Creativity Mirroring Life

Creativity Mirroring Life

It’s hard to believe that this artist’s residency is coming to a close.  I have just four more days here before returning to Paris.  So I thought I’d do a pictorial recap of my time here so far.  It’s been beyond anything I could have imagined or hoped for.  Just amazing.

Gare de l’est

On the train heading toward Orquevaux!

My Studio! I can’t believe it!!

Some of the art work in the Chateau left by other artists in residence

And so it begins… getting the work up on the wall.

but now I have all of this space… I can go much bigger!

The view from my studio

Taking a morning walk with fellow artist in residence, Kevin Ford

Throwing some paint around

Adding stuff

Working and adding

Playing with shapes, getting in the blues…

Lichen always inspires

Taking a walk to clear my head and get some perspective on the challenges I’m seeing in the piece now that I’ve doubled its size.

The sheer beauty and magnitude of this place…

The boat house

The blue alien is now an ever present “issue” that I work hard to resolve…

Deciding that I have to stitch stuff down anyway…

Boldly stitching the blue insect/alien even though I have misgivings… maybe it’ll look better once it’s stitched down.

Nope it doesn’t. Annotating the work, before adding more blue, because if the blue bits are the problem, let’s throw more on there and see what happens.

The blue rabbit hole continues. I’m so deep in it I can’t see my way out.

Still I can appreciate the fabulous art all around me that covers the walls of this amazing place.

Raclette night and the fabulous Beulah van Rensburg: artistic director

The. blue continues to prove problematic.

But I’m determined…

and when all else fails, start another piece…

Fellow artists put on a puppet show for all of us, to great hilarity and fun!

and then I return to my studio to finish my little study inspired by the lichen I’ve seen on my many walks.

And on it goes… the creative process continues.

The big take away from all of this is that the process of creating is often bumpy, but if you don’t give into despair and just meet it head on matter-of-factly, the process is actually very instructive and can be wonderfully fun.  It so mirrors life.  Some of the things I tell myself: Don’t take it personally.  You got this.  It’s a momentary hiccup, what can you learn?  This feels uncomfortable, but it’s okay.  I’ve been here before and gotten through, I’ll get through this too.  Breathe.  Be patient and honor the process.

The ups and downs, the unexpected road blocks, the work arounds, it’s all there, just as in life, but making the decision to find the joy, to be present, even when I’d rather not be, that’s the trick.  Right now I still haven’t resolved some of the issues I have with this piece, but I know I’ll get there eventually.  It’s all part of creating and creating is always wonderful!  Hard, but wonderful!

The Creative Process Step By Step

The Creative Process Step By Step

A documentation of the process… I’ve come to rely upon this documentation as it helps me figure the next step out.  So this is how it began when I arrived and then I realized – Oh!  I can create something SO much bigger!!  Once that idea hit, I took all the other stuff off and began adding fabric.  In fact, I doubled the size of the original piece, which was very, very exciting!!!

Beginning

An idea occurs to me: I can go bigger!

Bigger it is!

Now I have to find a sewing machine so that I can piece it together…

And then I took another photograph once it was all pieced, so that I could put it up on my computer to annotate it.  This step is crucial and one that I’ve come to rely on.  I find it makes all the difference in the world as I can literally draw on top of the photograph, delete, play, try any number of things, play some more, move shapes around, see what I think, before committing to anything.

Where do I go from here? Annotating makes all the difference in the world!

 

Testing the annotated ideas…

Continuing to look, play, try out ideas…

Stepping away.  Zooming back in, stepping away… this is all part of the process.

Adding a bit of blue in the upper left corner.

Now what?
Who knows?!  And that’s all part of the fun of the process.  Adding, moving, playing, trying out other ideas…

It’s time for lunch, and then I will return and play some more, but all in all I’m loving the process and enjoying the movement of this piece.  The trick is to keep going and not allow oneself to get bogged down with doubt!  Continuing is key!!  And loving every moment helps as well.

A Snowy New York City & Aging

I awoke this morning thinking I would get an early start by going out into the snowy streets to take some video footage. But then I looked at the weather and it said with the wind chill it felt more like about 20 degrees and I thought better of it. So I practiced my French, answered a bunch of emails, and then finally layered up and went out into, as it turned out, the not so cold, cold.

I did a little shoveling of the sidewalk, took a walk, reminisced about New York City and things that I was reminded of as I walked, before heading home. Here’s that video:

As I finished posting the above video to YouTube I looked out the window and saw this…

So a little more snow, evidently is here. However, according to the weather report on my phone app it is cloudy right now and will rain this Friday. Go figure. I think it’s safe to say that the weather forecast is unpredictable and often incorrect. However this pandemic means that whatever the weather, it doesn’t make any difference because we weren’t planning on going anywhere anyway!

When last we spoke I was getting headaches almost constantly. I am happy to report that I have not had one in two days! My mother reminded me that drinking more water can help, which I have been dutifully doing, as well as a whole routine that involves daily warm compresses, eye drops and neck exercises. And did I mention drinking lots and lots of water? Lots and lots of water.

Aging takes up a lot of time and requires a great deal of energy, I’ve concluded. My mother used to say “aging isn’t for the faint of heart.” At other times she has been known to put it more succinctly: “Aging sucks.” So we can just leave it at that.

❤️