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May - Patient Creativity

There is a lot of patience involved in making art. You start with a blank canvas, a new sketchbook, the inkling of an idea. Through you these ideas will grow and fruit. But creativity is rarely linear. It is about starting and starting over. Some things get put to one side as others are started afresh and reach fruition.

Teaching workshops I am often helping others over their fears of getting art wrong. We talk about the fear of the white page, about quelling the voices in our heads that judge what we do, the marks we make. I don't think any human being can turn off these voices completely but in order to progress, to try, to fail, to start again we have to be prepared to turn down the volume on those voices. I think it is about getting back to that childish play with art, before we were criticised, before we learnt to judge our self and others.

My creativity isn't about my head, about that critical judgement. It is about my heart and my gut. It is about instinct and a sensory response to the world around me. It isn't about a tick list of processes, it is about creative play and trusting the journey. It is slow, and delicious. Many of my metaphors for creativity come from my garden. It is at this time of the year, when seeds have been planted that patience is required. Art, like my garden needs to have seeds that are nurtured, fed and watered. Some seeds don't make it. Seeds have good weeks and bad weeks, dry spells and sunny spells. Art is rarely linear. It is hard in a world of linear achievement, boxes to tick, judgements to make to allow your creative soul to grow. Art is a philosophy that teaches us that it is the journey that makes us artists, not the end point.

We need to unlearn the rules we have been taught. We need to take our time. Time is what we need most. We need to embrace the blank canvas. Do not fear it, paint it! Make some marks and take away the white. Let the work evolve...slowly. I find working in series immensely helpful in freeing me from the linear process of creating art. Start, keep starting, and keep on showing up for your creative self to play. And when you have planted lots of seeds, and different ideas start to grow on each piece, you can let the images influence each other and move forward together. And somewhere from that seed of an idea, and creative play, a nub of success develops and can be progressed or be the idea from which to start something new. Play to your strengths. It is okay to not 'know' what you are doing. You are an amalgamation of every moment that has led to this creative moment. And that journey of play and development is art.

For your creative soul:

New work shop dates here.

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