Monday, June 25, 2012

Productivity vs. Creativity

I TOTALLY get that this is not great art, but boy, was it fun to paint! 

Paint turns out to be very expensive, so I had been putting off buying more colors, but this weekend I broke down and bought some basics, and, omigosh, what fun to have a larger palette to play with! 

I actually did two paintings yesterday, but the other one was NOT fun (I was trying too hard) so I just sat there with a palette knife for this one, playing with all my new colors.

I also worked on several pieces for the upcoming exhibit yesterday, two of which involved pouring on gel and letting it dry, and both of those were miserable failures.  One failed because the gel had been sitting for a while and some of it had gotten lumpy, but the other -- which isn't really for the show, it's more of an experiment I've been working on -- failed out of sheer stupidity: I had moved it out of the dining room (I work at our dining room table) so my husband wouldn't bump it and the cats wouldn't leap on it, but then I forgot it was wet and accidentally set a piece of paper on top of it.

So I was flagellating myself afterward for my stupidity, and I realized that underneath that frustration was a conviction that if I had rendered the piece unsaleable I had been totally wasting my time.  My head knows that's not true, but apparently my heart is still unconvinced...  So now I doubly appreciate the time I spent playing with this piece, getting to know the colors and the knife a little better, because I don't expect to sell it -- I'm not even sure I like it! -- and for some reason in this case it was okay.

What is it about adults, that all play has to have some sort of purpose?  No wonder we get stuck; no wonder we find it difficult to relax into creativity.  Oh, but maybe that's not everyone; maybe it's just my own particular neurosis that says I must always be productive, have something to show for my work.  Perhaps the reason I can allow myself to take time to meditate each morning is because I know that meditation, like the experimentation in this picture, is really a means to an end.  Here it's practice, to understand paint, color, and knife; in the chair it's practice as well, both to understand myself better and to develop coping skills. 

Plus I know now from experience that if I don't meditate, especially for several days in a row, I get really off-kilter.  So it works kind of like my weekly Pilates class; I do it to stay tuned up and flexible.  And -- in case you were listening yesterday when I said I'd try listening to my own soul for a week -- I did try that again this morning, and it was much calmer.  No itching.  Instead I fell asleep!  I haven't done that in a LONG time; don't know if it's because we've been losing so much sleep because of the dog's relentless scratching, or if it was just another clever tactic on my body's part to avoid getting in touch with my center.  Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings!

1 comment:

Louise Gallagher said...

Interesting thoughts Diane. I painted a painting I wasn't too fond of and hung it on our dining room wall. A girlfriend fell in love with it -- so I gifted it to her. She hung it in a place of honour in her living room with a light especially for it -- and suddenly, in her space and care, the painting shone.

Perhaps, it isn't that the painting 'doesn't work', perhaps it is the space isn't yet right for it to shine....

Thanks for the ponderings. I'm all awonder now... :)