Watercolor: Back Yard Happy Hour (& cleaning out the studio to prepare for the New Year)

Back Yard Happy Hour 5.75x3.25 Watercolor on paper   (sold)
Happy First week of the New Year! Are you making art plans and supply lists? Cleaning studio surfaces and storing equipment? Taking stock of what you created last year and what you'd like to create this year?

Every January, I clean my art space - mentally, physically and strategically. The process is rewarding on a variety of levels, but it can be overwhelming. [Begin at the beginning," the King said, very gravely, "and go on till you come to the endthen stop.” ― Lewis CarrollAlice in Wonderland]  I keep the cleaning hospitable with good music or a tantalizing audio book, and a fresh pot of tea. Having a planner close by helps - to jot musings down - because flipping through a year's worth of artwork is akin to the Annual Employee Review process, and it influences the way I plan the upcoming year. It's helpful to haul in cleaning supplies & storage bins [sterilite boxes] to sort and categorize art (unfinished, finished, needs framing, etc.) At first, its a huge mess. Like this:

Cleaning out my studio usually starts with a messy purge of all drawers & the closet,
so I remember what I have in supplies, and what I've finished over the course of the year, creatively.
Eventually, everything gets sorted and put away; some things go in the framing pile, and others go to the shredder. Surfaces get washed and dusted, and I start the year with a clean studio, and a clear notion of what worked, what didn't, and a Listy-Plan of ideas I'd like to roll out during the wide-open potential of the year ahead. Do you have this "pre-motor planning" tradition too? How do you kick off the New Year in your creative space?
Ready to get to work.

Art Quote
This is one of the most painful reconciliations to make in a creative life. But maybe it doesn’t have to be quite so full of anguish if you never happened to believe, in the first place, that the most extraordinary aspects of your being came from you. But maybe if you just believed that they were on loan to you from some unimaginable source for some exquisite portion of your life to be passed along when you’re finished, with somebody else.

And what I have to sort of keep telling myself when I get really psyched out about that, is, don’t be afraid. Don’t be daunted. Just do your job. Continue to show up for your piece of it, whatever that might be. If your job is to dance, do your dance. If the divine, cockeyed genius assigned to your case decides to let some sort of wonderment be glimpsed, for just one moment through your efforts, then “Ole!” And if not, do your dance anyhow. And “Ole!” to you, nonetheless. I believe this and I feel that we must teach it.

Elizabeth Gilbert - in a TED presentation on Elusive Creative Genius


Anonymous said...

Hello. I love your painting. This last one is beautiful.

I´d like to ask you something:
How do you paint the white parts?
MarĂ­a B.

Belinda Del Pesco said...

@maria b - thanks for the compliment. The white on most transparent watercolors is the paper. Since watercolor usually can't be "lifted" off paper, its a good strategy to paint around your whites. If you need little touches of white here and there after it's finished - you can always go back in with a little gouache to add high lights, etc. :)

Barbara Muir said...

I love the painting and the thoughts on order. I've been so happy to be in purge and organize mode. Last year
the mood left in February and came back in June. Have to act while that
mood is on.

XOXOXO Barbara