"Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his nature into his pictures."
Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887), American clergyman.
It's hard to get the creative energy flowing when the days are dark and so short that I can barely get done the essentials, never mind trying to find the energy to create a new painting. So what I do instead in these days of low energy, is to connect with my creativity on a very basic level. I gather round myself coloured pieces of paper, textured and translucent paper, and favourite quotes to add into my creative journal. I paint the pages and glue in interesting pieces of paper to make a background for adding inspirational quotations at a later date.
I call it a journal, but it's not really a diary of any sort. It's my friendly space to scribble and make paint happen. All the better if I can add glue and some collage pieces. I can't explain why it brings me this immense joy. Perhaps because it is a place where the inner child can play without being judged. Artist's usually have a hard time with self criticism and self doubt. I don't think that will ever change. There aren't enough affirmations in the world to stave off that awful feeling of insecurity about our work. And maybe this is what, at the end of the day, makes are work all the more worth while. Who knows?
But in my moments of play, I just allow the process to take place. I gently enter into a world of meditative 'making' and it all just flows out. At the end of the day I love to leaf through the pages of my book and allow the colours, textures and precious marks to enter my senses like gentle whispers, reminding me that my energy will come back; that the dark days will soon pass; that I'll be back up on my game once again; and that the continuous evolvolution of creativity is doing exactly what it needs to do, in exactly its own time.
To Make a Start all you need is some different types of paper, or take plain paper and paint it with some acrylic paint. Some paint/watercolour crayons and some Golden Matt Medium (or semi-gloss) or PVA glue (all waterbased) and a glue brush.
If you want to get a little fancier, you can paint on plain white tissue paper with some acrylic paint (I like to use Golden's Fluid Acrylics - the colours are lovely and strong). I prepare the paper in advance, but once they're dry they are quite strong and waterproof. These papers may be as simple or as complex as you like. Sometimes I add several layers and sponge on some gold acrylic paint too.
If you want to start gluing on white paper that's fine. Alternatively, colour the paper before you start so you have a base to start from.
These are some of my journal pages. Some have been written in with quotations, others are left to fill in another day. Most of the pages are randomly put together without being thought out or designed. Just click on the images and they'll move to the left. You will notice that I've just used my own scrawly handwriting instead of beautiful calligraphy. Sometimes you just have to get things down rather than fuss over them. It's learning how to move through these difficult days of being in a rut that is the key. It starts with honesty and self acceptance. Just start where you are....you won't be standing still for long!