I'm back in the studio after a week spent with my children and grandchildren. My daughter lives with her own family several states away...too far for a casual visit, and she and her husband are parents of two beautiful daughters and a toddling gregarious son. When they're in town, all my normal routines come to a stop to focus on family. It is a time of full force activity, as I become a 24/7 grandmama, morning and night! Precious memories are made moment by moment, and experiences are treasured. My son and his wife were close at hand as well, so it was a great time of family excitement.
Even as I spent this time with family, my mind was on what is next on the easel, the next commission that needs my attention, the glorious colors I saw that morning in a landscape that I want to get on canvas. I mentally paint and re-paint new works, even dreaming of them! Being separated from the studio work builds anticipation to return. The mental tension builds. I can't WAIT to get into the studio and get going.
Have you ever had something you were looking forward to, something you wanted but HAD to wait for it? Anticipation has its place in the creative way. There are times when I allow myself to absorb artistic energy, to build a charge as I mentally prepare myself to work in the studio. I let that power recharge my batteries. And then the time comes to release that pent up energy and get to work.
I have preached "no excuses"...this is not an excuse. It is a mental preparation, active, and intense. It is part of a process. When the canvas unfolds before me, the green flag waves, and the race of creation begins. I find the paint flows with purpose when I prepare in this way. I don't waste time on indecision -- I've already worked out the problems mentally. I'm prepared. I'm focused. It happens.
Do I work this way all the time? No, I have times when I can go to the studio and create at a more flexible pace, explore and experiment as the painting evolves, as the paints interact unexpectedly. Commissions typically present an image already explored, with tangible changes that present precision choices. They can be anticipated and prepared for. It is creating on a different level and a different process. Am I creating? Yes. Is it still meaningful and original? Yes. It's just direction of energy.
So I go back to the studio after a few days away, with my heart full of grandmotherly thoughts and feelings, my artistic mind excited to be creating again. Three commissions await, each a variation on an existing work, but each with challenges of their own. Wave the green flag!