Sunday, May 24, 2009

Creative Space

Deborah T. Colter brought up a great theme in her blog post last week, about finding the space and time to be creative and nurture the muse, without getting blocked by all the extraneous and irrelevant "stuff" of life. This has always been a challenge for artists, and particularly women artists, who have very often put their families and homes before their own creative pursuits.

Emanation I, 2009, oil on canvas, 12 x 12 inches
© 2009 Diane McGregor

I have found that nurturing the space within is the most important factor when it comes to finding the time and space to paint. I've gone from a huge warehouse studio to a spare bedroom in my home. I've stopped making excuses. I think I procrastinated more in my large spacious studio than in my home studio, where the detritus of everyday life somehow floats in and clutters things up. I have tried to clear my creative mind by being very clear on what my goals as a painter are. I am very clear about what I want in my paintings and what I don't want. I write it down. I contemplate these ideals daily. Somehow, this practice has enabled me to be very creative and productive even in my cramped studio. And I also love being in my studio -- it does not feel like a cramped, unworkable space -- I have a corner where I do my painting and I just love sitting there writing, reading, looking, listening, painting, dreaming. This is very important: to love being in your creative space, internally and externally. But it's the internal clutter that needs to be swept away, not necessarily the bills, pets, books, and papers that make their way into the studio. This internal space needs preparation, supervision, and nourishment. This is where we make our art, in our minds and in our hearts, this sacred space that can give us all we need to create if we just keep it nurtured and free.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Secret Sky

Fly Toward a Secret Sky, 2009, oil on canvas, 72 x 40 inches
© 2009 Diane McGregor

This is love: to fly toward a secret sky,
to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment.
First, to let go of life.
In the end, to take a step without feet;
to regard this world as invisible,
and to disregard what appears to be the self.

Heart, I said, what a gift it has been
to enter this circle of lovers,
to see beyond seeing itself,
to reach and feel within the breast.
-- Rumi