Thursday, January 03, 2013

Finding Myself

It seems pretty strange that at 65 years old I am trying to find myself.  Art-wise, that is.

I know I have a voice but I am seeking new ways of speaking.

Art has always been a part of my life and because I do a lot of it, it seems to come fairly easily.  I have been giving a lot of thought to where I want to go.  Too often I fall back on what is known and therefore, easy and not very challenging.  I need to push myself to try new ideas and to work harder.

So, 2013 is the year of me.  No broken bones, no husband with broken bones, time to take some painting workshops and get some of those old art skills whipped back into shape!  The end of January I will be going to Boise, Idaho to take a workshop with Gerald Brommer, an artist whose work I really admire.  I purchased his book when I first began doing serious collages and received a great deal of help from his book.  This workshop is a watercolor and collage workshop with Art Breakthrough Workshops in Boise.  It is a five day workshop and should be lots of fun. I have talked my good friend, Carol Suto, into driving with me so I can afford to go.

I have been getting instructional videos and paying close attention, taking notes, etc.  Feels good to be reminded of things that I really do know!

Another one of my favorite artists is Nita Leland. I picked up one of her videos and she talks about the creative process, which is something that I discuss in my classes.  But she also described five levels of creativity which I feel are important for many of us to understand.

1. Intuitive:  what kids do, simplicity, not trained, the beginning of the learning process

2. Technical/academic: a skill learning and training period when we learn the brush strokes, the stitches, the colors, etc.

3. Inventive: using familiam materials in a new way

4. Innovative: pushing the boundaries beyond the expectations.

5. Genius: with much discussion in the art work about whether one can learn to be a genius or if one is only born that way...her feeling is that with a lot of hard work, one can become a genius in the field of art.

But most importantly, she talks about the need to allow yourself to proceed at your own pace.  Understand the creative process and stay at the level that works best for you.

The process includes several steps:
1. decide what you want to do, what you want to say

2. do the research, find images, look at things from all angles, etc.

3. Rest and incubation time--allowing all that you have learned and thought about to sink in and when everything comes together in your mind you reach that "Ah-Ha" moment of clarity.

4.  complete the project...get the work done.

This morning I woke up with some very clear ideas of what and how I would like to work in a different way.  I especially enjoy gestural painting, expressionism and color work.  I guess that is due to coming of age during the 50's and 60's, a time with a great deal of change going on in the art world. So I got up, fixed myself a large glass of water, and sat down to write everything down that I had been thinking about as I woke up. 

I thought about what, and how and why.  And I started really growing excited.  New ways of doing things. Incorporating more painting with stitching and fabric collage.  So today I started the prep work.


TheaMinPA said...

Hi Liz,
I hope you continue to post on this process - as I am also 'trying to find myself' artistically - after spending decades 'perfecting my craft' I am trying to steer myself into a more abstract direction, but the muse keeps pulling me back into my comfort zone!

Unknown said...

Yes! I hope you continue to post on this subject too! Your work is very beautiful. I just took a class on making fabric postcards. What a cool idea. My "goal" is press forward and make a fabric journal. Anyhow...I, too, am trying to find my more ways than one!

Unknown said...

P.S. A 5 day roadtrip workshop sounds dreamy!