Connecting to creativity.

On creativity

On creativity (Photo credit: Bohman) Connect to the source of creativity

What is it that makes our creative spirit wax and wane? What strange and unknown forces sometimes come to our aid whilst we paint, and at other times hinder us?

There are times when a painting almost seems to flow through me, as if the universe itself was dictating each stroke of the brush, using me only as the holder of the tools. At times like this the painting seems to fall upon the canvas, and I have noticed that my best works are produced like this.

There are other times though, when there seems to be a sheet of glass between me and the universe, between me and creativity. Times when I am completely unable to think of what to paint next, and the trip to the canvas is made unwillingly. I put these times down to being “not in the mood to paint” but is something more going on?

What is this creative force that we artists refer to and know so well? What is the power that we lock into when we are performing at our best? I am inclined to label it God, as this is my belief. However, there seem to be as many names for this power as there are people. So whatever the power is named, it is something that is definitely there.

I think that acknowledgement of this power is one of the things that sets creative people apart from those who are not. Actually, I believe all people have the capacity to be creative, but it is the lack of a connection to this other power that hinders them. It is this other power from where our creativity flows.

So at times, when my own creativity seems to be blocked, and the “I´m not in the mood” feeling is taking over, I feel that I must look further for the answer. Sure there are times when I have too much to do, and that has been the case over the past few weeks, but at other times something else is going on that causes me to become separated from my creativity.

And this, I believe, is because I become separated from the universe as a whole. When feeling ill, or overworked or just tired, I do not pay attention to things the way I should. A day can be lived in a way that just gets me through, but there is so much more to each day than that. A day should be greeted with gratitude, after all it is an opportunity not given to everyone. Add a positive attitude that all is well, and everything in life is unfolding as it should, and I believe these powerful and positive thoughts keep the connection between us and the universe in place.

So on days when I can´t think of anything to paint, or stall in my flow of creativity, it is my emotional connections that I should be looking at first. Instead of hunting through old photos for inspiration I should instead be seeking to feel closer to my source of inspiration, and the creativity will return on its own.

So today, no matter how much else I have to do, I will not miss out on my walk through the forest. This is precious and sacred time, and without feeling connected to my greatest source of strength, life and painting would be very much more difficult. We all have this one, precious chance to live to our full potential, and time spent in gratitude and enjoyment of our surroundings is like recharging our batteries, so that we can get the absolute best from ourselves in the day ahead.

Have a good day everyone,

Judy, xxx

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My new painting: “The Gift”

The GiftThis is my new work “The Gift” Oil on Canvas.  50 x 70 cm. A little of the detail is lost in this photo, but here it is.

My next work is going to be an abstract, using greens and browns so watch this space.

Enjoy….

Have a good day everyone,

Judy xxx

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A schedule? I don´t think so.

Resolution - better time management

Resolution – better time management (Photo credit: vpickering) A schedule? I don´t think so!

 

Oh dear, I slept in this morning. Last night I was buzzing, wide awake and chatting with friends until 2am, and not thinking at all about how I would feel in the morning. Actually I feel fine, and because I don´t drink alcohol, I don´t experience hangovers……it´s just that I normally wake up at about 7am, and now I´ve lost a few hours.

 

Although I love to lay in bed for most of the morning, I do actually work while I´m there, and my day normally starts with a very lovely walk in the forest with my dog, before returning to my favorite place in the whole world. I do vaguely remember my dog whining this morning, but I must have only briefly woken, and then gone back to sleep. The next thing I know, it´s 10 am and half the morning has gone.

 

So my dog has had only had the briefest of sniffs at the fresh air this morning, and I am scrabbling around on the internet trying to work and make up for the late start. I really want to get on with my painting after lunch,  so I´m trying to get some online work out of the way.

 

All of a sudden, I am feeling like I may have a little too much to do, which is not how I like to live my life at all. I finished working quite late last night, and it did seem like a good idea to chat with some friends as a great way of rounding off the day. Actually, it is a great way to end a day, and this is the problem. I need time to be able to do this, it´s important to have time to just enjoy, and yet other things are getting in the way.

 

I am going to have to give this a lot of thought. I may have to reconsider my whole way of doing things. What I absolutely do not want to do is be in a place where friends and relaxing have to be fitted in around everything else. This is going to be a problem, as my day is already quite full.

 

Mornings are for work, albeit in bed, then lunch, then painting. This has worked very well for me for a long time. The problem is, that my online work is now extending into the evenings, so painting time is reduced and also the opportunity to get out to the shops and buy food.I never did make it to the shops before they shut at 2pm but this really didn’t matter. The local shops reopen at 5 or 6pm until 9pm, so I could always get to the shops then. Now however, I´m working, so I miss that time slot too. Oh dear, something is going to have to change, or I will starve to death.

 

One of the problems is that there is just so much stuff that I want to do. I want to do my online work, I want to paint, I want to blog, I want to do my craft, I want to shop, I want to spend time with friends………thank goodness I am an insomniac, as that actually helps me to fit it all in.

 

Now though, I really must try to get a better time management thing going, or I am just not going to be able to do all the things I want to do. I will have to prioritize but the problem is that I am just not an organized person. The other problem is I am the sort of person who actually enjoys a certain amount of disorder in my life, and a strict routine would be a killer.

 

So there you have it; I´m stuck, and not too sure what to do about it. Sleeping over by a few hours should not throw my day off, and cause me to run out of time. Change is required, but I´m not too sure that I want change, I would prefer just to have 30 hour days. And like they say, you really need to want to change before anything much different is going to be happening in your life. Any suggestions gratefully received…

 

Have a good day everyone,

 

Judy xxx

 

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What would I do without the internet?

Morocco and Spain (NASA, International Space S...

Morocco and Spain (NASA, International Space Station, 12/31/11) (Photo credit: NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center) What would I do without the internet?

Finally, after days of problem with the internet, everything seems to be sorted out now. Yesterday was spent catching up with my online work, and that took quite a few hours.

 

I love the internet, as my regular readers will know. It has enabled me to work, and in Spain that it no small thing. Because my work is based in another european country, I can remain relatively safe in my work and for this I feel blessed. Local work is almost impossible to obtain now, and unemployment amongst young people here in Andalucía now runs at 55%. That´s over half of all the under 25´s without employment, and it is causing great distress.

 

As this recession drags on for yet another year, the effects are now impossible to ignore. I am surrounded by ordinary people who´s lives have been reduced to a struggle by the unimaginable greed of bankers, and I remain as angry about it now as I was when I first realised how much we were all being forced to pay for the sins of the men and women who continue to get rich.

 

I am definitely due another rant here about bankers, but it will have to wait a while yet. Today I am still getting everything back onto an even keel after my internet free days.  This enforced separation from my beloved internet has made me realise that by working via the internet  I have put myself in a fairly vulnerable position; I lose the internet, I lose my work and I also lose the ability to sell my art.

 

This is a problem where I live. My internet does seem to go down with no warning, and take days to put back up. I´m not really too sure why this should be but my service does seem a little dodgy. I hate to rely upon one way of making my living, and would prefer to be able to work and sell paintings in a more direct way but it just is not possible for me here in such a small town in Spain.

 

So the thing I am very grateful for is also the thing I wish I could do without. It would be lovely to work down the road and sell my art locally. It would be great to actually meet my buyers in person and see how they react to my work, but for the time being the internet is going to be the only way I can make my living.

 

I did find time to get to my craft group yesterday, so I was able to chat to some real life people for a while, and very enjoyable it was too. I have temporarily abandoned my quilting while I make a patchwork bag for a friend. I´m actually enjoying the change and it may encourage me to work a little harder at my poor unloved quilting once I return to it. I really must take some photos of the lovely work of my fellow crafters, they are incredibly talented.

 

So, back to painting:The rest of today I plan to get started on my new painting and I have a few ideas already lined up for it. After really having to push myself to complete my last one I now feel more energised and ready to get going again. Hopefully this one will flow a little more easily and will soon be ready to show you all , via my lovely internet of course……

 

Have a good day everyone,

 

Judy xxx

 

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My new painting: “The Precious Wait”.

The Precious WaitOoooooo, don´t you just hate it when your internet goes down! Anyway, back now, and ready to present my new work “The Precious Wait” . Oil on canvas. I fussed with this one for quite a while, wanting to get just the right sort of peaceful look on her face.

So here it is at last and I hope you enjoy it.

Enjoy your day everyone,

Judy xxx

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My painting won´t behave.

The Mona Lisa.

The Mona Lisa. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) I bet Da Vinci fiddled with her smirk for ages before he was happy.

 

Oh dear. My painting won´t behave. I have such a clear idea in my mind about how I want it to look, that I´m just not happy for it to come out any differently.

 

Without giving the game away, and telling you the subject of my new work,  I can say that it is no more technically challenging than any other work. Indeed, because my only reference is my mind, it could actually look like anything, and who would know? And this is the really silly thing about it; only I know how I want it to be, so what´s the problem?

 

The problem is that I´m being stubborn. I want this painting to look exactly as the picture I have in my head. It makes no difference to me if nobody else would know if it wasn´t the same: I would know, and that is just not how I want this painting to turn out.

 

I suppose I should really be a little more practical here, and I am trying to build up stock. It´s just that I don´t want to paint without feeling that my painting is expressing something I want to say. I don´t want to put up with a painting which isn´t really what I had in mind. I want my painting to behave.

 

So this current work is taking twice the time, just because I am being very picky about this point. I know it´s pointless on one level, because anyone looking at it would not know what I had in mind. But for me this is a very important point. A new work has to please me first, before it is shown to anyone else. If I don´t like it, even if others may enjoy it, I´m not happy. It doesn´t satisfy me as an artist.

 

I actually have got quite cross with this one, and it´s been an effort to stay on track with it. I worked on it for a few hours yesterday, and I will again this afternoon. I´m hoping to really get it finished this time, a hope I have expressed every day for the past four days. I could walk away from it, but that sounds like defeat, and I don´t want that either.

 

So,  Ms Painting, whether you like it or not, you are going to end up just as I had in my mind. You will not irritate me to the point that I walk away.  You will not make me paint over you. I´m coming back at you this afternoon, and I´ll keep on changing you untill I´m happy…

 

Have a good saturday everyone,

 

Judy, xxx

 

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What a simple, yet powerful, post. Thank you, Paul.

Judy xxx

five birds on parade

IMG_6967le

-means smile in swedish

Do you bring people joy?

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Painting and fitting in other things.

Ejoying the moment

Enjoying the moment

Yesterday was a strange day and full of distractions. It was one of those days where you work hard, but seem to have little to show for it at the end of the day.

I did spend time on my painting, but it will need work today as well. This really isn´t an issue, although it feels like it sometimes to me. I do worry if I haven´t produced a new work , but I´m also trying to give each new painting the time it needs. Some need more than others, and this one, although simple in design, needs to be done very carefully.

I think it is because I have one eye on the need to build up stock, for my exhibition later this year. I worry that I will miss the opportunity as I won´t have enough works to show. This is an ongoing issue for me, because I do also sell originals from time to time, making the growing of a nice stock of paintings even harder. Always it is a pull between needing to make a living and needing to express myself as an artist. It´s a difficult balance to manage, especially as the economic climate gets ever more precarious here in Spain.

However, I am still far from needing to live under an olive tree, so I am going to give my new work whatever time it requires. I am hoping to have it completed by today, but we shall see. This afternoon is also my craft day, so I will take a few hours off and go to that. For one reason or the other , I have not been able to go for a few weeks and it will be good to see my fellow quilters and crafters and catch up with their news.

It does mean I will have to take along my poor neglected quilting squares. This is another thing with art. As much as I love it, and I do enjoy what I do, it takes up the majority of my time. Other arty things such as quilting have to be fitted around it.  I was looking through some craft sites online a few days ago, and all manner of interesting things caught my eye, but choices have to be made…..and with my art and online work, there is so little time left .

I do squeeze in the time for a long walk with my dog each day. This is such a favorite thing of mine that I cannot imagine a day without the pleasure of walking. It´s good to see my dog enjoying himself too, and he settles well and is content to watch me painting for the rest of the day once he has had the chance to run full speed, zig zagging with his nose to the ground. I love to watch him doing that. What delights does he read from the scents he picks up? Can he know what passed that way during the night? Does he have favorite scents? In many ways with his vastly superior hearing and sense of smell he must live in a very different world to me. I see the trees, feel the wind, and can smell the damp earth, but I think he sees and knows far more than I. Maybe that’s why I am content to walk, while he runs, filled with excitement all around me.

Actually I have always thought that dogs had a lot to teach us about life and living. They seem to always get every last drop of joy out of every situation. What a great way to be.

Have a good day everyone,

Judy xxx

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The art of complaining about the weather

English: Field in Winter A field in winter, ta...

Field in Winter. Not for me; give me warmth any day….(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Still freezing, and still working on my new painting. I´m happy with the progress of my painting and seriously not happy with the weather. This is a big deal for me, I simply do not operate at all well in the cold. My hands get cold; my ears hurt when I go out and my eyes water when the wind is too cold. I lose interest in putting my nose outside of my door, and generally would hibernate if I could. For me, falling asleep at the beginning of January and waking up just as the days are starting to be consistently warm again would be heaven. I would even enjoy the gathering and storing of nuts. Anything to avoid the cold.

It´s just not the same when it´s cold. The very windy and steep street from my house freezes over , and I feel like I am ice skating down the north face of the Eiger every time I venture out to go to the shops. I get around hunched up beneath my coat, and this causes me to ache. Add in a bit of cold, sideways rain, the sort that comes at you at high-speed and horizontally, and I am miserable. Sideways rain drenches you and renders your umbrella useless. Add a bit of wind, and you end up soaked, cold and with a stupid inside out umbrella pointing heavenwards like a sad statement about your ability to manage in the winter,

So as far as I´m concerned, winter should not happen at all. I can´t think of one single thing I like about it. It´s not as relaxing and sociable as the summer; not as beautiful as autumn (fall to my American readers) and not as pretty as spring. It´s wet, cold and windy and the trees are bare. The lovely plaza is wet and deserted. The forest looks damp, neglected and soggy with the now rotting remains of fallen leaves. It´s quiet too, as any bird with more than one brain cell is now basking in the sunshine of an african country.

It´s only us humans that think it is sensible to spend the entire year in one place. Places change with the seasons, and just because a place is great in the sunshine does not mean it will be great in the winter.  Most of the houses in my town were built to keep out the heat of the ferocious Andalusian summer. The walls are thick and the windows small. The streets are narrow to increase shadow and decrease the heat. Winter is completely un catered for. I don´t know anyone who has central heating, or a carpet in their home. I have never seen double glazing. These lovely cool mountain homes become fridges with front doors for the months of January to mid April. Many have wood burning stoves or open fires, but many like me find it too inconvenient to light one and use a brasero beneath the table as our only source of heating.

Now this is fine if you can spend the entire winter on your sofa, wrapped in the soft covers of your table, with the warmth from the brazero beneath making you very cosy indeed. Unfortunately even the laziest amongst us do have to leave the sofa from time to time, and it’s quite a shock to the system to meet the cold air of the room after the comfort of the brazero.

I prefer standing at an easel to paint and rarely if ever use my table easel. This is mainly because my back is more comfortable if I´m standing. So for me, all day on the sofa isn´t really an option. I do, as you all know, linger for many hours on my electric blanket, but later when I start painting I will be out in the cold. Suffering for my art. Very arty but not nearly as romantic as many people believe it to be.

I will try to keep moaning about the cold to a minimum here on my blog, but please bear with me while I have the occasional winge. In my next life I´m coming back as a bird and I´ll spend the winter in North Africa, or Mexico if I can fly that far.

Have a good day everyone,

Judy xxx

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New painting started.

Stop sulking, Reg. I´ll walk  you in a minute.

Stop sulking, Reg. I´ll walk you in a minute.

It´s very cold here this morning, the temperature has suddenly dropped. Probably because I was here crowing about how lovely and warm the weather is. My hands have been cold since I woke up, but I haven´t yet figured out how to type beneath the bed covers yet.

I had to do some of my online work very early this morning, which is not normal at all. This meant that my poor fingers had to spend time out of the duvet, and they suffered big time. Room temperature in January is just not warm enough.

However, online work now finished, and normal service resumed here at my blog, even if it is later than I usually post. The room temperature is now much warmer now too, so I´m blogging with  fingers I can feel, which is useful. I made up for my lazy sunday by starting my new painting, and it´s coming along quite nicely. The subject was suggested to me by a friend, and I´m pleased I went along with it.  I won´t tell you what it is yet, as I like it to be a surprise when I post it. Judging by the progress I made on it yesterday, it will only be a day or two more before I can show it.

I have another commission this week . Very pleased about it and I´ll try to make a start on  it towards the end of this week. I think two commissions in a few weeks is a record for me, they don´t normally come in quite so fast. Thank goodness I put in such an enormous order for paints a few months back, I seem to have worked my way through a fair amount of it already.

So, after lunch I will carry on with my new painting. The dog, who missed out on his long walk this morning, will have to wait until the evening before his paws are back in the forest. He is at this moment sulking in his basket because I had other things to do which took priority over him. He is finding that fact a little hard to comprehend and is staring at me with a frown on his face at every opportunity. He knows I weaken at that face, but today there is just too much to do. He was taken out briefly this morning, and fed so there really isn´t too much reason for the poor me dog face that I´m getting.

Ok, change of plan: I will get up, walk the dog and then have lunch. Happy now dog?

Enjoy your day everyone,

Judy xxx

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