Friday, July 17, 2009

I'm Gonna Need a Big Suitcase ~ Maybe Two...

Well, dear readers, I'm off on another adventure. This time it's a mission trip to Honduras to minister to children and love them through the fun of making art. I'll be gone from Sat, July 18th until Mon, July 27th, and will update you when I return.
Please pray for me as I make some attempts to share His love and laughter with the children of Honduras...and pray that I don't bring a couple of those precious orphaned kids home with me in my suitcase...hmmm...not a bad idea...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

It's Re-Post Day!

Since it's a day for reposting an oldy-but-goody, I thought my first would do...it's from November 2008, when I started my blog.
Enjoy...

Perfection or Completeness...



Sometimes, in an artist's life, perfection rears its ugly head.
It appears to most of us at one time or another in our lives, and to an artist, it can be just as paralyzing. Some of us refer to it as the "P" word...It keeps us from accomplishing anything, before we even begin. The whispering spectre of our Inner Critic convinces us that if we aren't going to do things without blemish, then those endeavors are worthless: "Why try? What will others think? Someone will point out that mistake or omission, and what will you say? Stick to what you do well, so you won't look foolish..."The whispers continue endlessly, don't they?
Until you leave the easel, the studio, walk away from the worktable, the music, the sewing machine, put the pen down. Sometimes, you feel that's the only way to shut up the voices?
It isn't.
There are things you can do to quiet the doubts and fears, so you can find joy in creating. Try talking back. Tell your Inner Critic to check out your past successes. Tell your IC that you're going to just slop some paint around, or play imperfect music, or write some bad poems, just for the moment.
You're not going to show it to anyone, so that's not a problem. It's just for your pleasure, so it doesn't have to be scrutinized. Pick up that brush, pen, or needle and fool your IC into quieting down by not wanting perfection, but COMPLETENESS. You want to do one project to its completion. Period. It doesn't have to be Tchaikovsky or Renoir or Wang. You just want to finish it.
When you finish it, DON'T tweak it, don't make adjustments, quit FIDDLING with it!
Hang it on your wall.
Hang the sewn pocketbook. The essay. The score you composed. Frame it in a store-bought frame.
Quick! Do it now. On the wall it goes. Put your name on it.
You did it.
Now, how are you going to celebrate? Your favorite cuppa something? A nap to view your work as you doze off? A walk through a park with your head up and a smile on your face? Maybe some new supplies for your next imperfect project?
Now, you're complete.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Gutting It Out

"Mountainside Storm" by DJ oil painting on mat board 24x16

Detail

Detail

Detail

Detail

There is a conclusion that all creatives need to reach at some point. Some of us get there slowly, feeling our way through the maze. Some of us know it intuitively, arriving faster, and getting on with it.
What conclusion?
The knowledge that, no matter how many books you read, no matter how many classes you take, no matter how much research you do, no matter how many motivators or creative coaches you listen to,
there comes a POINT when you have to DRAG YOUR SORRY CARCASS INTO THE STUDIO and
just GUT IT OUT.
You have to actually put the pen to paper. Turn on the music and take the dance step. Focus the camera and click. Or put paint on the palette and slap it onto the canvas.
You have to wrestle with your mistakes, face your truths, and scrape off the paint, paint over the lessons learned, and do it again.
>Warning: Severe weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth may occur during this process.<
You have to make crappy paintings and do some little nothing pieces, over and over and over....to get to the good stuff.
The stuff that you actually want to do. For yourself.
So, yeh, I'm struggling just to get into the studio for an hour. And, it shows.
But you know what? I'm still fighting. I'm gutting it out.
Last night, I wrote a brief artist statement for Summer 2009. Then I read an artist statement from Summer 2008. BIG DIFFERENCE.
It's called growth.
Yay for guts.
Now, Go make something.
Love & Laughter,
DJ