Fascination & Play


I am fascinated by many things. Nature, faces, shapes of objects, fibers, color, line, stitches, light…on and on to where I’m fairly dizzy with delight. This fascination is surely the heart of an artist’s life. Being an artist has less to do with raw talent and more with being fascinated by something and granting oneself the freedom to explore it, try it, dive into it some more, express it. Lately I’ve been fascinated with pastels.


I enjoy both oil pastels as well as soft pastels. I love adding oil pastels to line drawings and also drawing with the pastels, then adding watercolor over top for the resist effects. I did a lot of this at the beach a couple of weeks ago and am still playing around with it in my sketchbook.


But now I’m all jazzed about soft pastels. I tend to rotate through art mediums on a fairly regular basis, but lately I’ve been swiping the buttery, powdery sticks across pages of watercolor washes and having so much fun seeing the effects of layered color! When I fall in fascination love with a different medium all over again, it feels like I could spend whole days strung on end doing nothing but working with that medium. Life rarely allows that.


Yesterday, however, I had the delight to draw and paint for an entire morning, a whole four hours, with a friend at our Ciener Botanical Gardens. Easel, pastels, numerous sketchbooks previously prepped with watercolor, sunscreen, water bottle, a snack and friendship…I could not ask for any thing better.


Whenever I do get chunks of time to draw like this, the delight, sense of play and lightheartedness is transformative. Maintaining this lighthearted sense of play is a bit more difficult as I can easily get drawn in to the woes of life or even just the pull to “be serious” about my art and really DO something with it. The minute I head down this road, art making becomes heavier and my fascination wanes.


I love keeping it light and free and fun! There will be time for the more serious end of art production later. Not now…I’ve gotta go draw the clouds up at the top of the hill!:)

I hope your weekend has room for fascination and wonder and play!


A Restless Soul


Every so often (more often than I’d like) I feel rumblings under my feet. It happens whenever there is a change, either in weather, seasons, or schedule–as in work or holidays. They seem to affect me creatively, as if seismic shifts are occurring internally and I don’t yet know how these shifts will manifest themselves outwardly.

It can feel quite maddening really. The shifts occur most often in times when I cannot attend to them. They have to lie under the surface until a later time when life opens up a bit for me to tend to them and test the waters and see if its a direction I’d like to go in. If I don’t give them at least a little bit of play time above the surface, they can easily begin to convince me that what I really need is an overhaul of mammoth proportions. When I’m unable to drop down on my hands and knees to work out these creative shifts, I begin to imagine myself standing in line at the airport for a one way ticket to France, or heading out to fly a kite in the midst of a full on thunder storm. Not exactly. But you get the picture.


Someone once said to me, “Oh…you’re a restless soul.” This came from an acquaintance who had asked me what kind of art I did. My inability to pinpoint exactly what it was (rambling on about paintings and drawings and Genevieve and knitting and designs and…ugh!) seemed to call forth this explanation. I winced as she said it, wishing it wasn’t so, wanting to be the kind of artist who is settled in one thing, like “I’m a painter.” And that’s that. And I’m fully content in it. And it is my life’s work. Pish Posh. Not me. I keep thinking it’s supposed to be me. And it hasn’t happened yet.


There are times when I glory in this multi-faceted, creatively restless self. Other times not so much. It can feel painful. I recognize the signs earlier now and so I can weather the shift better than I used to. The key is to keep on creating. Doesn’t matter what it is. Just keep going, letting myself explore and dabble, reminding myself that one day soon, I’ll be able to give more time to whatever new is rumbling underfoot. Sometimes the rumblings peter out and die before they’re even given wings. Sometimes, in giving them a go, I find that’s not quite it, or I’m led to something else. Sometimes, when I begin to give the creative shift a bit of air time, it takes off and I discover a new love. One never knows.


Until such a time (when the Art Show is over:), I’ll continue caring for my restless creative soul by allowing it a bit of play each day, even if it’s only for few minutes.