i want to share some shots and thoughts of a good art day.
cuppa joe on my porch

it begins with coffee on the back porch (this is when the basset hound behind us is not barking) and 3 pages hand written of the morning pages a la julia cameron. I have her complete set: The Complete Artist’s Way: Creativity as a Spiritual Practice, which looks like a bible and sort of is for artists!
writing my morn pages

i wanted to share this excerpt on perfectionism from julia that ties well to my earlier post about flow–she speaks about her artistic process in writitng:

To the critic, ease feels foreign–and suspicious. Work should be work, shouldn’t it? Surely nothing can simply flow?
Damn the colloquial! Every thought, each sentence, must be carefully weighted. Nothing can begin without knowing the ending. There is no room for exploration, for ambiguity. The critic is a nervous man. The critic likes known routes.

The critic believes in product, not process. Do not try to simply rough something in. Forget sketching. That’s not good enough. The critic does not like us to have the joy of creation. It is interested in fixing things, not in creating things. It insists there must always be something to fix.

Julia then moves on to talk about the two functions of the artist, the creative impulse and the critical one. She calls the critical one by the name Nigel, which is funny if you have an english friend named Nigel like I do!

Nigel in her mind is stereotypically:
…a gay man with impossibly high aesthetic standards. My work is never good enough for Nigel. He is always with a red pencil. According to Nigel, who has never been known to say anything nice, it is the critic’s job to be critical.

I love the idea of naming and separating the critic from the creative process. Letting the creative process be a time where you can do no wrong. Make no mistakes. Be completely imperfect. Then later bring on in Nigel to edit when you’re ready!

After I do my morning pages– I bike on down to my on to my studio that’s about 6 blocks away and start by seeking inspiration.
inspiration gathering
roses and tea inspire me

Then I do a bit of staring at my paintings from different angles and seeing what they need.
looking at paintings from new angles

then turning up the music (feeling particularly fond of the weepies newest Be My Thrill lately, thanks to andrea’s rec) and playing in paint!

painting in process