I've been firmly planted at my computer lately, and as so often happens to me when I'm on the computer, time slipped away. Weeks of time. So today I pulled out my sketchbook and some watercolors and drew random motifs and then painted. Stuck to the two first colors that popped out of my paint box. Working on the computer is so efficient, and so productive, but after time things tend to get a bit stilted and tight. Which is really reflected in these sketches. So, I'm adding time each day on my calendar to sketch, and not computer sketches. Real sketches, with ink, or paint or something that I have to hold in my hand and apply to a piece of paper.
I was reading some interviews with Helen Frankenthaler today and came across this quote:
"A really good picture looks as if it's happened at once. It's an immediate image. For my own work, when a picture looks labored and overworked, and you can read in it--well, she did this and then she did that, and then she did that--there is something in it that has not got to do with beautiful art to me. And I usually throw these out, though I think very often it takes ten of those over-labored efforts to produce one really beautiful wrist motion that is synchronized with your head and heart, and you have it, and therefore it looks as if it were born in a minute."
When I'm working on the computer I find it's easy to overwork an image. Making changes and adjustments is so easy and instantaneously rewarding that it's easy to go on mindlessly. I've had a pretty consistent sketchbook practice, but find myself doing the same things over and over. As I looked back at my sketchbooks from the past I noticed that the most interesting images came from times when I was trying new media, like during my watercolor class with Caryl St. Ama (who's now become my encaustic teacher.) Which is what inspired me to pull out my watercolors. Hopefully spending time each day in non-directed, non-product reaching, processes will loosen things up a bit.