Entering month 10 of the painting a day series, Outside the Lines, I was completely burnt out. I couldn’t conjure up the energy to come up with ideas every day for a painting, let alone execute one. It was made even more difficult by the fact that I’m writing my third novel, FIRE, and am so deeply entrenched in that, that even more of my creative energy is being used up. By 5 p.m. when I get to the painting a day, I’m so creatively tired, I cannot think. What to do?
First, once I commit to something I don’t give up. I’m like a dog with a bone. So, quitting the project so close to the finish line wasn’t an option.
Exhausted one evening, I picked up the painter’s tape that I use to edge the paintings,and just started making designs. I painted in the geometric shapes and really liked it. I even felt rejuvenated. I felt joy again with the process. I knew I’d truly found the solution when I started dreaming ideas (like the above truck). When I dream it beforehand, it creates itself.
Every day, I create the design with tape, choose a color palette from the color wheel, and then just paint. Seeing the painting for the first time after taking the tape off is as much a surprise to me as to anyone else. I loved it. It didn’t take long for the process to evolve.
Using tape means filling in the white space, the blank spaces, the space between. All week now, when I look at something, like the hangers in my closet, I have to do double and triple takes because I cannot figure out what I’m looking at. What I’m now seeing are not the hangers, but the spaces between. I’m sure there must be some profound creative truth about the spaces between, but I do not know it.For now, I’m just happy to find a way to finish the 70 odd paintings that are still left in this year-long painting a day process.
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