Creative Process: Fumbling at the beginning

Mindful Drawing Wendy Ann Greenhalgh.png

The start of new projects can often look and feel a little clunky

I'm experimenting wildly and widely at the moment. So many ideas, so many possible pathways for the red threads and the breath. My head is teeming with them! At the moment a lot of my studio practice is simply about exploring those initial ideas, travelling just far enough along the path to see if:

1) the idea, the concept itself will hold my interest and

2) whether the process I'm developing for making has real integrity and I'll be able to go deeply into it experientially - it's really ALL about the process right now And then only number

3) do I start to explore the form - how is it going to look? How can the form reveal the process?

Because sometimes for all the interesting ideas and process the drawing feels dead. Or worse, it feels inauthentic, like I'm trying too hard! This is one of those times when all 3 aren't quite coming together. .

This is a detail of a new drawing called THE 10,000 THINGS (DURATION) The process here, I write with my left hand, transcribing left to right the phenomena that arise in meditation, with my right hand I mark a line for each breath (right to left) They meet in the middle, and I swap hands/media, continuing to mark make over the writing, and to write over the breath marks.

It's all feeling clunky at the moment, the process isn't working yet, and the form is feeling a bit too contrived. It's going to take a lot of practice and a lot of process for this one to work it's way through - and yet at the same time I kind of like it too! There's definitely something there. So it's probably one to come back to, when I'm not exploring so many other pathways or when a few more pieces have fallen into place.

It's good to share our creativity, not just the bits that have the wow factor, or are polished and assured, but the bits that feel a bit clumsy and uncertain and gauche too. The parts where we feel a little vulnerable. They're all part of the process. They're signs that we're out of our comfort zone and making new beginnings.