Last night I laid in bed thinking about what subject I would choose for my next painting and when the idea came to me it came all together. It didn't come in pieces. When it came, the whole image and process was already there. What the subject would be, what the colour palette would feel like, the expression on the subjects' face, how I would layer the paint to create the subtleties I wanted and how I would create depth and interest with other mediums.
No questions left to be asked.
And this morning I set about starting that piece, and the process of making it feels more like the illustration of a dream, or making the internal external, than something I have worked for myself.
I still haven't done any sketches for it, but I know exactly what it will look like, and I take a step back from myself and wonder how I got here? How I got to a place where the process of inspiration and creating of an artwork can hold such amazing intuitive magic?
Not all of my artworks come to me this way, many times the creative process comes in a different shape, often it involves deep thought and research, sketching of alternate compositions, and studies of form, pose and gesture. But other times it is just pure magic.
And in practical terms I know that is borne of practice, familiarity with techniques, and internalisation of what has worked and what hasn't overtime, what looks good and what looks great, and all of that stuff which goes with learning any job. But I find it easier to feel it here.
I've spent the last 18 years doing things other than art, and I still do many of them. I know how to work with communities, I love working with big teams, I know how to create partnerships between organisations, I know how to get people working together and keep a good morale, and I'm a wiz at report writing. And I have learnt those skills over time too, until they have become intuitive. But that hardly ever feels like magic. Why not? Perhaps I am sucked in by the romance of the creative as much as anyone else, or perhaps I just give myself the time and mental space to reflect on the artistic process so much more than I ever gave myself permission to before.
Perhaps we should all step back and look at ourselves and all of the amazing, intuitive and magical things we do each day. All of the gifts that we give to the world, that might look like magic to others, and let them feel like magic to us. Its a good place to be.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!