A few other guidelines:

*Allow ambiguity.

*Know that, despite what I might say, there is no wrong, only not enough of being “there” .

*Let yourself play, laugh and make seemingly foolish moves.

*Ask yourself this question:  “What would you do next with the piece if you had ABSOLUETLY NOTHING TO LOSE?” You have absolutely nothing to lose.

Systems theorist, David S. Walonick, Ph.D states in his 1993 paper,  Promoting Human Creativity, “There are many obstacles to creativity. The major barrier is the little voice in our heads giving all the reasons why we can’t do something, or why something won’t work. We must silence the voice during the initial stages of creative process. Logical, critical and judgmental thoughts will reduce the quality…(sic) of the creative process.”

Just for the next couple of weeks:

1) approach your work without judgement, pretend your child did it.

2) allow yourself to connect to something outside yourself–music, an image, a story, a memory that leads you on. 

2) act “as-if” you are supreme in intuition and have vision for seeing that which no one else does. No one else does.

3) know that whatever ends up on the page after paying some REAL attention to it is meant to be there—for now. We always have editing…

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1 Response to Pre-Thanksgiving Leftovers

  1. Marlie Ranslam says:

    Another inspiring blog! Thanks JoAnn.

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