Studio Chaos

Okay, so I’m not the anal-retentive neat freak, but I do like (and need) order to my life and the space around me. In my studio life clutter happens. I start out working on a watercolor and while it dries, I hop over to another area in the studio to work on a piece I’m doing in charcoal, then I might work on a third project or sketches (or something). In my wake I leave a trail of reference sketches, scraps of test papers, photos, notes, a bottle of water, a cup of tea, my iPad, my phone, several pairs of headphones, dog treats, magazines, pencils, pens and assorted brushes… every surface covered with stuff! Depending on projects, deadlines and just deep immersion into a painting, this chaos can last for days, building in layers until I find myself digging like an archaeologist to find just the right pen, pencil or brush. Frustration causes Left-Brain to throw the breaker switch and say “enough”! I look around me in disbelief, and horror.  I take a deep breath and slowly start to declutter, putting things back in their order, vowing I’ll start being tidier as I work, putting this back after I’m through with them, keep this chaos in check…

…and Right -Brain just smiles.

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Keeping tools at hand

I have recently rediscovered a creativity action technique that I had forgotten. An easy way to increase your sketching time is to keep tools at hand all the time. Besides carrying a sketchbook and drawing implements with you when you travel outside of the home,  leave a sketchbook (or sometimes in my case a stack of 24# bond letter size paper clipped on a clip board) and a pen/pencil in every room in your house. It will encourage you to draw something and give no excuses to not to. Any free moment you have, sketch your dog or cat, sketch furniture, cubes, spheres (all the foundation shapes) or just pull something out of your imagination. In my opinion practice is practice and can only get that hand eye tuned sharper. I, for one needs all the tuning I can get (LOL)!

Oh, the wind and the rain!

Winter weather is finally here! Blessed rain falling in sheets outside the window of my little retreat. The birds flock to the bird feeder between downpours. I find myself staring out the window enraptured by the power of nature. Now, those that live in a rainy climate might not be so enthused by so much rain but here, in California, where we are in the throes of a long drought and go months without seeing water fall from the sky are downright rapturous.

One upside for me in particular, is that the rainy weather inspires my creativity. I have been non-stop drawing and painting since the rain began a few days ago. “In the zone” my biggest concern is not confusing my paint water for my tea (I have mistakenly ingested plenty of paint water in my life). It’s all rain water color bliss!fullsizerender-11