Thursday, March 6, 2008

TIDES - THE EBB & FLOW OF WORK


Ebb Tide Pastel 20x30 NFS

Nature is cyclical, from the moon and tides, to the diurnal variations in the physiology of our bodies. There appears to be an innate ebb and flow to life, perhaps most often recognized by the emotional and psychological “ups and downs” that we all experience.
As an artist it seems to manifest itself in the periodic disappearance of the muses, times when the creative well runs dry and it takes every bit of will power to even step into the studio, let alone work.

I marvel at those who can spend some time every day working on their art, painting, drawing, or whatever their process may be. That seems to me to be a desirable thing to do. Unfortunately I have never been able to do so. Although I soon became aware of the ebb and flow of my art, it took some time before I learned not to fight it, but to accept it for what it was and try to turn it into something positive.

A typical pattern for me is to experience a burst of energy and enthusiasm lasting days to weeks, in which time I produce a number of pieces that I consider good work. Then before I realize the tide is turning, I get sloppy, begin working too quickly, and produce rubbish, and I know it is time to stop. Fortunately (or unfortunately) there is always some busy work that needs my attention in the studio, cleaning up, photographing art work, updating mailing lists, etc. If I don’t feel like do any of these, I simply sit back, put my feet up, and read. It is amazing how much reading I’m able to get done with my eyes closed.

I don’t try to buck the tides. Experience has taught me that the muses will be back in due time, and may even have something new and exciting for me.

2 comments:

Teri C said...

A beautiful view and great philosophy!

Abby Creek Art said...

You said it all in the last paragraph, Bill. Wait patiently for the muse...she will never disappoint! That's a lesson I've been learning big time lately.