|Back Yard Happy Hour 5.75x3.25 Watercolor on paper (sold)|
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 end: then stop.” ― Lewis Carroll, Alice 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.
|Ready to get to work.|
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