Friends. Something I always talk about in my opening workshop circle is how important it is to let go of pre-conceived plans when we’re beginning our paintings.
Instead of becoming attached to one specfic idea or vision and forcing all the other possibilities out the window, I encourage my students to open their hearts and minds to the mystery of the creative process… and prepare to be surprised!
But what if we have ideas that feel interesting? What if we really want this tree or that color in our painting? Is that too much planning? Is it OK to have these ideas? Are we still open to the mystery if we feel inspired to try something?”
THESE ARE GREAT QUESTIONS.
Of course we have ideas and desires. This is part of being a creative being. And of course it’s OK to try them out… by all means! However, the KEY to staying free and not getting locked down by our ideas is to always stay open to change.
Here’s an example…
On the third morning of my workshop, I was out walking Pearl, and I noticed one of the irises in our front yard had fallen over on the sidewalk.
It caught my eye, and I thought, “Hey, that might make a interesting shape to add to my painting, and I know painting from life brings life to my paintings.”
So I brought the flower into my studio, taped it to the wall, and TRIED IT ON by adding a few iris shapes to my canvas.
Then I asked myself questions like, “Are the shapes working? Do they still feel interesting? Are they calling me to keep working with them?”
My answers varied from shape to shape, and I quickly let some of the irises go, while adding a few more shapes in.
Like a fluid dance between letting go and adding in, the painting morphed and changed with every passsing layer and idea. New irises sprang to life just as quickly as others became buried in layers of paint.
And this my friends, is one of the keys to unlocking your creative freedom. YES! Listen to your gut, follow your inspiration, try on your ideas… but also be willing to let them go just as quickly as you let them in.
Or as my friend, Matt Butler, likes to say: PLAN TO IMPROVISE
You got this.