Thursday, July 30, 2009

Taking a Break and Feeding the Creative Soul

Just came back from the Hunter Valley from a family celebration there. Had a great time re-bonding with my brothers and sisters, playing cards, singing to Song star (a karaoke, playstation game) and finding out where everyone is at in their lives.

More than that, though, I enjoyed being in the great Australian Countryside – all hills, valleys, sheep, cows (especially!) and kangaroos, galahs, kangaroos and even a wallaroo. Just seeing them gave me such delight! I spotted fabulous gum trees that made me want to draw again, walked in silence across the property (and a few adjoining ones) and developed a rhythm with the steps I took, happy with my own company.

The vines had been hand-pruned ready after the harvest and everything was in waiting, renewing itself for the next growth spurt.

I returned last night, after only four days there, feeling optimistic and energetic.

As you may know, I have been trying to paint more works at the standard and style of what I had achieved before moving studios six months ago, trying to recapture the “X” factor that I discovered and was happy about. Frankly, I’ve been “flogging a dead horse”, either because the series had run its course, the move had interrupted the flow, or because the sizes of the canvas were not at hand (and finances made me reticent to buy any more).

I realised last night, that perhaps nature gives us a great example…we need to shut down for a while, wait and nurture ourselves before the next growth spurt.

Anyway, that’s what I’m taking from this…relax, rest, enjoy what I am doing, nurture the “soil” by continuing in the studio whatever feels right (drawing, sculpture, dreaming, thinking); and don’t try to get more fruit from the vine than is happily available in the blossoming season, lest I risk totally depleting the “seed” I depend on.

Do you take a break from the studio during the year? How long does it last? When do you know it’s time to break or time to get back to it? Do you do anything creative during the break? Post your comments here.

Image: Gabrielle Jones Tree Study IV, 2009 Oil on Canvas 30x30cm

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