Monday, February 09, 2009

My work space

In my studio I have two long tables set at right angles. This is how they look right now.

This is a large box filled with paper scraps. Maybe only another collager could groke this mess. Or someone who sews and has piles of material scraps. These piles also reflect the state of my mind right now. A melange of conflicting ideas and thoughts. A confusion.

Ah, this table looks a tad more orderly. I glued in items on 5-6 pages, first layers, this weekend. Working in book form you have to wait for the glue to dry on one page before gluing on another. I sometimes place wax paper on top of a wet page though so I can move on. But usually I let the page dry first.

I vacationed from blogland this weekend. I felt very tired and mostly read a novel, sitting in the sunny window, gazing out over the pond. I am slightly moved to create a poem, but not moved enough to get words on paper. Funny how much energy creativity needs.

Do you find it hard to be creative when you are tired? Or does being tired and overwhelmed just drive you all the more strongly to the easel, the page?

33 comments:

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Your work space looks like there is lots of energy swirling around Suki. If I am physically tired I can go to the work table and paint or sit in a chair and doodle. If my mind is unsettled I must just vegetate. Not do anything creative.

willow said...

Sometimes a surge of ideas gives me a boost of physical energy. But a good rest is often just what the doctor ordered and then the creativity flows.

Annie said...

If I am tired I want to read or watch a movie, but sometimes I push past that and work, once I am painting or writing I have energy again, but mostly I don't push past it and allow my self to rest.

Kim said...

Hi Suki,

Your work space looks like mine...maybe more orderly. :) For me, it is as though I have some kind of order to the seeming madness.

I am not good with creating when my emotions are down for the most part. I have one painting which I did during sadness, however mainly have to be clear minded. Maybe that is one reason meditation is so important to me. I had not thought of that. I am rarely angry, but my feelings are very easily hurt...if I am feeling that way, no painting can happen at all. I think removing yourself from a great deal of creativity when you are not "in the mood" is a good thing...always good to put distance between yourself and something from time to time.

This is a very good question. I am very eager to read more of the responses. Thanks for asking, Sweet Suki!

Artist Unplugged said...

Your space looks like it is used! That's not a bad thing at all. I find it hard to be creative when I am tire....which would be now.

studio lolo said...

I understand the cluttered workspace. Sometimes that alone keeps me from creating because I feel overwhelmed.
When I'm tired, I often go to blogs to get inspired creatively.
Still, lately I've just been listening to my body and resting when asked to. I have to do more of that.

I love the start of your glued pages. It will be fun seeing them evolve!

Lynn said...

Of course it's difficult to create when tired. It takes energy!
My work table is a mess again too.
Piled high with found objects some very large, messy...the design board looks nice though with three portraits, two Valentines, the brown and orange piece still to be named, three scarves and one knitted silk ribbon piece all on display. I love looking at them all together. My own little art gallery.

I spent yesterday playing cards with my brother all day long. Such fun.

I like seeing the beginnings of your book pages. Always so interesting to see the process start to finish of art.

Cris, Artist in Oregon said...

I find clutter helps me feel like I am creating and yet I dont like it. If I am in the middle of a project then I like it. but if not it drains me.
When tired I only mess up things so I have to quit. Thats when I like to watch tv and do something with my hands like doodle in a book or write out to do things and doodle. :) Love your journal. It gives you enough to do right now and can bring out whats going on inside. Like little mini stories.

soulbrush said...

i do like the clutter on your table/s. i never had a cluttered work desk at school, but now i rather enjoy the clutter around me. makes me feel at home. can't do anything creative when i am tired or feeling 'down'. i do other things like crochet or crossword puzzles (i love them they really relax me).
btw i also enjoy coming back to read people's comments. yours is the chattiest blog i know, probably because you take the time to write back and answer everyone's comment.hugs again for you today.

sukipoet said...

Lisa, I have to chuckle at your description of energy swirling. I hope some swirls into me.

Willow, I agree that sometimes a rest is what must be obeyed. I do feel a better energy today, monday for having rested over the weekend.

Annie, it is true that sometimes working does awaken an energy I didnt know was lurking there. I think there are good things about both: pushing through and allowing rest.

sukipoet said...

Kim you always have interesting answers. I am interested to read you are rarely angry. I get angry, and from anger I can more likely start creating. If I am tired or feeling wounded though, I need to rest and go inward.

Cris thank you. The journal like little mini stories, I like that idea. I have a tidy worktable when between projects so when it is a mess you know i am in the middle of a project and I find the mess stimulating for collage at least. Maybe not for painting so much. I too tend to make mistakes when I am tired, also to bump into things and/or break things. When that begins I know I need to take a nap or something.

sukipoet said...

Artist unplugged, I hope you are okay and able to take some rest if you are tired today. yes, my workspace is very used for sure. Even when tidy it is not pristine.

Studio Lolo, it is no small thing to listen to our bodies. A very important thing that I learned through yoga. That is why now that I am 63 and not a young woman trying to raise a child, work a job etc etc, I try to listen to my body and obey. One thing I did do over the weekend, as I was having a hard time sleeping too which added to the tiredness, was to practice my yoga three times a day. It takes up a lot of time, but it pays off eventually. My body says thank you thank you.

sukipoet said...

Lynn, that's great that you spent a fun day with your brother. Funday intead of sunday. :) Thanks for acknowledging that creativity takes energy. You know, even reading takes energy. When I am sick with a flu or even cold, I cant read as I need the energy to heal and it takes too much strength away from healing to use it to read. that's when I notice the energy reading needs.

sukipoet said...

Soulbrush, thanks for the extra hugs. I needed them. And your dear understanding self. You know I found some crochet needles and an instruction book here in Mom's stuff. I wonder if I can teach myself to crochet. One of Mom's sisters was a prize winning crocehter. So maybe its in my blood somehow but i have to do it backwards being a lefty.

Lynn said...

Yep!
And I wanted to share that I taught myself to crochet and knit using books and on line help.
Knittinghelp.com is great for videos and chats with folks who give immediate answers to problems.
Books from library help too. ;-)
It's fun and it's meditative too.

Kim said...

Hi Suki, the thing with me is I am a relatively calm, but excessively sensitive, person. I can count the number of times in my life when I have been angry (maybe 4). Here is the thing, when I do get angry, there is no stopping me. I have been known to cut people to the quick in about a second. This usually happens and they can't figure it out...they have nothing to say...can't come back at me because I have shocked them so much. My husband has only seen me angry one time in our 25 year marriage. He said that is plenty enough for his lifetime. LOL

So I rarely get angry, but when I do...look out baby!

Hugs, Sweet Suki!

patti said...

Hi Suki. Your table looks like my kitchen when my daughter is in there creating!

I need to keep my table relatively tidy since it is only small and things fall off the edge if I don't!

I can't create when I'm tired. I will often go and have a nap if i can't seem to get started. I have written some of my best poetry after a nap.

sukipoet said...

Lynn, thanks for the encouragement re: self taught knitting and crochet. I am willing to try just because I think it would use my hand energy at times when I just want to sit and mull/.

Oh Kim, hope you dont get angry at me then :) It is pretty amazing that you rarely get angry though. I am impressed at your calm. Hugs back to you, Kim.

Patti, I like that--a good poem coming after a nap. Maybe it rises up from your dreamland. I think of you when I hear about the fires and hope you are far from them. Tragic.

Elizabeth said...

Like the seed catalogues, art materials just waiting make creative people VERY HAPPY.
We love to see potential.....!
Thanks for a glimpse into your world.

katie jane said...

Oh, most definately I am least creative when I'm tired. Sometimes I can barely keep my eyes open to read other blogs. Sometimes I need a whole day of doing nothing to get me jump started enough to get going again.

Your box looks exciting to me. I could jump into that and have fun. And your book looks lovely. You just have to go at your own pace.

Kim said...

Sweetheart, I can't even imagine (seriously in my wildest dreams) ever getting angry at you! Never!

Teri C said...

Your table and room looks very familiar like I may a similiar in my house :)

When I am tired I need to veg like you did. I find it very hard to be creative.

Hope you are feeling better now.

Mim said...

Clutter is odd. I love having everything within reach when the muse sings - but it also easily overwhelms my brain - too much clutter and my brain becomes cluttered. There is a fine balance that I sometimes can achieve...and sometimes not. Then I clean like a nut, put everything away...just to drag it all out again. Odd the way the mind works.
I can create when I am angry, or sad, or happy. When I am blah - it is tougher, and I have to decide if I need to put myself to bed, or just veg out - or if there is something that needs to be said via artwork.

I never have the one answer - I wish I did

Cynthia said...

Suki, I know what you mean about needing a break sometimes. I have been known to spend a weekend reading and letting most of the housework go. When everyone here wants to run around and visit/play, I often stay home. I like the quiet. Some days I like to spend completely quiet...just listening to the natural sounds around me.

I love your workspace! I've been enjoying this show your space event here in blogland. I particularly love that I can relate to the bunches of this and that. That's what happens around here, too. My daughter and son study art in school/university; my husband and I both have some background...a bit repressed. I think the children are pushed forward because of our reserve...work world demands and other competing forces have sent us both into the world of literature. (Not a bad world) Our house is filled with musical instruments, books, photos, paint and sewing stuff...

I think you might enjoy crochet...it's quiet and satisfying creative work with a bit of order. More zen less emotional chaos. Sometimes, creative people need that kind of break...as some of your commenters here infer. I made many circle patterned pillows when my father was in the hospital. My sisters and I sat in the waiting room, and all learned how to crochet together. It was both comforting and satisfying working with my hands and the shape. I remember a couple of people persuaded me to sell them my pillows...I kept two. I used one until it wasn't pretty anymore and saved the other as a memory of that time.

Texture. Color. Pattern. Yes, it seems as if you might like that crochet experience. Btw, I'm playing hookie from work today. Everyone needs a break! And thank you for you generous heart and kind words on my "Dirty Laundry" posting. <3

sukipoet said...

Elizabeth, it is true art materials in themselves become seed matter for the artists creative garden. Thank you for looking into my world, Elizabeth. If you are still in NYCity, have you seen the Bonnard show?

Katie Jane, that's a great way to put it, a whole day of doing nothing to jump start into doing something again. This weekend I needed two or was it three days. :)

Kim, I am pretty amenable however i can also be stubborn at times which might raise a person's irritation at me. But I'm glad to think you think it would not be possible!!!! Thank you.

teri C. Thanks. I do feel better now the week has begun. Mondays are almost always good days for me and hopefully today, tuesday, will be also.

sukipoet said...

Mim, thanks for sharing. I agree, there is never the one answer. I too always think I shall find the one answer but life is more complicated than that and what works one day doesnt work the next. Or so my personal experience seems to show me. Also for me the piles of stuff need to be tidied sometimes when they get too far out. Once my table is tidy I can then begin anew. But it gets messy again pretty quickly.

sukipoet said...

Cynthia, you must feel so proud of your kids, pursuing the arts. Thanks for the vote for crocheting. How lovely you and your sisters learned together. I do think it a good thing to do at the bedside of the ill. Among other places. Pull it out at the Dr's office etc. Thinking of you, suki

Jude said...

No, I can't be creative if I'm tired, for example, Looking after Oscar (dog) again and last night we had a big thunder and lightening storm which Os did not like. He told us about it for several hours hence not much sleep.... today I can't look at my work, never mind do anything constructive! Hopefully, all will be well tonight.

CHEWY said...

While painting, I clutter up my workspace and leave my paints to dry on the plastic palettes. So for me, each painting sessions starts with cleaning and organizing. I don't work at art when I'm tired.

CHEWY said...

Oh! Suki, you are correct about the Communion wafer.

marianne said...

Ha ha your workspace looks like mine........... I can´t seem to keep my desk tidy.
Being tired sure keeps your creativity on a lowel level I think.
When I am tired like that I have to take a nap in the afternoon .
But sometimes starting something creative can restore your energy as well. I think it is a complex system which has a lot to do with psychological state of being.
Make sure to take care of yourself Suki!

Ps Good you took a break, blogging can take a lot of time...... but Saturday i posted all the numbers in one post as you asked so maybe you can have a look......
big hug!

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