Giving Myself Permission


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All artists get bottled up now and then.  The creative energy seems to fade, and at times it becomes difficult to find inspiration.  Sometimes I beat myself up because a piece isn’t turning out as expected, or colors aren’t speaking to me as hoped.  However, there are things we can do to unblock that energy, and find inspiration.  Most artists have a studio full of all kinds of supplies, but there are always supplies we see that we  want to have!  The latest paint color, or drawing tool, when all we really need to do is rummage around in our own studio to find something forgotten, and use it!  Have you ever gone into a friends studio,  everything is different, and you think if only you had these supplies they would really work for you?  The feeling is a little bit like being a kid in a candy store!

Not to long ago, I signed up for a  “31 Days to Kickstart Your Creativity” class online  from Traci Bautista!  It moved fast, and furious, was a lot of fun, and exhausting!  Each day Traci would post the days challenge, and each morning I would feverishly paint, stitch, collage, and anything else that was scheduled for the day.  In the evening, we would all post online our creations, getting feedback from each other, and Traci! By the end of 31 days, not only was I exhausted, my sewing machine was about to burn out, my stash of fabrics was depleted, and there was an abundance of artwork that had been completed, some of it  ready to be used  in many other projects. There is so much we can learn from each other, and one of the things I have learned from Tracy is this;  work each day doing what you love, and push yourself into territory that you haven’t been before.  I wrote a permission slip that sits in my studio, and is referred to frequently!

 Years ago I read  “A Brush with Darkness”  by Lisa Fittipaldi, a  book about how she overcame blindness, and was able to paint!   She visualized what she wanted,  painted it, and it was extraordinary!  What’s my excuse?  If an artist who lost her eyesight could produce art worthy of writing about, and showing to the world, few of us have any excuses!  But still, it’s  sometimes difficult to stop beating yourself up, and just create!  This incredible woman remembered images from her past, and didn’t have the advantage of seeing, or taking a class as we can.  This has always remained in the back of my mind, and in some ways it has helped push me.

Tracy Bautista has a technique for loosening up that I have used for several years.  Using  4″x6″ index cards, draw, paint, write, stitch, or whatever one can think of at the time.  They are a little like large ATC’s just for ourselves.  Sometimes fast, and crazy helps to get out of our own head!  It’s also fun to create, just for ourselves, small pieces of art that become reminders to loosen up, to not beat ourselves up, and simply play.  For me, playing as if I were a child, is just what is needed, and frequently produces amazing results!

A Penny for Your Thoughts...

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