Monday, September 24, 2012

embracing the new season. easing into new work.

after spending every waking moment
for months
working on a single piece,
a welcomed break.

i stepped out and it was fall,
crisp air, turning leaves, and all.

it is quite daunting getting back into
regular work
after having your work cut out for you
for so very long.
so i embraced the new season instead.
took a little road trip to grand rapids
to see all the good, the bad, and the ugly
at the art prize opening.
i spiked my tea with whiskey,
lemon & honey too.
got cozy with my wool blanket,
journaling/list making/dreaming/scheeming.
listened to an entire book series
(book of the new sun by gene wolfe)
on audiobook.
(german pacakes, muffins, breads, biscuits oh my).
caught up with friends.
had more tea.

the procrastinating can go on no longer,
yet the resistance
to staring a new piece
the only thing to do is ease into the work,
taking small practical steps.

 going on a treasure hunt
(i found this wonderful water damaged dictionary -
it smells like a hundred years)
creating textured backgrounds.
painting monochromatic bases.

burning paper edges
and tea filters
with sticks of incense.
painting vintage frames.
drawing figures i connect with.

and slowly, i pick up momentum
and inspiration follows.
how about you?
do you run into this resistance to new work?
how do you push through?


  1. you have such wise words, Anca! I'm in exactly the same boat as you right now and I've started a daily art practice to ease back in. Not much, just doodles, photos and musings but I've committed to it and it's become part of my routine now.

    1. that is wonderful, suzie! i have been contemplating starting a daily practice for some time. just need to commit. i hope you are finding it refreshing, inspiring, and momentum-building!

  2. For myself, to get over my moved-from-VA-to-CT-adopted-twins-from-China-wanted-to-change-my-art-direction-but-was-totally-paralyzed phase that lasted at least 2 years, I adopted Nike's "just do it" as my mantra. Just do it. It doesn't matter if it is good or bad. Just do it. Just do something. Anything. Once in motion, it is easier to stay in motion, right? So...just do it...whatever it is that's running through you mind.

    "Keep it simple" was quickly added to "just do it". A year or so later "focus" joined the mantra list. This past summer, while at Pam's and trying to decide whether or not to tear my favorite green tea rusted cotton into 3 pieces, "no fear" became a mantra as well.

    There are times when I literally repeat one or all of these phrases over and over and over until I don't even realize that they're still being said. And it helps. It gets me going, gets me creating. Gets me trying out that little idea, that "what if" that flittered through my mind and took hold.

    I have found that setting challenges for myself is good. Thinking of creating as an experiment is wonderful. After all, there's no failing or creating bad art if it is only an experiment, right? I've 3 sets of tea bag, rusted cotton and organza and text printed organza collages on canvas going right now that are all experiments. And they're pretty good...I think.

    The other thing that has been a tremendous help to me is Skyping with Pam, my friend in Kansas at whose house we have the annual artist retreats of 2, every Friday for a show 'n tell of the weeks progress...or lack of. We get to catch up on our lives and finally on our art. It's almost as good as being together in the studio. We've even had all day Skype studio sessions with both of us working away yet coming back to the screen to show and discuss.

    This is a much longer comment than you were probably looking for, but...well, it's what helps me get going. Give yourself time to decompress after your Unfinished Poem. Go play a bit. The art will waiting for you.

    1. jennifer, thank you for taking time to share your story! every single one of your mantras packs solid gold wisdom within. 'just do it'. 'keep it simple'. 'focus' (i'm sure it helps to also turn the computer off). 'no fear' 'what if'. it has been such a pleasure to follow your journey into uncharted waters and making wonderful discoveries over at your blog.

      that last bit of wisdom you've shared is precious to me as i have a couple of soul sisters scattered around the country who always help breath new life into me, but whom i hardly ever see. it's time to set up an annual retreat with these lovely ladies and skype studio dates too. how brilliant!

    2. Absolutely set up an annual retreat with your friends. And skype as often as possible. It helps so much!

      Just know that you are not alone. And the fears, etc. that you experience are something most of us have gone through at some point. Most of all, enjoy!

  3. i have the opposite conundrum; i need to distance myself from my work or else i can't judge it.i develop a blind patch :)
    baking sounds like a good sidetrack . and of course friends,

    1. that definitely happens to me too towards the end of a project. blank canvas engenders resistance. 80% worked canvas, need for room to breathe. cheers to baking & friends!

  4. YOU intrigue and stretch my imagination with your "BEAUTIES"...

  5. YES! I really do resist tackling a new body of work... I always know when a series has come to an end.. but what to do next is the hard part. I am the biggest procrastinator.. and it got so bad this summer that I decided to re-read 2 books that had helped me in the past... ART AND FEAR and BIRD BY BIRD.. both wonderful inspiring books that will kick one's butt! plus what you are doing is also good... to ease yourself back into the 'groove'.

  6. Your work as always is so beautiful. I tend to work small, and then I don't face as much resistance, as it is easier to let go of a small piece that isn't working. When I have completed a "bigger" piece - which is no where near the size you are talking about, i do take a short break and then head back in... often to something small or quicker and that helps get me rolling. This past week has been about numerous smaller putterings that I enjoyed. My words I try to remember are - One step at a time, Be gentle with self, Enjoy the moments, and I too use Nike's Just do it