......artistic disraction 2

Last week Daughter #1, Beloved Grandson and me made a trip across the big Valley to Santa Clara....On the way there we past a forest of these....each one about 5 - 6 foot tall and all smooshed together like a corn maze.....
At first I thought it was a giant milk thistle forest.
Then my brain came to life and I realized it was a forest of giant artichokes
...and bummer of bummers I had no camera.

I've seen artichoke groves

(I really don't know that they're called groves)
before, but never acres of giant ones.
On the return trip we stopped at the little fruit stand to buy fruit and to investigate...

Beloved Grandson and I decided to go into this amazing forest just far enough to 'feel it'. When we came out the owner of the forest was there and he came over to share with us that these giants were an experiment that went wrong while trying to create abigger, badder, better, artichoke....
seems it got big but has no 'meat'.
So they were allowing them to, 'go to seed

'....He offered BG one to take home and of course we both liked that idea....
thus the picture....
I think it's about 8 inches across! But no meat.

What this has to do with
artistic distraction is probably clear......

Is writing about artichokes really interesting or important in any way? Am I just avoiding the trip to the studio?...which may not come today because it was been sooooo freaking hot!!

....once the temp goes over 100 here it is too much for the little air conditioner in
my studio to deal with...

My studio is not very well insulated and the lights are hot.
So an excuse to not go, or a good reason???

"There is always a slight tendency of the body to sabotage the attention of the mind by proving some distraction." Stephen Spender

I realize I can always find a distraction or reason to stay out of my studio...what I need to do is learn to overcome the thing (things) that trigger the
NO I say when its time to do the work of creating.

I believe a big part of the studio anxiety, or whatever it might be called, is the desire not to just create something, but to create something that lives....
something that breathes and takes on a life of it's own.

I want my Spirit Figures to touch people, to be something worth loving. Something that becomes part of their journey.........
but first the process needs to turn me on, touch me, make me feel alive...make me
want to love it.

In creating a figure there might be 100 stops and starts, every time I allow a distraction
to take me from the work, I must start again...

a 100 time that I need to judge....

That stepping back and trying to see with other eyes.
I'll have been in the high zone, in the moment, making choices, appraising, changing, having fun and then
along comes the

Sometimes with the attitude of,

'come on julie, what were you thinking?....
THEY will find out your not an artist and then what?"
I remember how long it took me to even say, "I'm an artist."

"Sure I have self-doubts. I just spent three days trying to paint a to-inch rock and thought maybe I'd be better off wrapping produce in a supermarket."....Maria Mijares

It's important here that I don't come across as whining about how hard it is......
I do love what I do.

Really it's more of an observation.

Me trying to get more in touch with the creative process.

I have a neck injury and once a week for the past 3 or so years I go to a massage therapist...
We often talk through the first 20 minutes or so, but I have come to trust her and the process so much that when she says,
'ok, it's time to relax, let everything go', I do and I'm gone into the zone.

That's what I want from the beginnings of the creative day...I want to trust the process so much that as soon as I say, 'ok, it's time to create, let everything else go'...I do it.

"The artistic impulse seems not to wish to produce finished work. It certainly deserts us halfway, after the idea is born; and if we go on, art is labor..." Clarence Day

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Deb said...

There is something that is waiting to be born in you Julie. It is not time for the birth yet. Honor that time, let it grow within you. You will know when the time comes.

Sue said...

Julie, such an insightful post. I know that when I let any little distraction get in my way of the studio (and I do it much more frequently in the summer when it is hot and humid), I am sure that it is a fear I have deep inside of me that I won't be able to create.

I always have this thought that I will be wasting time and materials if I create something that is not as I envisioned it, or that I consider subpar. I'm trying to get over this feeling but it is tough.

Loved the artichoke story and pics! What a sight that field (grove?) must have been!

Kathleen Mattox said...

Hi, Julie! I agree that your last posts have been very insightful and I, too, loved the fabulous photo and the artichoke story. But I think that part of why we are artists and creators is that we can find excitement and interest and passion and even a "distraction" in everything that we come in contact with. So I don't consider it a distraction really, just a choice on my part to focus on something else for a while. And sometimes it's just what I need to refresh my outlook before I get back to the current project or begin a new one. And sometimes the influence of that huge, beautiful purple bloom will show up down the road in a painting, or a quilt, or a spirit figure. So don't beat yourself up for those distractions or diversions or forks in the road--instead, try thinking of them as mini-vacations or free therapy sessions that are a necessary part of being an artist. I think, speaking for myself at least, they come with the territory and I've decided to enjoy them to the fullest. . . . and then get back to the studio. Sometimes when I use the heat or cold as an excuse--or the mess or whatever--I physically move to another space to take away the current excuse. So instead of working in the studio, I might start at the coffee table under the fan in the coolest room. But I then find myself going back and forth to the studio to get needed items and pretty soon, I'm back in the studio and I've forgotten about the heat or whatever. Somehow, it works for me! Thanks again for sharing your thoughts in such an articulate way. I wish I was better at doing exactly that myself.

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