January 22, 2010

The past few months have been a blur of meetings, exhibitions, the open house and Christmas.  My creative soul started to crave some uninterrupted creative time without agendas.  Finally I’ve given this to myself.  Instead of flying off to a warmer climate and adventures in South America or elsewhere, I knew I needed time to just be in the studio.  At first it was scary.  All the old questions about “do I really have anything creative to say?” surfaced.  I spent quite allot of time, cleaning and organizing my studio (procrastinating). Then I did a couple of safe watercolours to just get painting again. 



Finally this week, I gave myself permission to just try different stuff.  Failing or succeeding is irrelevant.  Having fun and being creative is the goal.

Jim and I  have been thinking about possibly taking a trip by car later this year across Canada.  Since I am a reluctant car traveler, I’ve been trying to think of a new rug idea that would be fun to hook while traveling.  I have just finished reading a novel (actually the one I gave Danica for Christmas) call Sunflowers.  It was about Vincent Vangogh and I really enjoyed it.  (I’m especially contemplating the fact that in his life time he only ever sold one painting!  No wonder he chopped off his ear and later committed suicide.)   While laying in bed, I played over in my mind, Vangogh's  fantastic sensual use of colour.  I also thought about my friend Laurie Gunn’s latest hooking.  She started with random bits of wool and did a wonderful chair mat  just playing with colours.  I envisioned my own starry night image, playing with colours.  The next day in the studio, I scribbled a little drawing, with a little watercolour on top.

Then I got out some new oil sticks that I just happened to have on hand and started a little oil. 


I found the paint buttery and so soft and wet that I decided I would like to try a big acrylic painting where I could really control the colours. And because I was trying a big acrylic painting of my Starry Night, I thought I’d also like to try a small acrylic study of rocks.  Last autumn, while painting with Susan Tooke and Richard Rudnicki, I was gob smacked by their fresh spontaneous little acrylic landscapes, with their pink underpainting. So much more powerful than the watercolours I was doing.  I need to try that I thought.  And so I am.  Where is this leading?  I don’t know but it is exciting.  First of all, I really don’t know how to handle oils or acrylics so I have allot to learn.  And today I need to order more acrylic colours since I gave away my acrylics to my daughter.  There’s only so much I can do with yellow, red, blue, white and black that I bought before Christmas. Luckily a dear high school friend gave me a gift certificate for $ 200 worth of art Supplies from Cheap Joes and  I’ve been wondering just what I would spend it on.  Now I know. Thank you Shawna.

I also envision an enormous painting of the light on rocks but perhaps for the next while I’ll try to keep things loose and fun.  The big oil of two boats that did this summer seemed to get really tedious and to take forever to do!  I felt as if I’d paint all day and then the next day I’d spend the day painting over and changing exactly what I had painted the day before.   In addition Jim is selling his truck and large paintings are particularly hard to move. I do have another midsized canvas and perhaps I’ll try a painting of the rocks with my oil sticks.  That would be fun and fast and sculptural. Will I give it a pink acrylic under painting????

I also have two ideas for plays that I want to write but just never seem to put my mind into.  Organizing my studio reminded me of both of these ideas and finally this morning, I spent the morning working on one of them, and it feels great!