Beginning is the hardest part of almost every endeavor. That certainly holds true for art projects.
Once the studio habit is formed, it’s easier to walk into that room regularly. I know what I’ll be working on, which materials I’ll need, and where to find them. Often, works-in-progress will be out, and waiting for me.
Once projects are underway, it’s easy to keep the momentum going. Problems seem to work themselves out as I sleep, and I know exactly what to do next. Daily rituals in the studio help me warm up to the materials, fill time while waiting for paint to dry, or help me try out new ideas. Successes help to generate confidence in the next process.
None of those things are true for me, right now. Though I have more time at home than usual, other things have kept me out of the studio. Gardening and yard work are springtime necessities, I can’t deny. I’ve got a list of other daily tasks to complete, from household chores to exercise to on-line classes. Still. I recognize avoidance when I am involved in it.
The only way to get over it…is to begin. Go to the studio. Tidy up. Get rid of the failures. Just sit; be in the space. Don’t expect miracles. Don’t look too far ahead. Start.
I’ve been making little thumbnail sketches each day, with fine-tipped marker in my sketch book. Expanding on that habit, I made a little list of items to draw, with soft pencil on good rag paper. That way, when I am unable to do anything else, there is an assignment to fill the empty time. At best, the series of drawings might eventually make a nice display; at the very least, it keeps my drawing skills honed.
Recently, I had a series of collages fail because of technical problems that distracted from the compositions. I’d already ordered mats for them, so I have several mats to fill. I chose good printing paper (Rives BFK, in this instance) so that I wouldn’t have issues with a wavy, buckled surface. I measured and cut them to the desired size. Wanting some color on the surface, I applied a loose, light watercolor wash.
While the papers dried, I went through my collection of collage materials, and set aside some possibilities. I cleaned my brushes and tidied the work table. Then I did one small drawing of a paper bag. That’s it. Not much, granted, but for me, a good beginning.