Thursday, January 1, 2009

. . . didn't make resolutions

at least not for the new year. Too much pressure. I make mental promises to myself all year long. Then I usually forget them. I know my limitations. When I'm ready to do something different, I'll know and I'll do it.

I am coming out of a period of intense experimentation and creativity. I think the above collage kind of proves that point. . . it is one that I don't particularly care for. I feel like I just pasted stuff on the paper to get it done. I don't really know what sets off these spasms of making art, nor do I know what seems to deplete them. I just know that as long as they last, I must take advantage of them. During these periods I even dream of making art. I can't wait to go to the studio and try out an idea that came to me at the oddest moment. The rest of the time, I guess I just plug away, waiting for the next surge. I wonder if scientists have studied this? Could these periods of creativity have a relationship to the presence or absence of certain chemicals in the brain? Seems like scientists are discovering that more and more mental conditions are related to endorophins or seratonin or electrical impulses or what have you. Is creativity? Maybe someday we will be able to pop a pill and be fully immersed in our art all the time. I don't know if that would be good or bad.


Martha Marshall said...

Wow, a creativity pill! Oh, never mind. I guess they tried that in the sixties already, didn't they?

Seriously. I know what you mean about the intensity. It's fun while it lasts, isn't it!

May you have many creative surges to come in the new year.

bob cornelis said...


Fascinating questions! I love the phrase "spasms of artmaking", sometimes if does feel as if it is an uncontrollable physical reflex.

It would be interesting to study the different states of mind artists experience and correlate it to their output (of course, evaluating artistic output is so subjective).

I suspect a pill that could induce states of artmaking might over time diminish the fun of it. The unexpected ebbs and flows of creativity keep us on our toes, though the ebbs just feel like we're stubbing out toes!

Leslie said...

I think there is real value in just showing up for our work. Some days, just moving our materials around, looking at papers and tools and being in our creative space is enough to spark our creativity. I have ebbs and flows with my work. I think that is natural. Sometimes when I am not sure about a collage, I sand it down....Wishing you a Happy New Year Mary.

Mary Buek said...

Martha: Oh, yeah, I forgot about those pills and other creativity enhancements from the 60s. I believe some art and literature survive from those experiments. How many times have we wondered, "What drugs were they on" . . .?

Bob, I totally agree with you about the diminution of fun. . . I was imagining an experiment that would measure quantity of output as opposed to quality. You know the saying about "even a blind pig". . .?

Leslie: Happy new year to you, too. I took the old mouse sander to the collage I showed yesterday. . . but it still looks the same. I think I will just keep it around as an object lesson. . . don't do this again.