After not being in the studio for over a month, it's hard to jump back in. I wasn't in the middle of a series or any particular project, and to say to myself, "go paint" without any sort of direction makes me freeze even more. I keep notebooks of ideas, pages and pages of them, and have Pinterest boards overflowing with inspiration. I thought I would start by browsing those to see what ideas jumped out. After going through my notebooks, I was so overwhelmed by ideas, that I decided to skip Pinterest altogether, and pick a few ideas that called me the loudest.
My reluctance to get to the studio usually stems from a lack of focus. Either I have too many ideas and don't know what to work on, or I'm in the middle of a project but don't know what to do next. It's so much easier for me to start painting if I know I'm heading to the studio to work with bold lines today, or use the color pink, rather than just show up and face the unknown.
Simple tasks also help me to get to the studio. If my energy and confidence are low, I can at least sharpen pencils, then usually once I'm in the studio one thing leads to another and I'm working. I have a sort of 3 step hierarchy of projects, from easiest to hardest. Here's what my list looks like right now:
Sharpen crayons with knife
Pull fabrics for projects
Pull papers for collage
Do black and white mark making papers for collage
Improv stitching of scraps
Work on black and white collage with stitching
Make black and white prayer flags
Do small painting exercises
Piece together improv bits into a whole
Fit a shirt pattern
I do like a plan! Even though I seldom stick to it all the way.
Right now I'm focusing on black and white. I started a small 12" square series based on Vessels. Here's the starting point as I roughly scribbled lots of different vessel shapes onto gessoed paper. Whether any of these end up with a final vessel shape is yet to be seen, but there's the starting point.
And I started with lots of mark making on 3--22x30" sheets of heavy watercolor paper. This stage is always so much fun. I'm hoping to keep recording them daily to see how they develop.
Shoot! I just realized this is the same painting upside down after I added a tiny bit more! Oh brother, well I'll post the third one next time.