Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Mood Altering Items

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I mentioned yesterday that I went out on a bit of an adventure. Adventure may be a slight over statement. More like a hopeful errand. I got it in my head that I needed an at-home set of art supplies. Friday, I moved all my art supplies to the studio. Paint, paper, markers, pencils... everything is up there. I also decided that I needed some inspiration and a little pick-me-up. Naturally, I set off to my local bookstore and Starbucks. The inspiration came in the form of Art At The Speed Of Life by Pam Carriker and the latest issue of Art Journaling. (confession: there is a very slight chance that I already own a copy of this issue of this magazine... oops) The pick-me-up came in the form of a Cocoa Cappuccino. Toss in that red clown nosed man in the mix and my spirits were completely on the rise!!

After I browsed the very sadly, ever dwindling, down-to-a-single-shelf, jewelry book section at Barnes & Noble, I thought I might swing by the sketchbook section. Heck, I was on a roll right? Hot coffee, wonderful visual candy, clown nose induced smiles... why not grab a new sketchbook too? You really can't have too many sketchbooks. Oh what a treat I was in for! It would seem B&N now has just a handful of art supplies. I found a set of pastels (a medium I haven't worked with since high school) for just $7 and super cool set of colored pencils that fit perfectly into the jewel case for cds for only $5. Perfectly, perfect, perfectness.

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Melancholy can be a powerful thing though. So, although my spirits were good, honestly, they grew gray again pretty quickly. As I sat in my living room, fire toasty behind me, the latest Script cd playing, blank page in front of me, I completely froze. What is it about the blank first page of a new journal or sketchbook that completely paralyzes me? I know I am not the only one this happens too. In fact, I was tweeting about it and Barbara Bechtel sent me this quote:

"It can be terrifying to confront a blank canvas- is it fear of destroying it? You are about to create a world in this pure and empty space, a world in which complex goals have been set. In one way, you have become God; in another way, you know you are not."
- Audrey Flack

Completely spot on. I put some seriously high goals in my mind for that blank page... that blank BOOK. How in the world could I fill it and do it justice? I swear I started and stopped and ripped out the first page at least 5 times. Then finally, with a heavy exhale, I just started writing. Actually, I started wishing. I wished I knew where to begin, I wished I knew what the possibilities are, I wished I knew how to pull things out of my heart and I wish I knew where to put them. On and on the wishes poured out. There isn't a spot of pastel or colored pencil on the page, but it is a start. And but the end of the writing, I felt a bit more at ease in my heart. Those wishes needed to get out and we'll save coloring the wishes for another day.

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Cindy said...

Kerry, I know you'll fill your book with many beautiful things that will come gushing soon enough. The photo of the oil pastels is really cool! Your day sounds like it was salvaged and really quite nice - a nice hot coffee drink can do wonders to life spirits. I think I'll need to find one of those today.

Nicole Valentine-Rimmer said...

I think living a creative life is harder than a lot of people realize. Creating takes a tiny piece out of you, and you need to replenish those pieces as you use them. Now finding what works for replenishing that's a whole other ballgame, I have yet to find something. I thought acrylics were it, and while I like them they are a struggle for me. I bet the writing helped clear the way for something for you.

Rebecca said...

I know someone once told me that the hardest thing to put down on a piece of paper is that first line, or first note, or first word...I'm sure there was a very eloquent quote to go with it but I can't remember what it was! I totally know where you're coming from with this. That first element comes from nothing whereas every subsequent word/note/word comes from that...Our standards can be so high and that is usually a good thing but sometimes we need to give ourselves a break, take a deep breath and just draw that first line...you will find it easier I'm sure once your mood lifts, I know I do. You are still certainly creating beautiful art through your photographs, that's for sure.

CraftyHope said...

Oh, I love little adventures like yours. What is it about a bookstore and some coffee that really refuels the creative tank?

I'm in awe of the little colored pencils in the CD case and might have to sneak out and get me some before too long. . .

Here's to an altered mood and hopefully an uplifted spirit!

Nola said...

Thanks for the post, Kerry. I agree with Nicole... and it's something we can't really force on ourselves, either (although I wish we could!).
I would guess that you are familiar with Geninne's art blog http://blogdelanine.blogspot.com/ but if not, check it out if you have the chance. Some of her older posts (i.e., Sept '09) have some neat ideas about sketchbooks, too.
Love the mini me colored pencils! :)