I can go months without creating anything, or even something, of merit or otherwise. This is a topic which I have discussed here before. I find these periods of inactivity and numbness deeply troubling and upsetting. I know they are not unique to me but they still concern me deeply at the time. However, like bouts of mental unwellness, when stuck in that zone it seems to be the only way. The brain is biased. It is so in art too. These ’bouts’ are never in fact the only way, it just feels that they are when you are in them. For I can also, equally, become very easily and very frantically obsessed with creating ‘anything’ and often even ‘something’. During these times I will easily forget how I felt during the sludgy periods of inactivity.
As I was finishing my five-year long road to a BA in fine art, my obsession became doodling on a plinth. This followed a period of extreme doubt and inactivity (these moods travel in waves). At the time of this particular obsession, I didn’t count how many hours I spent doodling what was in my mind out on my plinth (which, incidentally, turned into two plinths) but I fear it was rather a lot. I eventually took sides (of the second plinth) home to draw on as I couldn’t cope with not being able to draw when the mood struck me. I would wake at 6am to draw. I drew and drew and drew. I went through a lot of black fine liner pens. I sometimes took the plinth (or a random side of the plinth) to bed so I could draw late into the night or first thing in the morning. I doodled at every opportunity I had. I was obsessed. I loved it. It was my drug. I was lost in it. This is a good type of lost.
Currently, now as I trundle along towards graduating with an MA (I hope), I appear to be obsessed and lost again. This time, rather than drawing my mind on wood, I am frantically creating weird, semi-three-dimensional, semi-abstract, semi-odd paintings / sculptures. The idea for these came to me in a dream. I don’t often act on ‘idea dreams’ as they frequently make little sense in daylight but I was desperate to do something rather than nothing so this time I did act on my dream. And as a result, my kitchen has turned into a Warholian factory (with just me as the maker).
I am lucky that my children are currently being tolerant of the state of the kitchen (perhaps because this has happened on and off during their childhood). It is dominated by brushes, paint, pots, paper, wood and amazon envelopes-as-pallets. The food takes second place. I love it. I love that my life has become this way again, for however long. I can’t stop painting. It feels amazing. They are coping very well with me.
I don’t know whether this latest ‘idea’ for a body of work has any merit. I usually care about that quite a lot. However, as with my repetition plinths, I find myself not caring that much. I am getting something out of this process even if the result isn’t spectacular (and who knows, maybe it will be something). I am firmly out of my comfort zone (abstract art), I am enjoying the thrill of the obsession (who doesn’t enjoy that?) and the thrill of the new (again, what’s not to love about that?).
So I will keep going, creating these unusual objects and filling the kitchen with crap. My creations are still-lifes, of sorts, so although I am out of my usual ‘zone’ of realism, they are still true to me. I think I need to write a blog explaining these artworks more fully. Perhaps I will do that tomorrow. But for now, I must return to my brushes. It is not yet bed time and I have some creativity in me that needs to come out. My fingers are itching.