It’s been some months since I’ve been at the desk writing. I discovered following a spring cleaning ala Marie Kondo that I am unwilling to part with my books and art supplies. Yet, I needed to store them creatively – make space out of non-existing space – with both an engineer’s/interior designer’s skillsets to implement a real-life solution.
Over these last weeks/months, I have been drilling, building and anchoring storage systems to the walls while simultaneously placing creative touches here and there to avoid allowing the interior to look like a warehouse.
One addition was to introduce green and nature into my studio space – studies show it is a booster for creative thinking – design firms tend to use the color in their interior for precisely this reason (Sources: lectures and writers by specialists on the connections between space/color and their psychological effects.)
Simultaneously, whether fully consciously decided upon or not, I needed to make a clean break in my thinking on the water series painting approach I had slipped into. I was moving away from Wordsworth’s poem. I had slipped away from the beauty and the sincere vitality found in nature. My thinking was geared up to be smarter than was good for the artwork – too heady and lacking a soul. It all got muddled into a psycho-spiritual-mystical-religious conceptual frame and was becoming frankly no longer grounded in my own experience. I allowed my sources to move from serving to evolve my creative grounding towards ready-made truth prescriptions and debates that no longer served my work but were leading me towards something else that no longer resonated with me.
Turning back to Water for itself with its beauty and majestic qualities displayed in nature and our planet has opened up the field to explore and navigate anew without burdening myself with apriori thinking and prescriptions.
Water for water’s sake and the meanings and messages that can be found by allowing the experience of water to evoke new springs of life to surge forth and take my creative work towards what I do not yet know is the place I needed to begin anew.
A few videos I found recently that capture the beauty of the flow of water:
Living vicariously thanks to the videos from surfers’ experience with the sea, water, and its waves…
Though, I grew up close to the sea – snorkelling at the Caribbean Keys off the coast in Venezuela and jumping waves (once we couldn’t touch the sea floor) with my cousins during the summers. A memory more precious now given what’s happened these last decades to undermine this way of living that was once just “normal.”
Thankfully, I feel, nature remains constant at its essence.
And one remarkable surfer’s experience, Chris Bertish’s, serves as a reminder that “nothing is truly impossible.” He describes precisely what makes the surfer’s sport’s artistry so compelling, mesmerising and revealing.
As I return to this specific painting, I sensed it served to teach me once again how important the journey of unknowing is to the creative work.
Following this travail, I feel discernment is critical also. Sources of knowledge can deepen a discovery through the perspectives shared by others. But the real process of discovery needs to be aligned with the actual experience of creativity at work until it becomes a part of “the marrow of one’s bones.”
Mahnke, “Color, Environment and Human Response”
Professor William Lidwell, M.S., University of Houston, “How Colors Affect You: What Science Reveals,”
John Gage, “Color and Meaning,” and “Color and Culture”
Faber Birren, “Color Psychology and Color Therapy”
Phillip Ball, “Bright Earth: Art and the Invention of Color.”