Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Fragment Morning Joy

I get up very early in the morning. I'm a morning person anyway, and I like to get a little creative effort into the day before it gets away from me.

Lately I've been applying paint to paper, creating background paper for some ATC cards I want to make.

And possibly collage backgrounds for some of the jewelry. But mainly for practice and exercise, to keep the eye and hand active.

I use a glass sheet for my palette, because I can just scrape it off after it gets too messy. And sometimes things combine on the palette in an interesting way, and the scrapings might be useful later too. I don't use fancy brushes, I'm too hard on them. I only have a few minutes in the morning and sometimes a little time in the evening to play.

So I prep some things and let them dry all day, then work into them a little more and let them dry all night.

I love color, especially things in the red-orange family. Lots of umber and sienna. Lately I'm getting myself more into the blues and greens, to do something different and give myself a new challenge.

I'm not structured at all with what I do. Here's a shot of a piece that's still in progress but dry. I will work back into it, and probably cut it up into many different pieces. ATC cards, you probably know, are 2.5"x3.5" and this sheet of paper is 12"x12" - I haven't figured out yet how many cards will come out of it, those of you with superior math skills to mine can let me know.

I have a black paper wire-bound notebook I also work into, making spots and dots, marks and curvy shapes. To challenge the hand and eye to make shapes, marks, interesting cross-hatching and freeform objects.

I learned this from Jason Pollen, at the Kansas City Art Institute. He makes the most incredible mark marking journals using this method. The black background is very freeing, there's not the same intimidation as the awesome 'blank white page' that sometimes inhibits creativity.

Sometimes I write down on the pages the things I want to do ... "sew, cut, paint, scribble, solder ... " because writing something down on paper, the act of making the words visible, can help to bring them into a reality.

These aren't meant to be finished work, they are free, open and unintentional efforts at color, mark making and line drawing without an end goal. That can be very liberating, and sometimes things come out of it that are good to repeat with intention.

The unconscious mind gets a chance to come out, take the brush and pen and dabble, splatter and have fun, without meaning or purpose. Just joy in the act of making the mark, mixing the color and pasting the paper. Free of judgements or constrictions.

Do you have a ritual or repetitive creative activity - what do you do to let the inner person free to create, be messy and have fun?

What's your morning ritual, or your pre-creativity preparation. How do you let your color guard down?

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