When you are “in the groove”, stay there!
After a very long hiatus of almost 2 years away from art making, the new house is almost done, the old house has been sold, we have moved, my “art room” is almost back together, and for the past couple of days, or evenings, I’ve been getting back into painting. First an abstract for Jill for the bathroom. Not much thought. (sorry) And it didn’t really do much for my soul but it was a start/restart to painting.
Between arranging my supplies, hanging up some old favorites, and a little painting, I was back in my old habit of reading blogs, and articles about art and making art, and art education when I came across an article on recovery from artists block. It offered simple advice: make a list.
Make a list of the art things you should be working on. So I did. About 10 small items to start with. Before I even started on it I added 6 more. Then the list took over. I was making art and enjoying the process. So much so, I forgot to update the list for several days. When I finally checked, big surprise. I had to cross 7 items off the list as completed!
Reading WetCanvas: Café Guerbois: someone had asked about ‘Resolutions’. I’m making a list and checking often, and revising it for completed items and adding new one. Well at least for the time being. It really helped be get over a reluctance to step up the drawing table and start painting.
So what has this to do with being in the grove? My art making block is in the past. The make a “to do” art list, works for me and I am happy to say, that this morning, I was back in the grove or was for at least a couple of hours while I tackled the start of a new painting. Then I decided to take a break and order some art supplies. In retrospect this was a bad decision.
Googled my way to two different online suppliers both whom I have used in the past. I need some new matboard to re-frame some paintings for the new house. I easily found what I needed, added a couple of items to being the total up to the free shipping level and applied a discount coupon I had recently received. “Sorry, but discount XYZZY cannot be applied to your items”.
Alright, Internet chat with someone to find out why. It seems that the major items I wanted to purchase were already “on sale’ and no further discounts were possible. All this took 20 minutes of back and forth and left me in a bad frame of mind. I was angry at the retailer about the discount and similar events from previous purchases. So much for being “in the grove’. All thoughts of making art were gone.
If you are ‘in the grove’ and making art, don’t stop unless the house is burning down around you, or some other life changing event is happening or about to happen. Keep making art. After the grove concludes naturally, or you exhaust yourself, or some external event ends the session, then is the time to pick up those mundane task like ordering art supplies, but not while you have that “I must make art” mindset and tempo. It’s hard enough to get there with the distractions of the day so don’t voluntarily end a productive session for any trivial, trite, tasks that can wait until later. YMMV
It is only on a basis of knowledge that we can become free to compose naturally. -- Bernard Dunstan