Sunday, January 10, 2010

One thing about having so many “hobbies” is that it is hard to choose which to work on, and when I bounce from one project to another, some things get left by the wayside or undone. I operate on feeling, what I feel like doing and today I may do charcoal drawing but tomorrow the feelings may lead me to work on photos. I have many unfinished projects.

I don’t want to give anything up, though. I enjoy different mediums. For me, it’s an adventure. I never know where it’s going to lead me. Be it writing a poem or drawing, the end result is always a surprise. I find this fascinating. What leads me? Because, surely, the moment I stop trying for a specific effect something else moves. The poem will take a twist or the drawing will take on a life of its own.
It’s not exactly the same for each project. Poems are usually quick and my writing style is one of letting myself go to the words. Once I start a line or two, the poem will write itself. I’m along for the ride. The last lines sometimes make me giddy with its revelation. I had no idea it would go there.

Charcoal landscape drawing is more time consuming. I lay the foundation in about an hour to an hour and a half. I put in detail. Some is okay, some is not. I go through a period where I don’t like it much at all. I get frustrated and walk away. Days or weeks will go by before I am called back. There are times when I will take a drawing off the easel and tape it to the wall so I can work on another. Eventually, I go back and when I surrender myself to the drawing, the picture comes alive. It will still resemble the photograph from which I am working, but the picture itself decides the finish.

A similarity between poetry and drawing is that I get a distinct message when done. I hear a commanding, “Done,” in my head. “Done,” and writing anything more lessens the poem or adding to the picture doesn’t work. When I am finished, I am finished. No ifs, ands, or buts.

Time of day and place also play a part in my artistic endeavors. Poetry is written anywhere, often when I am not at home. I always carry notebook and pens. I never leave home without camera, either. I want to be prepared for whatever will catch my eye when I am out in the world. Other writing, editing photos and printing note cards are done in the mornings. I like to get up around 4 a.m. to be at my desk by 5. Journaling will come first before turning on the computer.

Drawing is done in the afternoons when the light is better in the studio. Plus it is here where I’ll mat photographs and do framing. The studio is also the place where I work on multi-media combo pieces and jewelry making, although I haven’t done either of those in awhile. The sewing machine is downstairs, too. There are plans running amok in my head.

The most important aspect of my art is to surrender to the moment when I can, when I remember to let go. Sometimes I try to fight it to remain in control or do what I think needs to be done. However I end up in frustration. It’s only when I give myself over to the moment of creation that the magic happens and I am pleased with the outcome.

When the muse comes, you have to listen.

No comments: