Where to begin...

23 April 13

Where to begin, where to begin?  What lofty words did I smear on that page?
"The dilemma of where to begin requires faith that there is a path that presents itself as we take action, step by step, one foot and then the next."
As I said... lofty.  

I've been away for a while, changing big things in my life. Last week's agenda included getting back to my own drawing and watercolor. This week's agenda includes getting back to blogging.

Hah! In the middle of the word "blogging", the power went out and my iMac went down! (As if I don't have strong enough procrastination skills myself.)

I'm living on a remote island and it's raining. Technology is delicate out here. The weather is not. More on all that another time. 

Even though I am a relatively highly disciplined soul and tackle new things regularly, I become confused and resistant, distracted and cranky when I choose to embark on a new endeavor. And though I take action, I reach for any distraction that will work to help me procrastinate. It's ridiculous.

So, I'm starting. I've started. I plan to create a new site, a new blog platform, I'm working on a book and am writing it via a public blog. But if I waited for a new site to be constructed, or a new blog platform, I'd have to wait till next week or the week after and I'm not willing to do that. I teach people to allow themselves to create imperfectly so I'm walking the walk.

I sold my studio last summer and decided to not create anymore product for sale. I have plenty of beautiful watercolors, beautifully presented and you may review and adopt one or more for your very own by clicking here.

That being said, I make drawings and watercolors as demos for students several times a week. But they're not always good and ultimately, not very satisfying.

Over the many decades of my creative life, I've discovered that putting down a particular creative discipline for a while (years in some instances) can have a curiously constructive result. While that, too, is a subject for a considerably longer, separate post, I've discovered that putting down, for example, the guitar for years, allowed me a rest period during which certain habitual patterns were cleared or forgotten physiologically or mentally. Maybe, maybe not. But certainly, a measurable amount of growth occurred during the period I was not playing that instrument.

Wow. I was just looking for a quote by Jeanne Carbonnetti from The Tao of Watercolor that I'd used at least once before in a post and found it on the final entry of my Landscape into Art blog. Uncanny, fitting, perfection.
"In the section The Spirit of Effortless Effort she tells of having moved from New Jersey to Vermont where she and her husband built a home with their own bare hands. She then goes on to describe how, in her exhaustion, she made watercolors in a haphazard way and felt that everything looked awful. But she let herself off the hook and allowed herself to "just play, no matter what."
Lately, I've been becoming a little too cranky for my liking (or anyone else's for that matter.) This usually indicates that I am not properly expressing myself or on the brink of a creative breakthrough (or both.) 
“Restlessness and discontent are the first necessities of progress.”
— Thomas A. Edison
At the moment, I don't have the space or set up for easel and drafting table and shelves and side tables and whatnot. Fortunately, I've discovered Stillman & Birn sketchbooks. OMG.

I unrolled my Rosemary & Company brushes, opened my boxes of M. Graham and Daniel Smith tubes, grabbed a white ceramic platter and some glasses of water, one of my Lamy Safari pens and started to play.

Now I can't stop. I'll show you what's unfolding in the sketchbooks with each post. Here's my favorite detail of the first two pages:


An archway, an opening, an aperture. A way for the chi to move.

I'll get to the techie stuff and more formal book concern mañana.  The most important thing is generating this content. The most important thing is starting. Playing. 

The flow is in motion and so am I. It feels good.

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2 comments:

~Karen C.L. Anderson~ said...

I am looking forward to reading your story as it unfolds!

Suzanne McDermott said...

Me, too!