Sunday, November 29, 2009

Starting New Things

Recently I cleaned out my studio. I unstretched canvases and rolled them up and wrapped a great many in bubble wrap. Bit by bit, I cleared out stuff, and washed and painted the floor a new color, a sort of putty yellow that lifted my spirits considerably.

I find it so hard to start work again after a show, even if I think I know what I plan to do for the next show, I am overwhelmed by a sense of not knowing, a state where my anxiety and self criticism run amok.

The activity that really helps is writing and drawing in my sketchbook, a free place where nothing need be good, or finished. Slowly, slowing a picture of what I am to do next, begins to appear.

I really don't like not knowing. Something like cleaning or sweeping or cooking dinner is very clear…I know when the floor is cleaner or when the dinner is done and when to stop. In the studio there is no clear criteria other than what I invent.

I also started a singing group recently, very amateurish, which meets Sunday afternoons. It feels so good to I sing, especially when I can harmonize with other voices. There is a magic that happens when the voices melt into one another and verses are traversed like so many swelling waves. I have set a goal to make up songs and try them out with the group. God, it's fun.