If you expect ‘being creative’ is the same as being productive you are expecting too much.
Part of the process is simply a conscious awareness. An awareness of surroundings and influences so that you choose which of these are relevant and which you will draw into your work. I have been out of the studio this week as it has been half term. We have spent part of the time in Devon and as result my mental colour palette has been changing.
Recently I have been working on series of paintings for our upcoming Spring Show which use brighter colours than usual – lots of warm oranges and pinks in amongst the landcape colours. This series isn’t complete yet (I know, I know; artists and deadlines…!) and I’m looking forward to getting back to them.
But February in Dartmoor is not known for tropical warmth so my days recently have been more like this…. Beautiful misty greys and greens, sometimes shot through with a bolt of yellow as the sun breaks through, sometimes punctuated by a rich rusty orange of a remaining winter berry nestled in the deep green of a hedge. These are more my kind of colours!
Is this because I’m an English girl of the English landscape? I’m not sure – I grew up in inner London and we can notice and pick up whatever colours we like from our surroundings. Yet, just as we have favourite colours to wear or to decorate out homes, we are often drawn towards a certain grouping.
So, back in London yesterday, as I set out for my daily dog walk I thought I would try and spot some of my favourites – to be aware and notice which colours from the February landscape could also be spotted in an urban environment. It was the kind of grey foreboding sky I quite like and as I walked and snapped away, I realised why. I love brights and I love sludgy but it’s the combination of both together that makes things zing.
The dilapidated walls of an acqua tiled underpass, the orange metal crane reaching into the sky above the buildings, the colours of lichen against the greyish bark and stone.
All these could make wonderful colour combinations for a painting and might at some stage. Who knows? No need to decide right now.
I have used this photographic process of recording visual ideas, like a sort of immediate sketchbook, for a while now. Sometimes I back them up and store them in folders on my computer, but often they just act as a signal for what it is interesting to me at the moment. Like a signpost pointing me in the right direction. Noticing what crops up or repeats time and time again is a good clue – if we take the time to notice.
This was Day 20 of my #365create project. Not every day is full of creative output;some days are more reflective.
You can read more about it here, but if you like the idea and would like to see where it leads why not join my newsletter list below?