Thursday, April 30, 2009

Creating between Cereal on the Stove and Writing a Cover Letter

I've been having a lot of fun stealing a few minutes whenever I can to make backgrounds. In this background, I doodled while on the phone, I pasted a layer while the rice was cooking for dinner, another while my morning coffee was brewing, and as 5-10 minute rewards for finishing another cover letter for job hunting. Having an art space set up and ready to go sure does help.

I'm interested in the creative process--my own and others. What moves things forward, what gets in the way, how does creativity evolve, what disciplines support the process, and when does a discipline lose its usefulness?

Syko revealed the evolution of her creative process a few days ago as she expressed her frustration of "copying" on the Internet. The copying discussion is important, and I'm even more interested to hear about her process of slowly breaking out of patterns to find her own creative vision.

Right now, I'm doing patterns. V is constantly supplying me with books and magazines. She lent me Davies' Collage Journeys, which has a multitude of projects/patterns. This background in the pic above is taken right out of her book. It's not original working with sewing patterns, and I've noticed that I really enjoy the medium. I sewed with my grandmother and made my last piece of clothing--a peach linen suit for a wedding--when I was in my early 20s. Working with sewing patterns takes me back those days and reminds me of sitting side-by-side with my grandma, feeling her gentle guidance, and sewing on her Singer in her music/sewing room.

V also lent me cloth paper scissors. Liz Berg has a project in the March/April 2009 issue that uses magazine pages and acrylics as the medium for customizing paper. She's the person who says, "How many papers you make will depend upon how much room you have to dry the papers."

Because I'm a nut, I took this advice literally and lined up about 35 magazine papers all over the kitchen and dining room and proceeded to prep them (1st layer: matte medium; second layer: titan buff acrylic paint mixed with mixed medium).

During one layer, I rocked out to cranked-up ACDC like I was back in high school. When I got to the second layer, I used up an entire tube of the titan buff and had enough to cover only 27 of 35 the pages, which cracked me up. "Jeez," I thought, "I might not even like the result, what do I need with 35 pages of stuff I don't like. How about something more moderate like 10 pages?"

The third layer calls for more acrylic paint mixed with matte medium and then doing whatever you want to texturize it. I need more paint. Meanwhile, I may save some of these pages for our next pARTy and let friends experiment making the papers if they want (they're prepped and ready to go.)

The process of working this way is very satisfying. I like the flow of moving from the business of life to dropping in for five minutes or so to add the next layer. It's a good thing to do between washing the dishes and doing the laundry.

At bedtime, I've been picking up the Davies book again and again. I discover that as I do a project, I understand more and more stuff that I missed on the first, second, and third pass. A gel transfer is in my future.

I'm also reading Nina Leland's The New Creative Artist, which for now, is serving more as inspiration than practicing technique. Thanks, Late B(l)oomer. Here's one of my favorite, obvious, yet profound lines from her book:

Your first priority is to take care of yourself. Get enough rest, eat properly, exercise, and attend to your spiritual needs."

I'm curious to hear from readers about how your creative process has evolved--whatever the medium. Tell us some of your story or something about your process.

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