After my last blog posting about getting stuck, I have been playing a lot in the studio. If I learned anything it is that I need to take some time during my weekly studio hours to make things that have no purpose, no destination, no audience. One thing that got me “unstuck” was just showing up, and screwing around. I had to approach my studio time during those frustrating months with an attitude of “whatever”, since nothing of any apparent value was happening.
The two things I have playing with lately have been altering old books and painting over old paintings using ideas I like but that may not relate in an obvious way with my gallery work. Here are a few examples of the book.
I also wanted to play with some ideas I had of stacking shapes, inspired by looking at rocks and branches while walking on the beach near my home. I used left over encaustic paint from all that scraping off of wax I did when in my “stuck” phase (see previous blog posting) so the colors were more muted and natural and less of my usual bright palette. I also used some old, old painting boards so they had a base of color on them already making it easier to work quickly. Another part of this process that was unusual for me was that I used only small brushes, whereas in most of my regular encaustic work I use larger brushes.
This body of work was done as a way to play, as it didn’t really fit into the studio work I was doing to send off to shows. It was an itch I needed to scratch.
So the takeaway for me from my “stuck redux” is that play has become a regular part of my studio time, not just something I do from time to time when I have nothing else going on. I include it in my week as an important part of my studio practice. And I plan on continuing to play, whether it be in my studio or in my life. We all need a little fun!