Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Preparing The Ground

Spring is here and she certainly takes her own sweet time! I am restless with anticipation to dig around in the garden beds, clearing away debris so new plants can sprout and flourish. It's much the same in the art studio— too much debris cluttering the space impedes the growth of new work. Between paintings I clean brushes in soap and warm water, sponge off my palette, sort and file reference materials and plan the next composition.

I especially like the process of preparing watercolor paper for painting. It has taken on an almost sacred dimension in my painting process. These silent preparations are the ground of new work and like tender sprouting buds in the garden, I handle the paper with gratitude, a certain reverence and attention. I soak the paper in luke warm water for ten to twenty minutes. While the paper is soaking I wash and dry a good sized table to work on. Ding! I like to use a timer because it also reminds me to wake up, breath and be here. I stretch the paper on clean gator board moving quickly around the edges to the rhythmic clack of a stapler. And then I just let the paper be. It rests, horizontally flat, drying and shrinking taut against the stapled edge. A clean slate. Blissfully clear of concept, it's white expanse is full of potential. This is our life. This is the space between breaths.

Calming the neurotic chatter of the mind allows our artistic vision to break through. Something as simple as a few moments of stillness can reconnect body and mind. Handling tools with attention and care leaves no room for chatter to cloud expression on the paper or canvas.

1 comment:

  1. Love the website-your work is so beautiful and inspiring. Can't wait to see more.