Monday, December 27, 2010

Far More than Usual

Haunting Red Spirits, 12x16" oil

This morning I found myself perusing a recent Christmas gift-- a delicious book on Georgia O'Keeffe called "One Hundred Flowers". The publisher described this excellent collection of paintings as being produced during a "period of extraordinary and sustained creativity".

Ah...extraordinary and sustained creativity...I feel a New Year's resolution coming on!

Sustained: adj. maintained at length without interruption or weakening; continuous.

adj. far more than usual or expected; beyond what is ordinary or usual; highly unusual or exceptional or remarkable; syn. wonderful.

So "extraordinary and sustained creativity" would be uninterrupted or continuous creativity... which we all acknowledge would require a process of painting far more than usual which would, in fact, be wonderful!

So if extraordinary creativity is to paint or express oneself far more than usual, in a continuous manner...which would be wonderful...what would that look like in our life? and why aren't we doing more of it? Sounds so simple, yes?

If we at present, don't paint much at all...wouldn't painting "far more than usual" start with painting one hour a day? And, would continuous painting mean working on a canvas for a concentrated period of time, even if between loads of laundry or rain storms if you're a plein air painter...and not interrupting your train of thought by phone or internet? And wouldn't that be, wonderful?

Of course, many moments of continuous painting will add up to far more than usual on any given day. The above painting was done in three to four 15 minute increments over a 4 hour period of extreme weather in which I had to seek shelter for the majority of the time...or wait for skies to clear. But, you say, I was interrupted? Not really. I never stopped creating in my head or with my camera. I stayed in the creative zone...and it was quite a wonderful experience. The painting actually turned out better than some other creative efforts in which I'd completed the painting in two continuous hours.

I'm signing up for a little wonderful today and every day in the New extraordinary and sustained creative experience! Won't you join me?!


Once you dance for a year,
it's part of your day.
I mean, it's prayer.
Dance your dreams each morning,
Let your images move in your body.

Coming Home to Myself
by Marion Woodman

Here's my adaptation:

Once you paint for a year,
it's part of your day.
I mean, it's prayer.
Paint your dreams each morning,
Let your images dance across your canvas.

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