I recently came to the conclusion that I need to add more layers to my work...that I just don't push forward as far as I really want to go. I wrote a blog post about it.
Well, this week I started trying Morning Pages again. It is an exercise that comes from The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. To be completely honest, I have never read the book. Those around me have, however, and I have gained some knowledge symbiotically. (Some day I will read the book.)
But I digress. Writing helped me realize that not only do I not push myself far enough, I haven't finished anything in quite a while. Some time ago I satisfied myself with creating backgrounds as a way of getting some art in during very busy patches. There are many very busy patches.
The time has come, however to reach beyond and start finishing the beginnings. Taking a good hard look at the journals I have been beginning has been enlightening. Part of this issue is not knowing where I am going with any of them. So I assigned themes to each of the ones I have been working in and found a surge in activity. Even the backgrounds are coming together more fluidly.
So instead of limiting me in a negative way, the themes are helping me to be free. Before I was hesitant and noncommittal. Now I forge forward adding with abandon. Well, with as much abandon as one can forge with when paint, gesso and gel medium are drying.
Some of the themes are also demanding that color be evaluated rather than flinging the same bright colors on the pages willy nilly. I loved those vibrant pages, but they will be tamed and toned down and reined in so that they bring more life and illumination to the whole.
Fun. Fun. Fun.
Background knowledge informs my work.