When in doubt, black it out, that's what we're not supposed to do, isn't it, according to shrinks?
Well, that's what I've done here. I had some horrible splashed canvases telling me nothing at all, and in the end, after some consideration, I thought I had to start over.
One got painted white, and the other black, as you can see here. All that remains now is to put something interesting on it.
I've decided this one is going to be a real abstract experiment as nothing else is calling me as I type. I'll just get some inspiration from a book of abstract experiments I have and take it from there. Something's telling me I shouldn't be this aimless but something else is telling me that's exactly what I should be and that the best thing to do is just start painting and see what happens.
Just start is a recurring theme in my life and my investigations into creativity and productivity. If there's one idea that's probably more powerful than almost any other it's the idea of just start. Just do it is very similar, but the emphasis on starting is what's vital, even when you're not really sure what you're going to do.
The thing is you need something to react to, and if you are staring at a blank page or canvas it's very difficult to be inspired by anything at all except despair and despondency. As soon as you place a mark, or a word or a stroke you have something to assess. Either you like it, or you don't. Either it inspires you, or it doesn't. But actually doing something generally tells you that you either like it and want to continue, or don't like it and would prefer to do it another way. In either case, there's a very strong call to action and thus paresse is banished to the back of the studio where it belongs.
Don't get me wrong - there are times when I simply stand and stare at the canvas (with a coffee in hand, mind you) for what seems like ages. Then leaf through a few books. Then do some more standing and staring, before I feel anything like lifting brush or pencil. I think this is a necessary part of the creative process, but the danger is it goes on too long and fear and doubt set in.
So here's to action and just starting, and seeing where it leads. Usually it's to an interesting place in my experience.