In my part of the world winter is still on, but days gradually get longer, and nights shorter, until the summer solstice in June. January light always brings positive energy and I hope this year will bring more time for creativity and playful exploration in my studio. I also hope to keep the seasonal viruses out of my system!
The month of January always gives me a creative spark. This year is now exception. After weeks of darkness and really cold weather, the sun is back and amounts of white snow makes nature look amazingly light and beautiful. Mother Nature gives fresh inspiration; her shapes, lines, structures and the graphic winter color scheme make me want to wander off into new paintings. But transforming mostly black and white impressions of nature into a personal artistic and colourful language is a complex procedure which requires lots of studio time, trial and error.
More & Less
I think of the New Year as a fresh start, giving me the opportunity to leave old habits behind and redetermine how I want things to move forward. Therefore I made a More & Less – list for my creative journey. I decided to cut the crap, get down to basics – and here it is:
Life is what we make of it
My creative force has been with me since early childhood. Carving stone, working with clay, making weird wood sculptures and drawing portraits are among my first memories. I’ve always been busy creating something. I believe that creativity is one of my core qualities.
In 2019 I made a commitment to show up in my studio every day for 100 days. The goal was to nurture my creative art practice and step up the game. Every single morning or evening (before/after work) I went to my studio to work on my #100dayproject. And what a joy!
Read more here
This year I will schedule time for spontaneous creativity on a daily basis.
Everything is possible
As we tiptoed into the new year I’ve focused on playful experiments just to let loose, feel free and have fun. In my studio everything is possible. Time seems to stop when in my creative zone, probably as I’m in flow and feel happy and energized.
Project: January diary
This January I’ve spent my studio days creating a new body of small works where I experiment with new color schemes, shapes and themes. My main focus is on spontaneous and joyful play. Anything goes, no judgment, no room for critics as I try to paint from my heart and soul, not from my logical mind. The trick is to have faith and trust the process.
Before I start I try to set myself in a meditative state, or some kind of spiritual mode far, far away from the hamster wheel of everyday life in this crazy world of horrific wars, climate change and economic rat race. My studio is my happy place where I nurture and celebrate some of the good things of this earth.
Set myself free
The idea behind this project is to set myself free from patterns in my life that I’m not consciously aware of and to express emotional energies from within.
My chosen method is: Spontaneous, intuitive, unfiltered, unplugged. No pressure, just try to have fun. Try to be bold, loose, rough, raw, quick. Use unexpected combos of colours, lines and shapes. Hoping for intriguing, surprising and colourful outcomes.
So I’ve created 32 small paintings on paper, and a few bigger ones are still in process. Quick painting sketches, kind of experimental stuff where one painting informs the next one.
And of course, those who know me well have already guessed that I’m working on a few side projects as well, but I’ll save them for another blog.
Life changing experience
13 years ago I attended the local art school for a week-long painting course. Walking through the woods in the morning sun I realized I was about to start a life changing experience… and slowly, slowly I truly found back to my creative self (and my inner voice that had been silenced for years) and discovered my strengths and limits, but also my dreams and hopes as an artist.
Growth and expansion is a complex process that takes two steps forward and one step back. Creativity is like ebb and flow, so don’t panic if everything seems to go wrong, take a timeout, do something else and remember to set aside time to «compost» or to do nothing.
My studio is my Happy Place and creative time fills me with energy. With a full time job, planning is essential and I try to make time for my art practice every day.
Hopes and plans for the year to come
My art plans for the coming year are a mix of short-term goals which I want to fulfill in the near future and long-term goals that will take months and years to finish.
This year I will try focusing on one project at a time. My art plans contain both unexplored territory, projects in the messy middle and a few projects nearly finished. All in all, lots of fun and tricky problem solving. If it’s not tricky, it’s no fun!
But the main thing is, of course, the work – life balance… So now, if you’ll excuse me; I’ll get back to my stack of interesting books. It’s recreation time, or “time to compost” as my gardening husband puts it.
See yah later!