Thursday, 19 February 2015

Ideas to Finished piece ?

Ideas to finished piece ?

Just thinking about how when I’m in the flow of things the ideas just come, one after the other, rushing in at a speed that really I can’t keep up with. I probably write down about one in three as I remember them and end up with a HUGE list of stuff to do.

If I embark on one of them, it engenders another zillion thoughts again, another list, and perhaps a lot of experimental play. New ideas spark from one another at a speed which there is absolutely no hope of keeping up with. It just won’t happen.

I used to get quite fed up that there was absolutely no way I could keep up with myself. I thought if I just plod through the lists I would eventually catch up. But there is no way to do that. I’ve had to accept that, and I feel a lot better for not trying to keep up.

I spend a LOT of time at the experimental stage of working. Which is where it joins in with Carla’s chasing rabbits idea. This part of the creative process is the most fun, the most like playtime to me. It’s when I have the thought “I must make a finished piece” that things can go horribly wrong. If I set out to be a serious artist, and do serious finished pieces of work I end up with utterly tight, contrived and stilted pieces which have nothing to do with me except that I made them, and subsequently threw them away.

So why not just play all the time ? Sometimes by accident rather than by deliberation a finished piece emerges. That’s good when it happens, but it’s also fine when it doesn’t. It’s that sparking of “what would happen if I tried….” that’s the bit that keeps me coming back to the studio. It’s a lot like an experimental laboratory. Things happen, or don’t but you keep on going. Never knowing the outcome, but sometimes a special alchemy transforms the whole process into gold. Those are the moments to remember.

an experimental piece on perspex with collage, ink and acrylics. A4


  1. Thanks for sharing your process, Michele. I enjoy experimenting, too -- giving myself permission to try whatever comes into my head, just to see what happens. The trick is having confidence that all the playing around is part of the journey leading to more authentic work. Sometimes instead I hear a voice say "hey, this isn't the kind of thing a grownup should spend her time on."

    1. Yes it's hard in ignore the incessant inner critic. Mine makes me do all sorts, but if I catch myself getting too tied up in knots I have to find a way to make it seem like I'm playing again, once I've done that then I sometimes end up with a finished piece I like.

  2. Hi Michèle
    I totally identify with this. I was wondering if I could put a link to this blog page on my "Quotes" board on Pinterest.