choose an inspiration spot and set it up with materials, good light, great chair, huge palette, tons of brushes/tools, canvases, paper...even if you can't imagine even going near it...put up some images that inspire, old photos, drawings, half finished works, torn out mag pages...keep out the work that reminds of how you got stuck. Sit there, even if only to stare at the wall, for a minute, touch everything, smell the turp, test the chair, fondle the brushes.
THE JOURNEY BACK TO THE EASEL
it's been now years since I have posted here, and I want to acknowledge here, among many others, the contribution of my good friend Tom, whose staunch faith in the creative cloud floating above our heads and hearts reminded me over and over of who we are and why...The long trek back from my creative desert has entailed much personal strife, during which I was not able to paint or write for fear of publicly overstepping both common decency and personal boundary ... there is no doubt that my work is nothing if not autobiographical to my own eye (though it is quite possible that nobody else sees that...) and revealing all was just too overwhelming, even for me!
Now that time has spread a diffusing veil over all, I thought I would restart this blog by writing about my ongoing journey back to the easel, back to that part of myself that lives slightly beyond the grasp of words. This is the part that feels dizzyingly like a true self, free falling in an elusive intimate space. Writing about that space has always been a crucially useful tool to clarify both my thought and my image, the two inexorably intertwined, a way in. Words and paint strokes bear an uncanny relationship in my thought process, as if one might not exist without the other, or might be relegated to only half of their true possibility. My images are not in any way verbal, but I do elaborate my concepts concurrently visual/verbal, an awareness which greatly benefits from being articulated...
For the past few years nothing has induced quite the degree of anxiety as those tightly wrapped and taped boxes marked "studio" or "canvases" or "art supplies". They sat there for such a long time in the bottom of my storage space, taunting me, inducing a gut wrenching doubt that perhaps my creative days were just a fig newton of my imagination, some lost state of self I might never recover or that I merely dreamed about.
So much has changed in these past few years, I had come to terms with my bottom line and found it terrifyingly wanting. What I needed was time to grow a whole new set of eyes adjusted to my new surroundings... I was still looking at the world (i.e. myself) with my old eyes...Slowly I am waking up to a new way of thinking (seeing) and gathering my wits around a whole new self perception, a sort of rarefied, atomised, floating idea, where nothing is fixed, nor even in need of a precise location, and yet, strangely, the new work is all about geography...
Give me a minute please to boil myself down to a single descriptive sentence...I am still working on this!