In March’s newsletter, I wrote about the importance of play time to stimulate your creative juices and how I have found the times when I have allowed time for play to be some of my most creative. But what if that still doesn’t work? There certainly are days when even the idea of playing in the studio without any plan in mind feels too hard. When that’s the case, get out of the studio and do something different.
I’ve talked before about those periods of frustration when nothing seems to be going right and I’ve prescribed leaving the studio then to take a walk or go on an Artist’s Date. Both of those are good things but, believe me, sometimes that isn’t enough. I’m talking now about those days when you walk into the studio and just want to turn right around again. Even housecleaning is looking more appealing than creating. Those are desperate times! Before you pick up a scrub brush, try one more thing – explore other media. Haven’t picked up a paintbrush since grade school? Try it now. Mash your frustrations out on some clay. String some beads. Take a class in something that’s really new to you or experiment in media you haven’t tried before. Even when you’re playing in your preferred medium, it can be hard to truly let go. That’s the point of trying a new one. It’s totally new to you so there are no expectations. (Actually, you probably expect that what you create will be total crap and you’ll just be pleasantly surprised when it’s not.) You can create just for the sake of creating. If you can recapture a few moments of that sheer joy of creating that you had as a kid, you might just find that spark that will bring you back to your work.
I recently took a watercolor journaling class with Jane LaFazio. I may never be a watercolor painter, but I tried something new, opened up some new creative channels and managed to paint a pretty decent shoe:
Here’s the last of my homework from the sketching and watercolor class with Jane LaFazio. This was due weeks ago, but I hadn’t gotten to it. But, my tardiness gave me the great opportunity to paint some flowers for a dear friend’s birthday card and then have it do double duty as my homework. So, here are the calla lilies I painted for my friend:
This week’s assignment in my sketching and watercolor class was to draw a machine-made object. I spent some time noodling over what object had meaning to me that I wanted to draw when I looked down on my work table and the answer became obvious:
Because this month’s BirdZeed challenge word was “pink,” I chose a pink color for the “fabric” in the background.
I was really looking forward to this week’s lesson for the Jane LaFazio sketching class. This week: shoes! I chose to sketch the Electric Purple Chucks that I bought myself as part of my 40th birthday presents. They’ve become my favorites. But, they are not as dirty as they look in the painting; I just got a little carried away with the brown paint.
Continuing this week with my Sketching and Watercolor class with Jane LaFazio. This week – continuous line drawing. I’m getting a little better. 🙂
Here’s my project from Week 2 of the sketching and watercolor class with Jane LaFazio. Happily, they do actually look like leaves, but my watercolor painting still needs a little work. Still, stretching myself a bit with a new medium is great fun even if these paintings will never see the light of day.
My photography class has ended, but now I am taking Sketching & Watercolor – Journal Style with Jane LaFazio so for the next few weeks, I’ll have some of that work to post here. This week’s lesson was in drawing and painting fruit. What I did does actually look like fruit so mission accomplished! The colors scanned brighter than the are in the original (just in case you thought I had lost my mind using these day-glo colors).
Yeah, I do have enough to do but I felt like doing something new and taking a class so I signed up for one. It’s with Jane LaFazio (Jane is a watercolor, mixed media and quilt artist..) and it’s called Sketching and Watercolor: Journal Style. Neither sketching nor watercolor painting are things that I am any good at, but she swears that she can teach complete beginners so I decided to trust her and see what happens. The class starts on Monday with the first lesson being posted on Friday. If I am not too embarrassed by my work, I’ll share it here.