If you look up the definition of ‘mandala,’ you will see that it represents the search for ‘completeness’ and ‘self-unity’. Though I love these concepts, I am realizing in my life, that the search for that, or rather the experience of them is NEVER a perfect evolution, a perfect circle. There is a constant ebb and flow and one step forward and two steps back. I feel like it’s much more accurate to demonstrate our lifelong journey of learning and growth in a form that is a bit more organic. This is something I am in the process of creating, and I’m not sure if I should fill the page, or leave it as it is. I will add the final photo when I decide. I would like to do more of them!
Shhhhhhit it’s about time!
So I’ve realized something sorta funny. I get so super excited to start a new piece that I tend to not really be aware of the materials I’m using. This has been a problem for years, it’s not at all new. But the idea of MAKING DRAFTS of anything is very nauseating, and I have this belief that my piece will end up feeling less intuitive. So I’d just start with a lot of excitement and vigor and then suddenly realize the paper is sucky or the pen is writing like crap with the particular paint. Silly mistakes. Mistakes I DIDN’T need to discover IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ACTUAL ART PIECE.
I end up super annoyed that my piece isn’t as good as it could have been.
Oh Gawd this is soooooo obviously self sabotage.
I can see that by NOT planning, and then creating something that has obvious material issues, I can blame the problems with the piece on that. Instead of PREPARING and oh no, what if I STILL DON’T LIKE IT?
Or what if I do?
Funny how our self sabotage brain can be oh so sneaky.
So because I can see it all pretty damn clear, I decided to do something I’ve never done before.
Make freakin’ notes.
I even had to document it with this photo, that’s how rare it is. Ya you’re not gunna get the best of me again SELF SABOTAGE BULLSHIT BRAIN, (or SSBB).
So once again, I need to figure out the BALANCE between 2 extremes.
- Loving to organically create through my intuition,
- But ALSO use materials that I KNOW will give me the effect that I want.
Huh. Big thoughts here people. Big adult thinking going on.
All I can say is bring it on!
In the doodling spirit, here is another piece that is just about done. I am in absolute bliss adding color to my silly doodles. Ahhhh
Like I mentioned at the beginning of the year, my art journal is a bit of a safety net for me. I feel SAFE taking risks on it. It’s fluid and playful and scribbling and messy and yet I get a chance to be a bit daring and then I can close the book and no one has to look at it.
I’ve known for a long time that the freedom I feel from ‘playing’ as I call it, in my art journal NEEDS to come out on actual pieces. If I want to show anything ever, I would like to be more comfortable with myself so that I can just make something without the journal. Something that has the same playful, effortless feel as working in that book.
It’s starting to get easier.
Lately I’ve been in the middle of a lot of little things OUTSIDE of the art journal. Yessss. This one I started out a bit cautiously. I could feel the apprehension building in my hands and arms as I worked. But when I have my art journal open close by, I’m reminded that I can create, I am an artist, and I just need to trust and relax. The more I worked, the more I began listening to those little intuitive hits that always bubble up when I’m working in the journal. I began relaxing into it. It felt so amazing to conquer that! I can feel easy and light no matter what or how I am creating. I can feel confident about myself and what I am doing. Ahhhh!
Ah! So so so appreciative of all the ideas that are spilling over in my brain. I am loving experiencing each and every one of them!
Sending you all love and joy on your creative journey!
I attempted this piece awhile back. It’s sort of like what I have in my art journal, but for some reason feels really expected and not very exciting. I’m going to keep working on it though and adding a different feeling to it. It’s funny how sometimes being inspired by an earlier silly doodle doesn’t always lead to a piece looking the way I want it. Maybe it’s because of the effortless flow from art journal versus actually attempting to CREATE SOMETHING. Hmmm
But after reading Big Magic for the 3rd time, I’m reminding myself that my work doesn’t need to be PERFECT or even AMAZING. I do, however, need to get it FINISHED. So it will get finished no matter what!
So I get really excited with newness. I love the replenishing wave of a fresh passion, it’s so invigorating. But I’ve realized through the years that I’ve had a tendency to NOT FINISH what I start because of this. I love the first bursts of creativity, but it tends to wane for some reason. I’ve realized that maybe it’s because I haven’t known how to end what I’m currently working on, or just dislike feeling stuck with any part of it. All valid reasons, but having a bunch of unfinished art work sitting around isn’t going to work for me anymore.
Lately when I get a burst of a new idea, I jot it down quickly in my art journal, relishing the moment I get to try it out, but not giving in to the temptation.
However. I could. Not. Stop. Thinking about this one. I was having these vivid daydreams of sitting on the floor surrounded with liquid ink and tiny black pens and just allowing whatever my fingers decided to create, to come forth.
So, I stopped what I was doing and started this. Sometimes you just have to follow the passion. Ah! Loving working on this!!
The only thing is that I was so excited to start that I didn’t properly prepare the watercolor paper. So the paper rippled, and now needs to have some books stacked on top to straighten it out. Next time I have gotta take a deep breath,..
and take my time!
Does anyone have any great suggestions for 140lbs. hot press watercolor paper? I’ve heard putting it in the bathtub for awhile works well…. Love some advice!