For some reason claiming, or reclaiming, space always seems to involve cleaning it. At least it does for me. And that is exactly what I have been up to this past week.
The stars must finally be in alignment: and 18 months after my mother’s death (which totally stopped my creative work altogether), a few false fits and starts here and there, I am back in my studio and ready to work. Even before I walked in I knew the first thing I had to do was create beauty and order out of the mess I’d left behind.
As I cleaned up I also sorted through stuff. All the stuff in the bins on the shelves, all the stuff in the cabinets, all the stuff. I got rid of lots of it. I sold some of it. And I washed the shelves, the insides of the cabinets, the table tops, the floors — everything — until it all sparkled.
Quite a difference, huh?
But the biggest difference I noticed, the one that floored me (ugh, lousy pun), that really, really surprised me, was when I was done cleaning I gave myself the reward of doing some creative work. And what I chose to do was to sit down and sketch out 3 of the 5 new pieces that have popped into my head over the past few days. Now why did this surprise me? Because I NEVER sketch my pieces before hand. My usual M.O. is just to dive in and start doing. So I had to ask myself, in cleaning and getting rid of, did I actually make space within myself, within my brain, within my creative process, to invite in a new way of approaching my work?
I’m excited about this change. I know it will give me a different sort of edge. Perhaps take some of the “surprise” element out of my pieces, and instead put in some of the better aspects of planning. Elements such as composition, and color. Not that my pieces haven’t had those. They have. But something feels really different now. Different and better.
I took a couple of photos to show you. First is a picture that is part of the exhibit my feltmaking friend Robyn and I have been working on. One photo, 2 artists’ interpretations in felt. Along with the photo is my first “sketch” where I just traced the major lines I saw in the photo.
I love the way my printer changed the color of the photo to have such strong blue overtones. I may steal that idea for my actual piece! I was also intrigued by the tracing lines. They were so different from the way my mind’s eye had remembered the strongest lines. So I decided to make a pencil drawing of my memory of the major lines.
And then another photo and sketch, also for our exhibit-to-be.
This sketch is more about placement of elements in what will be a 3D piece. Not my usual — I’m not usually a 3D kind of girl — but the idea came to me, so….And then my notes of colors and how to construct some of the elements.
I made one other sketch. This is for a quilt challenge that I’m entering. The challenge is to use a vintage quilt block in a wall hanging. Here again, the sketch shows the placements of the elements I will include, not necessarily to scale or the actual elemental shape. That’s all still to be decided, as well as the colors. And of course I will be using the quilt block in a work of felt — “they” don’t know that yet.
You know, I rather like this way of working. It feels as if there is time to pause, and think, before I take another step. Time to try it out, change it if I don’t like it. No rush. No hurry. Pause. Breathe. Maybe I will even like the work I produce better. 🙂 Well, time will show us where it leads me. Perhaps I should get rid of even more of the stuff in my studio and see what else happens inside me!