I tell my students all the time. “Creativity is a practice”. Much like playing a musical instrument, or playing on a sports team, practice is required. Sister Corita Kent said “The only rule is work. If you work it will lead to something. It’s the people who do all of the work all of the time who eventually catch on to things.”

So, I know the drill.  But saying it, reading it and living it are very different animals! This week was proof of that. I have been away from the studio for a couple of weeks. A lot because of travel and general weariness, but there was house hunting and doc appointments, office work and ….well you know…sometimes life just gets in the way.

So, a few evenings ago, I made an appointment with a friend to come over and “play” with me in the studio. This is one of my tools that I use to break out of the non-creative mode. If I have an appointment with someone else, I will keep it. An appointment with myself – well, not so much. So D came over and I set us up with the materials for the project at hand and we started to paint. Hers were beautiful! Mine were less than. And the more I played with them the worse they got. That will teach me not to practice!

The next day, I went to the studio to view the disasters and to start on a commission piece. I was dreading the commission, knowing that the muse had been totally absent the evening before. And I was tired, really tired both from frustration and lack of sleep. But I decided that I would at least get the colors “roughed in” on the commission and see what happened from there. This is a large piece – a semi realistic piece  – I will write more about it in future posts. So I mixed up a batch of the first color and started slathering on the paint – THE COLOR WAS PERFECT! Wow, I was off to a good start. And then I started on the second color, and it too, was perfect. And then I started adding some tints and tones and some glazes of other colors into the area. My strokes were energetic, in spite of my tiredness, and the area was sizing up very nicely. I was thinking “How is this happening? I am bone tired and yet I can literally feel the energy in these paint strokes.” And the answer was, “I am in the zone”. The previous evening was just a warm up exercise for better things to come.

So, the point? Try not to get too discouraged when nothing comes out of the end of the brush but a bunch of ugliness. There is art in there. Sometimes, it just takes a bit of time and effort, and, oh yes, practice to tap into it!

Keep Creating!!! I am off to the studio for the remainder of the day – phone off, stereo on, pure creative heaven!