My creative process begins long before it ‘appears’ in ‘real’ life.
They say it takes 10,000 hours to become masterful at a skill. Some multitude of those hours are encoded in the thought processes that go on in the beginning, middle and end of creation.
My studio is part of my home, I’ve worked like that all my creative life. When I did murals, museum work and stage sets, I would immerse myself in that place, creating the environment by being in and of it. I would live waking and dreaming of this monumental art I was creating, until it was finished.
At times, the ordinary moments of life- doing the dishes, folding laundry, sweeping a floor- the kinds of activities that hardly need a lot of attention (having done them all my 60+ years), are exactly the formula for creative thought. I can go places in my mind and create pieces there. I can solve issues, imagine new colours or old colours, and explore new ideas. This exploration and extrapolation are where the creative process begins, only then does the actual, physical painting process begin.
Like Life, paintings rarely turn out as planned. No matter, I don’t think they are supposed to. They take on a life of their own. Some times I labour over them, testing my limits of patience. As anyone who knows me will tell you, I am patient and determined. It may seem like the perfect pairing, but nothing in life is perfect, balance is everything, and what will be will be.
One is done a piece when you stop painting.
I don’t ever argue with the urge to stop, but I always give myself a second chance, a last look. The truth of it is for me that anything still in the studio is subject to a last look, to being tweaked, as it were. My older, more historic pieces I tend to leave alone, as an historic reference of my work. Many old works have been destroyed over time, burnt, torn up, sent to the dump…or the thrift shop. But I have a raft full of other work that can be deserving of a tweak, an idea that wasn’t all formed when I began, and can be completed now with further insight into the process and or life itself.
My creativity has always come upon me easily, readily. I open my mind and heart to the process easily. All it ever takes is an attempt to tidy the studio and I can find myself involved with an older piece bringing it forth with a renewed sense of its potential manifestation! I go, falling easily readily and happily into the impulse- even if I shed a few tears doing so.