Front Porch Musings and Back Yard Deeds
I find it so much easier to become inspired---get new ideas--- than to follow through and produce the "child" that is the offspring of inspiration. Inspiration versus perspiration---yep, enabling the idea into the product takes good old just-do-it-iveness! Artist Chuck Close describes it in the film and book Wisdom (http://www.wisdombook.org/), "I always thought that inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightening to strike you in the brain, you’re not going to make an awful lot of work."
In following through on an idea, I learn so much in process, running into unanticpated blips and problems and developing solutions along the way. In architecture school we called it "talk-a-tecture" versus "architecture"---it's one thing to describe in words what you are going to do, quite another to put it down on paper, work through all the pieces of the problem and actually get it to work as a building. Often the "big idea" proves to be impossible in the physical world, given constraints. With that being said, during the process wonderful surprises and opportunities can be discovered that may lead to a more delightful outcome than the original vision. Many times off-shoot ideas pop up that can be used in future pieces. To stick with it can be daunting. An "ugly" painting can be "fixed", but stepping back and letting go of such a judgement helps to facilitate the fix. (Maybe fixing a watercolor painting is more challenging than re-working opaque media, but letting go and going with the flow while the flow is flowing is a good lesson there).
Instead of throwing a piece in the trash, I make myself stop and put it away for awhile. Later, it either looks better to me or is still "ugly". If it's still ugly, I dive in and see what I can do to make it into something else. Getting to the point of not having to be in love with every piece helps me try lots of things that may just be fun and may be something I would never consider doing to a piece that I love. In this, I make discoveries beyond my pre-composed notions! Re-painting the painting, re-writing the story, "finding beauty in a broken world" (Terry Tempest Williams), creating a refreshing new path in a dusty life or just fixing an ugly painting---serendipities let loose---every true artist transforms the front porch muse into the backyard deed by showing up and getting to work. - Sparky