Monday, May 12, 2014

Stuff, and Not Stuff

Art Journal page, May 2014
I spent most of the weekend cleaning out and reorganizing my studio.  I swear I love studio reorganization more than art making.  Although it's always inspiring to get tools into better alignment with the intended work ahead.  I'm also gathering stuff to sell early next year, art materials and tools I haven't used, don't need and don't want any longer.  I'm more keen to get rid of stuff than I am on acquiring more.  In fact, some of what I'm letting go of hasn't even been in my possession for very long.  

Now I've got all my acrylic paints in one place, in boxes, close at hand and more likely to be used.  My boxes of collage fodder have been culled and reorganized.  All the recycled library mags I've been collecting have been gone through, the possible collage images torn out, and two shopping bags full are now ready for the thrift shop.

Some of my collected old books (!) are going to the library for their next book sale.  I'm done collecting old books, by and large.  If something totally awesome jumps out at me I'll consider getting it.  But otherwise, collecting old stuff just to have it for a while holds no interest for me now.  And I just purchased two old books last week!

I'd rather be addicted to making than to acquiring.  I'm working on the first part.  I read a fantastic book over the weekend, Free Play by Stephen Nachmanovitch.  Last week I mentioned having ordered it, and now I've read it.  I loved it.  Here's what Amazon says about it ~

"This book is about the inner sources of spontaneous creation. It is about where art in the widest sense comes from. It is about why we create and what we learn when we do. It is about the flow of unhindered creative energy: the joy of making art in all its varied forms.

Free Play is directed toward people in any field who want to contact, honor, and strengthen their own creative powers. It integrates material from a wide variety of sources among the arts, sciences, and spiritual traditions of humanity. Filled with unusual quotes, amusing and illuminating anecdotes, and original metaphors, it reveals how inspiration arises within us, how that inspiration may be blocked, derailed or obscured by certain unavoidable facts of life, and how finally it can be liberated - how we can be liberated - to speak or sing, write or paint, dance or play, with our own authentic voice.

The whole enterprise of improvisation in life and art, of recovering free play and awakening creativity, is about being true to ourselves and our visions. It brings us into direct, active contact with boundless creative energies that we may not even know we had."

Highly recommended.

I'm rereading Diane Ackerman's Natural History of the Senses.  I loved this book 20 years ago and am loving it again.  If you've never read it, do.  After reading Michael Pollan's Cooked recently, I reread his Second Nature, and then read The Botany of Desire for the first time.  All excellent books, also highly recommended.  Just finished Louise Penny's How the Light Gets In, and loved that too.  Also The Elephant Whisperer by Lawrence Anthony.

Our weather on the North Coast promises to be in the 70s all week.  I'm ready for it.  Enough with the cold wind and rain.  Hope you have a lovely week wherever you are.  xo 


Corrine at said...

Great collage. Like your book selections. Michael Pollen is a favorite too...Good luck weaning down to the essence. xox

Leslie said...

I cracked up at the second sentence because I've said the exact same thing numerous times over the years. It's just fun to get in there and putz around. Glad you got reorganized for painting and wish I was around to look thru your boxes of sale stuff.

Another nice neutral collage and now I'm off to look at all the books you mentioned. Love books recommendations.

Charlton Stitcher said...

What a wonderful booklist - the Stephen Nachmanovitch sounds especially interesting ... Amazon, here I come!

Jeannie said...

Your collage page really hit me this morning. Why? You are welcome to come organize my brain and studio anytime, Connie. If hubby starts one more house project before the last one is finished, I might be living in the cottage. It is supposed to be hot! here this week. I guess it is time to put the wool away. Have a fantastic week following your heart.

john said...

I envy you. I have not read much since retirement. Organization! I wish I had that. I get to the point where things are absolutely beyond control and then I have to flex into a take charge mode. I am almost there.

Irene said...

I am organizing and de-cluttering myself, although because of various reasons, I never get to the creative stage like you do. When I get desperate enough, I will do something about that.

I like your collage, but was unable to read what it said on the different scraps of paper. Would it have made a difference if I could have? It's a very nicely integrated design anyway.

I like how you take charge of your life and find your direction in a no bullshit way. We all need to take big cleansing steps like that every once in a while.

Judy Sall Fiber Art said...

Well, you inspired me, as usual! My studio has been in shambles for way too long, and it has been bugging me. So I just spent some time beginning the de-cluttering process... more to come, but at least it's a start! Thanks for the nudge!

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

Great post ... so ready for beginning again but first the clean-up and organizing. The letting go and focusing on just your painting and some collage will make for an exciting spring and summer! I'm familiar with this book and it seems to me this book and others you have mentioned will serve as mentors when the going gets rough ... creative ups and downs that is.
I think mixing colors is one of my favorite things in the whole world!

Maggi said...

I've discovered how liberating it can be too clear out stuff that I no longer want recently, like you regardless of its age. Thanks for the book recommendations.

Peggy Lynn said...

Love the collage, Connie. And I can totally relate to the love-to-organize vs. create. It's one way my brain uses to stall. Wish I could go through your for-sale items...I'm sure I'd find things to lug home so I'd have even more to organize. lol Thanks for the recommendations on books...I'm looking them up right now.