A huge piece of recovering my creativity in this past year and a half has been to reconnect with the natural world, especially the flow of the seasons.
In our modern, artificially lit, air-conditioned life I think we tend to lose touch with the natural patterns of the year, of weather, of the sun, and how all of it affects the natural world around us. Modern conveniences are a definite benefit - I’m not throwing out my studio lights or my iPad - but as creative people I wonder if the disconnect from the world around us can also disconnect us from our creativity.
As I’ve been working on scripts and lessons for an upcoming online course these past few months, something I keep coming back to is a theme of creativity and guarding our creative energy. I think this past year has been really instrumental in learning that lesson for myself.
A year ago last week, I packed up all of my paints and brushes in my temporary Arizona studio and put them in a box, not knowing that I wouldn’t really touch them much in the next 365 days. But, outside of a few commissions and some touch-ups on nearly-done pieces, I ended up not painting again in 2020.
I think a lot of us experienced a similar moment last year when we were still and quiet for maybe the first time in a long time. I realized that I hadn’t painted a painting for myself in…maybe not years. A painting for the joy of painting, not a painting for a show or a deadline or a gallery or an event. And, I also realized that the place inside of me that paintings came from kinda felt empty.