It's easy to fall into a creative rut. It happens when you do the same thing over and over, and over, and over… Any form of repetition (subject matter, technique, color…) can be the kiss of death to creativity. If you're worried about painting a “winner” every time you’ll quit If you quit stretching you’ll quit growing. Life is too short not to get a few stretch marks!
If you want to grow it means you have to take a risk. The risk can be large or small but without the risk there is no challenge, without a challenge you become bored, and your work lacks excitement. Before too long you’ll lose interest in your own work because….YOU ARE BORED! If you find yourself in a rut, GET OUT! The fastest way to pull yourself out of a rut is shake things up! This week do something that #!*!#+ scares you. Do it for you. Find out what you're capable of. Push the limits of your ability. Did you know adrenaline heightens your senses?
Does working through fear come easy for me…nope! I know more about fear than I’d like to admit. Unfortunately, I let fear rob me of my life for too many years…it paralyzed me! It robbed me of my potential personally and creatively. It’s okay to be afraid but don’t let the fear control you…DO IT ANYWAY!
Try something this week that takes you out of your comfort zone. Here a few suggestions:
Drawing Tools: pencil, bamboo pen, soluble ink, waterproof ink, markers
Brushes: Flat, LARGE round
Technique: watercolor, collage, pen & ink
Surfaces: tinted paper, Japanese paper, slick paper, rough paper
Size: Do something BIG, miniature
Subject: landscape, nudes, old trucks, portraits, street scenes
View: from above (birds view), from below (worms view)
Atmosphere: sunny, foggy, rainy
Lighting: soft or sharp, warm or cool
Plein Air: Working outdoors
Recently I challenged myself. I wanted to see if I could do a pen and ink with watercolor on a larger scale, 22x30. I knew my ink lines had to be bigger. How was I going to do it? I started looking around and decided my largest Bamboo pens were perfect. I liked the width and slight irregularity of the lines would add to the sketchy feeling. No pre-drawing with pencil. It was wonderfully freeing to let the ink lines wiggle, blob and splatter ink. I wasn't out to create perfection I was having fun...and it wasn't so scary after all.
I used Noodler’s Ink, Polar Brown (waterproof), Bockingford watercolor paper 22x30, 140lbs cold press and Daniel Smith Watercolor.
I wanted the finished piece to feel "sketchy". I resisted the temptation to refine things too much. I wanted the look of a large sketch. Which brings up a good question...what exactly is a sketch? Is it the size? The approach? The materials used? I don't have a good answer. I love to play and push the boundaries of ink and watercolor and that's all that matters to me. I'll let others worry about definitions and I'll keep sketching and painting.