Friday, July 13, 2018

Getting stalled and getting restarted

Since I last posted I have ground to a halt with lifebook - the yearlong online art course I'm doing. I did a couple more lessons, week 12

And week 14.

Then I jumped ahead to week 20, because it was a lesson with Mystele Kirkeeng an artist I've followed on Flickr for many years. I was really keen to get some insight into her art making process. It was a lesson with lots of layering and markmaking, using lots of different materials to build up a wonderful abstract underpainting. I loved the freedom of this part of the lesson, but when I got to the point of trying to find a figure in all that wildness I was really resistant to covering up what I'd done and losing it. I worked on 2 pieces, doing one while the other dried. It took weeks to do all the layers, just spending half an hour here and there on it. Then there was a week or 2 of wrestling with myself about the last part of the lesson, and wondering if I was done or not...

By then I'd lost all my momentum, not to mention feeling like I'd failed at the lesson I'd had the highest expectation about.

In the meantime it rolled around to the month of June and the index card a day challenge (ICAD). You can find out all about it at daisy yellow blog or on Instagram @gypsy999. It's a really doable challenge of doing 'something's on an index card everyday through June and July. So 61 cards in the end. It only takes 5 or 10 minutes to doodle a mandala, or collage some bits and pieces from a magazine. Getting back into a creative habit is much more important than the pieces of work.

When my kids were little I used to make time in the evenings to sit at my desk and do a bit of drawing or writing after they went to bed. Now my oldest is 20 - still living at home - and the twins are 15, they all stay up later than me!! And there isn't really a time of quiet - unless I make it happen. It has to be said that the internet especially Instagram can be very distracting/time consuming, and though I don't usually watch a huge amount of tv, I'm hooked on the current season of (Aussie) Masterchef, which is on 5 nights a week and gobbling up too much of my time!!

Well enough of the excuses, here are some of my index cards, many are drawn from paused YouTube and Iview videos. The musicians are from NPR's tiny desk concerts. (I used to dream of coming back in my next life as an opera singer, but now I want to be a Scandinavian violin player!!) The tv shows I've drawn from are Gardening Australia and Endeavour. It'll be interesting to see where I grab inspiration from for the last couple of weeks.

Here's a little thing I wrote about the lifebook lesson that stalled me.

Lesson 20

The artist says
take an emotion
and express it with paint
on paper, then a layer of pastels
then collage, more paint
then wet it and scrape it back.
Hold on, I think,
I'm attached to that patch
of turquoise and that circle of red
and the dark blue that bled
with spidery marks
I've been careful not to
cover up.
All this layering and losing it.
How can I hold it lightly.
How can I take it seriously but carelessly
let it go.

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