Monday, March 5, 2018

Constraints

My constraints today: (1) only a few minutes to play in my studio and (2) feeling stumped.

Tension arises from the combination of my having a pre- but barely-conceived idea in mind, not knowing how I might reach toward that idea, and resisting my intuition's call to let go of any specific outcome to instead respond to the canvas as it evolves.

The tension is just that: tension. Something pulled tight. Neither 'good' nor 'bad,' just something of which I am aware.

So.

I draw some lines with pencil and ruler.

I yield to the unpredictability of tracing those lines with a temperamental ink applicator.

Now I need to turn my attention elsewhere, so I prop this little 36 square inches of canvas on my desk, where it will catch my eye off and on until I get back to my studio tomorrow. Wonder what will percolate in the interim.

pencil lines
work in progress

India ink on top of pencil lines
work in progress


12 comments:

  1. Hi Dotty, I had to go to Google Translate for 'stumped', and I guess it means what it sounds like ;-). I applaud you for still going on, not knowing where it will end!

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    1. Your mention of the word 'stumped' got me wondering what the origin of that expression might be. The early meaning of the word was to stumble. Current definitions include: baffle, perplex, puzzle, confuse, confound, defeat, put at a loss. I'm NOT defeated! Puzzled or perplexed is more my situation, but it's an engaging voluntary puzzle. Thanks for applauding me in still going on : )

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  2. Your approach is so zen. I am in awe. Yielding...not defining tension as good or bad. You are an art buddha.

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    1. I do have to laugh, because zen is probably not the first word I'd associate with myself! However, painting pulls me into presence more fully and reliably than just about anything else I can think of, and there are many gifts in presence, as you know.

      Thanks for your feedback.

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  3. You have covered a lot of ground in this post with this 36" square canvas - unpredictable, 'stumped', where I am going, how am I going to get there, preconceived idea(s), giving over to just responding to the process. Yikes! You are the calm in this storm Dotty.

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    1. Well, there are literal storms on both sides of me this week, a mega nor'easter (mostly rain) over the weekend and another to come tomorrow which may turn out to be our most significant (wet, heavy) snowfall of the winter, so I seem to be getting ample opportunity to find calm in the middle of uproar.

      Thanks for reflecting back the ground I covered in my post. Always helpful!

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  4. Good for you, Dotty, that you keep going into your studio when stumped. I haven't entered mine since the challenge! Looking forward to seeing what this beauty turns into!

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    1. Thanks for your support, Laurie. I DO keep going into my studio—with plenty of challenges, even if not an official 30in30 Challenge! I'm excited and intrigued by this piece and, like you, looking forward to seeing what it turns into!

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  5. I love how you utilize just a few minutes to even ask what to do or have an idea of what to do. You just go in and do it. A lesson I have to learn. Here you have a connection of lines and dots. Where they will lead you we'll learn in the next post!

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    1. The feedback I'm getting today, with yours now also affirming me—thank you, Carol!, is making me even more grateful than usual for having taken up a daily practice of painting just shy of three years ago. I began by completing a literal (small) painting per day and then shifted after nearly a year to painting every day regardless of whether or not I 'finished' something, and now I maintain a 5-days-a-week practice for the most part. Can't beat it!

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  6. Ahhh... So admire your ability to feel tension and say it is neither good nor bad. ;) Love that you can take a teeny step forward, and walk away to let it marinate. Excited to see your next post :)

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    1. Thank you, Sheila.

      Thank you also for this: I had cause earlier today to look back and trace the history of a 2016 painting I did, and I was struck by the fact that you were my ONLY follower for a considerable period of time—your faithful comments sparked energy and inspiration; you are a key player in my growth as a painter. When I say thanks, I mean BIG THANKS!

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