February 4, 2010

Creative space...

Maximizing creative energy within a grounded space is the intent of the studio area.  Over the past couple of painting sessions I've fallen in love with exploring the use of the palette tray as a microcosm of paint, color, and brush stroke alchemy.  Another area of exploration has been engaging the blank canvas and connecting with the ground support of the painting, the surface plane.  The freedom of trial and error produces dynamic moments of insight and progress, internalizing both what works and what doesn't with equal abandon.   The moment that the eye lingers, and the finger brushes the blank canvas a relationship begins...the moment that the paint loaded knife/brush touches the surface plane the dance flows...as you look/listen to the painting surface the dance becomes a dialogue...all the while, intent (creative dialog), breath, stroke, and paint trace the dynamic orbit of the Moment.

Working with a sponge, modeling paste and pigments (black, Bronze Yellow/Mars Yellow; Yellow Oxide) I explored moving into the surface and beyond the "blank" into interesting surface textures that set the background stage for exploring color and composition.  While doing this, a couple of discoveries come into focus.

I've always been deeply moved by a variety of music genres.  There are few things I like more than being part of a group appreciating a live music performance.  But in the studio, music is the vibrational lubricant for the painting process.  The rhythms, notes, melodies each infuse and inform the painting stroke as part of the flow of Chi in the space.  Like iTunes, I made the dangerous discovery of Amazon's mp3 Downloads and quickly downloaded two CD's (sans the CD and packaging) for instant studio flow.  Currently playing in the studio is Tommy Emmanuel ("Center Stage"), guitarist extraordinaire, and Organissimo ("This is the Place"), funky jazz with a Hammond organ in the mix.

Another discovery, in terms of creative momentum, is that the natural creative process is not a matter of working on a single piece to its completion but is a fluid movement among several image surfaces, including sketches and more finished pieces, each with its own immediate focus, stage of development, and need for rest (to allow paint to dry, to get a fresh eye, etc..).  This creative process facilitates working with ideas and experimentation on individual pieces as well as within a series of related work, which creates a cumulative process of discovery and production.  The creative internal dialogue moves and breathes from peace to piece.  Talk about results!  The creative practice went from being blocked to currently working on a 6" x 6" paper study and corresponding 6" x 6" x 1.75" cradled panel, a tryptich consisting of three 4" x 4" claybord panels, 2 individual pieces on 5" x 7" claybord panels, and an 8" x 8" panel.  Truly amazing....and the result of a natural, unhurried, dynamic pace that is guided by the pieces themselves, completely devoid of ego striving to complete any particular piece, and free of inhibiting thoughts and fears, concious or subconcious, that in the past have resulted in a corresponding diminishment of focus and follow-through (creative Chi).   In the Now, there is a fully relaxed trust in the process and gratitude for the opportunity!

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