Saturday, February 12, 2011

Lost Coast Studio Saturday: Life In Between

Journal entry from February 9, 2011:

"I live in between - that is to say that in between the migraines and the foot pain and hand pain and all the chores and errands and parenting, I live.  During those moments, I am happy, full of energy, brimming - no, overflowing - with inspiration and motivation.  I make art and laugh.  I dance to 80s music and sing aloud ('cause I know ALL the lyrics!)  It isn't that I'm not creative or "alive" when I'm in the grip of health or everyday obstacles but rather that, in between those distractions, I know my hopes & dreams are more than just notions in the mist.  My days ebb and flow and as I ride the tides, I reach out to my potential and try to hang on."

This past week was not a good one for art-making at my Lost Coast studio.  A full week's worth of migraine aggravation and the news that I'm looking at another surgery around June (my 9th!)...such things always knock me back a bit.

You are looking at the sum total of my artistic output for the last week, a curiously charming and happy portrait given all that I was experiencing.  The background was already complete so, in less painful and chaotic moments (and often in the dark), I sat down and transformed this wee child from sketch to fully realized painting.  Remember those altered Golden Book children's encyclopedias that I mentioned in my previous post?  Well, I have one devoted completely to portraits.  The pages are already prepared with complex background work so all I have to do is open the book and begin capturing the characters floating around in my head.

If you have health challenges, limited time, creative block and/or a paralyzing fear of blank pages, I strongly recommend studio time dedicated to nothing more than creating serendipity backgrounds.  Looking through my journals-in-progress, I realized that almost every single one is prepared in advance with at least a soft wash of color.  Background work is really the zen portion of my artistic practice: no pressure, no limits, no judgment. 

With backgrounds ready to go, I give myself a better chance of completing a project or page using scattered moments snatched from in between all the everyday life business (good & bad) that forms the foundation of my days.   

1 comments:

Lotus said...

Hi Michelle!
You have a sister over here... I may not have the surgeries (I'm so sorry!), but I suffer migraines all the time... I believe they're caused by my neck, as well as the sun, heat, and my job... LOL!
Seriously, had neck surgery to replace two discs and I've suffered neck pain since (but much better than the previous pain and numbness!).
Sun and heat are my triggers, and I drive for a living... I have to constantly turn my head to look at my side mirrors.

Anyway, I totally understand where you're coming from. Trying to squeeze in those moments of creativity can be very difficult, but o so rewarding!

I really like this painting! The colors are very soothing to me and your little girl's expression is perfect!

I think that's a great idea to just sit back and do a lot of prep work, like backgrounds. I don't paint much... need to work on that! ; )

Take it easy and know that I'm praying for you! Hang in there!
Lotus

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