New India Ink Paintings of Winter Trees And Thoughts About My Creative Process...

I painted these two pieces with india ink and water on newsprint with the intention of loosening up and with the hopes of  feeling less attached to the outcome of the creative process.  The images are 18" x 24" and a bit bigger than what I've been producing.  There is something freeing in knowing that if you do not like what you are making you can just crumble up the paper and throw it in the wood stove.  There is also something freeing about producing more work and focusing on the practice rather than focusing on the result or product.

I am becoming aware that I need to practice freeing up my creative process.  I have the tendency to move slow and put a lot of energy towards individual pieces, exercises and materials.  It's almost like I'm too focused on the end results.  I'm realizing that this kind of approach to my practice whether it's making visual images, practicing the piano or singing makes the flow more cumbersome.  To get better at anything you have to exercise the brain and muscles and therefore repetition is the key.  Yet I am fighting this habit/personality trait of mine.  I become attached to the idea that the end result should be good or interesting.  Notice the phrase, "should be".  These words and thoughts are rarely helpful. I expect too much and put pressure on myself.

What's really interesting is how this edge is continually coming up for me, even as I try to do a sketch, a doodle, a drawing, or a painting a day as a practice with no expectations.    Last night as I produced my sketch of the day I squirmed as the image came out.  It was an image of a female figure and, man, I quickly judged it as "eww, ugly, yuk, why am I doing this!?" Yes, it really is not very good but I need to get comfortable knowing that some drawings, exercises, work, sounds, ideas are just going to be that way.  I am quick to judge myself.  I'm getting to know this side of me.  It's there. Maybe this tendency of mine will always be there but perhaps I am capable of living with it more comfortably by gently steering my focus towards strengthening the muscles of detached productivity and repetition.

I have a third "Winter Tree" composition which was made around the same time as the above two. I just put some color on it and I also made some value adjustments.  I will post the third piece later this week as right now the water color is drying and I am not with my home computer to upload photo's of the new image to this blog.