Monday, January 11, 2016

Changing My Perspective

"Untitled I" 21" X 29" acrylic on paper
I've been really "stuck" for almost a month.  I'd run out of ideas, enthusiasm, and energy.  The holidays were busy and I wasn't in my studio enough to continue the creative process that had carried me through 2015.  When I was at work, I found myself "pushing paint around" with no real ideas, no inspiration.  It became a frustrating cycle and I couldn't see a way to break out of it.  

A friend had given me a couple of inflated exercise balls to try out as a desk "chair".  I've just started using the smaller one to do passive reclining back stretches.  When I'm doing a stretch, everything in view is "upside down".  As I was stretching yesterday morning I looked back at a line of coats hanging in the entry and noticed a rather pleasant abstract composition created by the bottoms of the coats and the wall.  I got my camera, took a photo, rotated it 180 degrees.  Then I took a pen and drew the idea onto a 300# full sheet that was covered with paint from previous days.  I made changes, of course, but I finally had an idea, a direction, a goal.  The painting was completed in a matter of a couple hours, paint nearly mixing itself, happy accidents occurring all over the place.

Coats as viewed from my exercise ball
I put the painting in a mat and was considering it this morning.  It inspires me with a number of different ideas, approaches, interpretations.  All it took to break out of the stagnation I was in was a different perspective, an upside down view of things.  This painting is a very simple "compressed space" or layered composition, one of the most basic designs, often used in landscapes.  To me, it suggests rocks, perhaps a canyon.  Certainly not coats viewed upside down!  

Now I have a plan forward, ideas to work from.  How this will all fit together remains to be seen but at least I'm out of the mud, figuratively and literally speaking.  Happy New Year.

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