August has been a month of exploration for me. I’ve been a bit stuck of late, scraping along the bottom of the barrel, so I have been working through a process to get back on my horse.
One practice I decided to begin, was something I’ve never really allowed myself to do before - a truly radical concept - something called play and experimentation!! When was the last time you allowed your self to play with your art materials - no concepts, no agenda, just having fun putting paint, or whatever, on paper or canvas? I have to say, I can’t remember the last time, apart from yesterday…… how sad is that?
And boy, did I struggle. How can it be so hard to play? I found it really difficult to let loose, make no judgements, and stop analyzing every second brushstroke. Then of course, I had no idea when I was done. I usually get a feel good feeling when I finish a work that lets me know I can put it to bed now. That sensibility seemed to have packed up and gone home.
What was interesting however was the emergence of some new mark making. When creating in an abstract way, the mark making, rhythm and colour are all pretty important elements. Also when I chopped the work into smaller sections - there emerged some interesting landscapes. So I took note of these marks and worked on using them when I began a new landscape painting later that day.
So this month I have focused on a semi agenda - to develop a new body of landscape paintings, alongside play and exploration. This was conducted to the background of a rather painful tooth extraction which had me really off my game for a couple of weeks. Sometimes you have to take time out to nurture yourself because the body demands it.
As part of this I took a trip to Sydney one day to visit a friend. My friend was once a student and became a close friend over the years as we kept in touch. This is one of the wonderful benefits I have found on my journey as an art teacher i.e. meeting delightful people who gradually become treasures in my life. Meeting her involved this lovely walk beside the harbour on our way to lunch.
Art has enriched my life in so many different ways - this being only one of them.
How do you feel art is enriching your life currently?