To dream anything that you want to dream. That’s the beauty of the human mind. To do anything that you want to do. That’s the strength of the human will. To trust yourself to trust your limits. That is the courage to succeed.
~ Bernard Edmonds
I am fighting a bit of growing pains.
I know, growing pains are quite the drag. I sort of thought I was past those by now. That’s what I get for thinking, right?? But it’s happening again, I am feeling a bit like I’m standing on the edge of a plateau, looking over the edge, wondering what’s on the other side of the huge expanse of air in front of me. And more importantly, how the heck do I get to the other side??
Reaching for new horizons
I have been working with new techniques, and trying to expand my color horizons. I tend to want to stay somewhat mono-chromatic in my color schemes, leaning towards the cooler colors. Lots of blues and purples. Even when I’m in the cooler realms, I stay within a color scheme that has one or two main colors and then all of the shades around those colors. I’m aiming towards using some of the other warmer colors, and towards using wider variation of color in my works.
I’ve also been working with new texture mediums. How to get texture in new and interesting ways. How to add dimension not only visually, but dimensionally.
All of this poking around has me a bit scattered, feeling a little confused, a bit like I don’t quite know what’s coming next. How am I going to put all of these new-found things together? What do they actually do for my art?
Those questions and feelings have me a bit stagnated, it seems. I walk around, handling the tools and the paints and the pieces of ephemera. I just stand in my studio looking at my cabinets wondering what to do next. I stare at my art journal, flipping through pages of really cool and really weird backgrounds, wondering where they’re headed. Waiting. Waiting for something to speak to me.
Just keep swimming
I know that I just have to get active. Just grab some paint and start painting. Just get something out onto the canvas. Something will come out. It’s the activity that breeds the inspiration when I’m stuck.
I have been fighting with a particular page in my journal, everything I added actually made it worse. I wasn’t getting to the point where it started to turn around. So I just decided to force myself to keep going and do something. Anything.
While I don’t usually use a bunch of words clipped out of magazines (that’s because I can’t usually find exactly the right words), I opened up an old sailing and cruising magazine that a friend had left here a long time ago. I was hoping the beautiful pictures would be soothing. I was looking for some sign, some wordage about Where is this all going??
I did find inspiration. I actually found lots more fodder in this magazine than I typically do in my arts and crafts and mama mags. The whole thing is about Where is this all going!!
I clipped and pasted strips of paper and bits of words. Kind of ended up like the dream-speak prose of a beatnik in a coffee shop. Christopher stopped and looked and then snapped in applause. Cute.
This final page has been through a lot with me. It started to actually disintegrate by the end. The paper was ready to call it quits on me. If I hadn’t finally decided I was done, the paper would never have held up. My journal is groaning with the effort, I think.
Prompt: I really would love to hear from y’all on this topic. What do you do when you feel a bit stagnant? How do you work through it, how do you incorporate all of that into your work?