Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The blank _______. (canvas, page, notebook, etc.)

Am I the only one who thinks that abstract is hard?  When faced with an intimidating blank canvas, the possibilities are endless and I have no idea where to begin.  Lately, I've really been embracing a little trick that I've learned along the way.  I just paint anything.  Yes, that's right.  Anything - no matter how crappy it is.  (I have been using this technique in my writing for quite some time and the official term for it in that venue is 'writing crap').  The idea here is that you can always paint over the canvas if necessary, but just as often that first stroke gets incorporated into the painting and works just perfectly.

I have an entire notebook dedicated to this type of writing and it's freeing because I write it with the intention of never publishing it, or showing it to anyone.  No pressure.  Sometimes, I even forbid myself to go back and re-read it, because I am my worst critic and hey, who needs that pressure, right?  I understand that it's a little harder with art creations.  I mean, unless you live alone, PEOPLE can happen by and see your work in this initial stage of horribleness. Try to get over that if you can.  I myself am lucky (or wise) enough to live with the most supportive and encouraging man I have ever met, and even I have been known to shoo him out of my studio, sometimes hurting his feelings in the process, which I always regret. Making art is hard and it makes you feel vulnerable.  Even so, I think that the process of creating, whether it's writing, painting or whatever, can be learned and honed.  If our desire is to be an artist, we need to do art, in whatever form makes us happy.  Lots of art.  Even bad art.  I encourage you today....go make something and allow yourself to focus on the process, not the final product.  It feels great!

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