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I believe that art enriches and informs our lives everyday in many positive ways. Sharing those experiences, whether as an artist or as an appreciator, is part of the pleasure. I welcome your comments and hope you find something of value: a laugh, an insight, a new idea or just a happy moment. Enjoy art!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

When the Muse Fails to Show

Most often I have more ideas and more energy than there are hours in a day, days in a week.  But sometimes, sometimes the Muse just fails to show up and I am left feeling dry as a bone, empty as a bucket with a hole in it.  Ideas but no will, projects with no enthusiasm....looking left and right wondering when the spark will reignite and flame again.

There is some comfort in the fact that this happens to most creatives.  But the immediate issue is how to jog along until the Goddess of Color taps me on the shoulder once again.  Most in the field agree on one thing: you gotta keep showing up.  Whether it's writing, painting, building, cooking or sculpting, the Muse, in all her stealth, won't visit at all if you are not in your "place" with "tools" at the ready.  Thus I report to work.

I pulled this unfinished piece off the studio wall and mulled a bit.  Slowly I got out my knife and colors and went to work.  It really didn't matter what came of it, my hands were busy and if I was preparing it for the garbage...oh well.  So I spent a day playing, flexing my memory on how it felt to scoop up color and spread it about.

Next I turned to two paintings that tended to be too dark for my taste.  One I could lighten up (R) the other I could not.  Still, I labored on, mixing colors, cleaning brushes, going through all the motions that felt so familiar and yet so strange. My mind wandered and I felt the tension lifting.  I left the studio feeling a bit more enthusiastic about returning.

Digging deep the next day I discovered a canvas that had been prepared in a workshop I had taken on letting the paint do strange things.  Yes, that was the point: set up some paint experiments and see what happens....then utilize this base as a start for a painting.  I know I buried this canvas because it was a mush of grey colors that had run and dripped and really did nothing for me.  So I considered it my day's challenge...a no fail.

Suddenly it was not hard to see a cluster of figures in the foreground looking out over the landscape.  With slow and careful deliberation I picked out the figures trying hard not to destroy the randomness of the drips and running colors.  Restraint is not my long suit so this was an exercise in holding back, or not painting.  But I loved the slow, methodical pace it employed.  

So I am back, not exactly on fire...yet! But back in the studio, laying out the colors, thinking about small efforts that will lead to bigger things and feeling like the spirit may show up any day now.  I think in some ways it is pure exhaustion (from moving perhaps?!) that causes this "rigamortisartistica", but I also believe it is a test.  Yes, the Muse of all Creativity often sends us a challenge to test just how committed we are to this artistic way of life.  So what do we do when the well runs dry?  Cry "poor me" and quit with dehydration or start digging a new well?  

If you see my Muse flitting about anywhere would you please let her know that I am digging...and she is welcome to stop by anytime!

Waiting impatiently,

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