In my past life there was a time when I drew every day. I had dedicated studio space where anywhere from ten to thirty drawings would be tacked to the “good light” part of the wall that was reserved for work in progress. A series of drawings or paintings would start off unified by a general concept – artifacts, Vivaldi, morning light, seashells as instinctual organic architecture – and as I worked on them they’d progress together or diverge to different parts of the wall.
After a few days or weeks on the wall some would feel finished, and some would get recycled as collage parts for other work. A few would hit ye olde circular file – not many, because I like layers and there is a lot that can be done with recycling.
Sometimes, even before drawings were more than a curve in my imagination, notes, bits of poetry, color swatches, pages from magazines and whatever else felt like relevant fertility-builders would get pinned to the wall in groups, like bookmarks or folders in a RSS feed reader. The effect, for me, was a primordial soup of possibilities and landmarks, like a translation of what my mind feels like when approaching an idea. I’d face the wall, breathe, pick up the tools, and GO.
Somewhat unexpectedly, visitors were fascinated by the work wall. At times, having it exposed was too much “naked,” and I’d cover it with big sheets of paper, like a burqa between private and public dreams. I found that the need to focus creativity into a discrete and finished piece would lose its concentration if unfinished treasures were too public, too discussed. Too much “burqa” would make going public difficult, and cut out possibilities for the joys of dialog and reaction experienced with friends and detractors. I balanced where I wanted to stand, between vacuum-private and the tsunami feeling of being uncovered.
Art was dance, balance, and experience translated on a daily basis.
I’d like to blog that way.
When I started this frequent posting thing I wondered if blogging might have some overlaps with the old art-me. This is where I am with that hope today:
- WordPress’s drafts folder is always in “burqa.”
- 30 drafts feel more like 30 to-do lists than 30 possibilities. Not good.
- Computers are too self-contained for the kind of art wall I’ve been missing.
- Writing needs more structure than art.
- Do more display of my own personal bonzo. So far, people seem to relate to my think-different self. Life is short. Dancing out on a few limbs could be invigorating, but will it ever pay the bills?
- Post less. Would giving myself more time help a group of my 30 drafts become real posts with beginning, middle, and end?
- Burn some trees. Print out the drafts and pin them to a wall at home where I can see them and doodle. My bookcases can live elsewhere – like computers, they store and enclose.
- More structure. Could backfire, depending on what I “goal” for. A low-variable goal of baking x dozen cookies for a potluck generally results in x dozen cookies. A goal of coming up with x dozen new cookie recipes in a year could take off in almost x dozen different ways. Goodness knows what a goal of learning about food chemistry through cookie baking would produce, but it could be infinitely more interesting than simply baking x dozen cookies.
Does this tale of WordPress ring a bell with any of you? Please comment.