Category Archives: The Creative Process

Write/Re/Write

14755_red_sharpie

As my creative process grows, I can tell that I started out as a writer. I start with a general idea, and make a bunch of sketches. I get my sketches exactly as I want them, ink them in, get everything tight, and see that a big chunk is all wrong, and I do it all over again.

Other artists don’t let it get that far, I think.

I’m learning how to look at the unfinished pieces, how to see how it might look when it’s done. But it’s not perfect. I still often get all the way to the end, realize it’s terrible, and then start all over again.

It’s still more like writing a poem than making a visual artwork for me. I start with everything – all the phrases, all the images, all the curlicues that could fit into the final version. The red sharpie comes out next – cut out the dead space, cut out the crowded places, put back in that last twist in the lower right hand corner. It’s a bit like doing a rewrite. Every bit seems essential, at first, until you start editing. Then you marvel that you ever included that bit in the first place. Over time, the true work emerges out of the eraser crumbs somewhere in the fifth draft, and the art is finally there.

What about you? What’s your process this week?

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Pulling Dandelions

Blue checked dandelion detail 1

The Hubs and I moved into a new house this November, and now that all the boxes are unpacked, and most of the artwork is hung up, we’ve started to work on the yard.

We’ve got some neglected fruit trees in the back, a huge colony of English ivy on the left side, and towering pine trees on the right.  In the front, behind the suburban standard rhododendrons and juniper bushes, is a patch of sparse grass, thick moss, and zillions of dandelions that we charitably call a lawn.

I’m not really a lawn person.  I don’t play golf, I don’t run through sprinklers, and I’d rather have a strawberry patch than perfectly level turf any day.   I’ve got grand plans for the back yard  – raised beds full of vegetables, a back slope with decorative grasses, and a hot tub where I can watch the stars.  The front? No idea.

In the meantime, I’ve been pulled into the foreign land of people who deeply care about their lawns, and I’m trying it out.  So we mow.  I sprinkle compost on the dead places.  Mostly, I pull a lot of dandelions. Continue reading

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