Sunday, August 01, 2010

It's Summer and I can't Focus!

Do you find that it's almost impossible to focus on your work during the summer?  That's what I am finding at the moment.  Getting into the studio is so hard when the garden and lovely weather beckons me outside.  I hate to wish for the cooler days but it does make it easier to stay inside and work.

I have been thinking about my work and where it is going, or not going. I have decided to go through a process to enable my work to continue to grow and develop. The first step I have set myself is to look at a lot of art, find work I really like and then ask myself what it is and why it resonates so strongly with me.  This is a clarification process to enable me to discover what is interesting and has personal meaning for me now and what I want to incorporate into my artwork going forward.

I really believe that each person can create a very distinctive style of art that comes from their life experiences and even right down to how their muscles hold and use painting or drawing tools. Several years back I taught classes on using art for personal development. I found that when people were asked to paint in a very non representational manner, just putting paint on as they felt like it, you could immediately see that each person did it distinctive way.  Within several weeks everyone in the class could usually pick out whose work was which.  Why is it then that so much art looks so similar?  Perhaps we need to really work at enhancing what it is that is different about ourselves and let it shine through.

In the next post I will include photos of some of the work I like and why, and what I have discovered in the first step of my process. I would love to hear your thoughts.  If you would like to take part in the process  too and then post what you discover, that would be great.


-Don said...

I understand exactly what you're saying, Susan. I find it much more challenging to focus when the weather is gorgeous outside. Right now, though, here in Las Vegas it's been well over 100 (F) for several weeks now and I find it a lot easier to stay inside and work - although my focus is still challenged a bit. My period of much less focus occurred in March, April and May, before the heat really kicked in - and my output suffered for it. (ie, In January and February I completed 20 paintings. It took March, April, May and June combined to match that output.)

I look forward to seeing the works that you find inspiring and hearing why. It's a journey I'll gladly enjoy sharing with you.


merci33 said...

Great thought provoking post... from the difficulty of being able to connect with our work on a continuous basis...

to your provocative "I really believe that each person can create a very distinctive style of art that comes from their life experiences and even right down to how their muscles hold and use painting or drawing tools."

I look forward to seeing the upcoming shares...

May we each shine!!!

Donna R. said...

I'm going through a similar experience. It's the combination of the good weather and that I just finished a show. I'm usually drained after a big show and wonder if it's all worth it. Also I find I can use my creative side in the garden so compulsion to use the brush is not there. Your post is timely as I'm in the process of deciding "what next" in my artwork as well. I'll be interested to see how your exploration evolves.

As alway, your friend.

Susanne said...

Thanks everyone for your comments. I see I am not alone in finding it difficult to get to work on these lovely days.

After reading your recent post merci...perhaps it's the moon phase for reflecting and starting anew. I usually get this urge more towards the fall but it's happening earlier this year.

I am starting to put together some photos of work I find interesting and will begin to share soon. Please feel free to enter into the spirit of this process and post links to any images of work you find inspirational.

Eva said...

Susanne, this sounds like an interesting project and I look forward to your upcoming posts on the subject. I have been ill and have not been online very much this past week. I'm better now and back to business as usual.

Susanne said...

I'm glad to hear you are well again Eva. I have been collecting a few photos of work I liked in the past and will post some soon.

Figurative Art said...

What an interesting topic. I love to see how uniquely each person sees the model. But you are right that now so much of art is the same -- lots of blogs of similar, "daily" painters. I think it is not always easy to have the confidence to feel one's artistic sense is legitimate and worthwhile -- whether one is an artist or buyer, so people often rely on what they've found to be accepted by others.

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