Tuesday, November 26, 2019

When in doubt, take it to the journal ...

In our Intentional Creativity Classes and personal practice, we spend significant time with our journals, unpacking information and insights. 

A wonderful practice is to begin the day with a cup of your favorite beverage and your journal. I recently moved a wicker chair about 6' from my easel, (which my kitty thinks is especially for him, lol) I have my colored pencils, a book of poetry, and several journals nearby, for this important part of my process. 
Symbols for Wonder Woman
During a class or after, there often comes a point where the student becomes frustrated, and just wants to slap a coat of gesso over the canvas, and start over! 

Ah ....

This is such a potent point, which can be an opportunity for recognizing old patterns / unconscious reactions, and shed light on the issue, on ways we've been stuck. It's one of the ways we call access a breakthrough, rather than a breakdown
How can we use it? 
What if we tried something different this time?

In the classroom, two of my favourite phrases for this stuck/I wanna start over point are: "When in doubt, Glaze!" and, "take it to the Journal!"

** If you just got home, I suggest waiting at least overnight before making any changes! Give your canvas (and yourself) time for reentry. This is a great time to journal about your experience and anything that came up.
Collage - vessels over watercolor pencil
  • Take it to the Journal: Move back about 6' and sit with your journal. This is a good time to write fast and furious about whatever is coming up, and is fun to use watercolor pencils. If something seems important, you may want to note it elsewhere, or just process - get it out! (I hear Shrek, "Better out than in!") Is this something that's come up before? Is there a voice attached to it? (Can you identify a person who told you that?) You may want to dialogue a bit with your Muse. You can let the words and colors cross and build.This is your compost layer ... 
  • Next, One option is to sketch a flower, lotus or rose, or perhaps a simple daisy, in the center, and activate the colored pencil around it with water - no mud, no lotus! You can use paint over the flower petals, to highlight the shift. You can also use collage (like my image above) 
  • Here are 150+ prompts if you want to completely step back and puddle around with something different for awhile! That's a good option! 
  • How do you feel now? Look at your painting again, how do you feel about it? Did you get insights on how to proceed? Ask your Muse what she wants you to do! At this point, you can write about the shift, before you return to the canvas. Let it sit! Go do something else for awhile! 
  • It can also help to return to the initial visioning and inquiry - return to that page in your journal. Ask yourself if/ how what's coming relates to those? What attracted you to this class or project in the first place? What's shifted who've you first wrote? What insight is arising?
Applying a partial Glaze in a recent class
  • When in doubt, Glaze: Glazing can be scary, and is so potent!! It is a great way to integrate what has gone before, and is another key component of our process with Intentional Creativity. In class, glaze partway through with a transparent color - Golden's Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold is a favorite! Each layer adds depth. You want to gesso? Look for a transparent color, water it down a bit, use a big brush and cover the canvas with a layer of glaze. (Golden Fluids work best for this) you can lay it flat to dry, or use a piece of T-shirt, to rub and "burnish" the canvas. ... 
  • Then, you guessed it! 
  • Sit back with your journal, and write about what's being integrated! 
  • Glaze options: a) partial glaze, use one color on half the canvas, and another on the other half. Smudge the line between the two, burnish if you wish. b) 4 directions: choose 4 transparent colors. Spritz the canvas with water, then use the first color along the top, spritz again and let it drip ...rotate the canvas, spritz and use the next color ... Spray, paint, play with the drips. Turn the canvas again ... c) White!! If you REALLY want to gesso the whole thing, try spritzing the canvas, choose a direction, paint white along the "top", spray again and let it drip! Or use white on the area you "don't like" and spray it, let it drip ... d) Gold! Our inner Critics are easily distracted by shiny objects! Spray the canvas, and use splashes of gold or another metallic in a few areas! e) White and gold, in different areas.
  • And - however you glazed, grab your journal, and write about what's coming up, what's being integrated. Do you still feel like starting over? What happens if you turn the canvas and get a differing perspective? 
In our process with Intentional Creativity, each layer builds on the last, and we are invited to return to our Journal, and our notes in messages from the original visionary journey, and our intention for the piece. 
What if there was nothing we could get wrong? 
What if we let the canvas rest while we do, sleep on it, and revisit it in the morning? 
Magic brushes and altar
Paint brushes are magic wands - will we let them work their magic?
Happy Paint Party Friday!


HorsePower International said...

one of the biggest learnings for me about WIP in general is the importance to "just keep swimming, just keep swimming" like the fish Dory says in the movie Finding Nemo.

Even just a tiny step - a dot here, a line there on my canvas; a word added to my journal or list, the completion of one microtask in my ongoing plan - keeps my WIP going.

Mobility brings clarity too, and keeps me out of the "paralysis by analysis" mode.

Find the one small thing you can do TODAY with your WIP, and do it! then celebrate that you did it. ❤️🎉

Nadya said...

I LOVE that reminder, Lorraine - just keep swimming, just keep swimming!! Thank you for sharing it 💜

Elkes Lebensglück said...

that is idea wonderful!!!!continue and do not stop !!!
greetings Elke

Tracey@Hotchpotchcreations said...

Wise words indeed as it is part of a creatives way to doubt our work at times. It's an important message to give ourselves time and allow time to take in and process our work. I always close the page on my journal work as tomorrow is another day and always brings a new vision. Wonderful WIP's Happy PPF Tracey

Valerie-Jael said...

Great advice for journaling! Thanks for sharing. Happy PPF and have a great weekend, hugs, Valerie

Rain said...

Hi Nadya!! :) Oh this is such a wonderful post...I do get that way sometimes and the gesso is tempting. I get impatient a lot of the time with my paintings and I end up tossing them out (I use watercolour paper)...I feel as though I've wasted my time, energy and money...but if I took the time to "take it to the journal" or maybe some glazing, I know I'd find a different perspective. This is great advice I love it! Thank you!! :) And thank you for the link to your prompts!! :)

Nadya said...

I'm so glad - it is tempting to just rush through - and it is just paint and canvas - or watercolor paper! We can always do another ... But sometimes, showing down and reflecting brings such juicy nuggets!!

Christine said...

Beautiful pages!

Linda Kunsman said...

Great tips and advice Nadya!! Love your altar:) Thanks for sharing about your dad and Clark Gable in your comment on my blog- how cool! I'm going to look for the clip. Happy PPF!

DVArtist said...

This is truly a fabulous post. So much good information and beautiful art.

Courtney said...

I really enjoyed reading your post. You have some great tips and ideas to encourage and inspire, thanks for sharing it. I enjoyed your art pieces as well. Hope you have a fantastic week! Hugs and Happy PPF!

https://decorcraftdesign.wordpress.com said...

Beautiful work!