Being an artist is not only about making something beautiful, interesting or great. It is also about noticing beauty, and interest in the Happy Mistakes..
When I work, I remain open and aware of what happens. What happens when I drip turpentine laced paint down the front of my canvas, what comes up when I sand the layers of dried paint down, what occurs when I paint blue over the gessoed cardboard on the painting's surface, or what do I notice when I take a step back, take a break and come back to look a day later, or turn the canvas upside down.
I love working in abstraction because of the endless possibilities for development that the style lends to me. My process is one of addition and subtraction and process itself. I love starting with material (another post on this soon) and color and exploring. I see my work as abstract expressionism often, because I really am creating via my emotion. Whatever feelings I come to the studio with determine the strokes, the colors, the way I rip the paper and compose it upon the canvas. And then I enter that flow state I was talking about in an earlier post and my feelings can change and the painting evolves - I begin to engage in a conversation with my artwork and it's just me and my art becoming something new together.
It is within that dance that the painting grows. It is because I remain open and aware of what occurs through the movements and actions that the painting becomes a reflection of my creative voice.
Staying open to noticing what occurs is important.
One can easily connect this idea beyond art making and into living life. Open your mind, get out of your head, stay open to what comes up in your everyday life. It is the little things that, when you begin to be open to them, can change everything. Is it that smiling at a stranger changes your vibe or creates a valuable connection? Or stopping to read a poster on a phone pole opens you up to an inspiring event? Or, smelling that rose makes you happy, or noticing the color in the sky leads you to trying out that watercolor set that's been sitting in your drawer.