At the moment, as I said in my last blog post, I am struggling with some family issues, which involve hospitals and treatments which are not going smoothly. My mind is very preoccupied with worry and upset, so it becomes more and more difficult to concentrate on my work...........and yet, I do recognise the need to work because without it, I would have no other focus other than my current problems and difficulties, problems over which I have little or no control.
So - when it happens to you......and it might ....what to do?
Of course, coping strategies vary from person to person and I can only tell you about mine. I find it helpful to do "practical" things, which do not require a lot of creative energy and input. Yesterday, I tidied my workspace. Today, I spent time with a plasma cutter and some copper bowls, terrifying myself with a new bit of kit, bought before Christmas but I have been too nervous to use it; Today I bit the bullet and spent time cutting interesting shapes in the metal while at the same time, trying not to cut interesting shapes out of my fingers! THAT took my mind off my worries, I can tell you! Then, I had to spend time filing off all the rough edges - pretty mindless work, but time-consuming. Here is one I made earlier!
At other times, I have worked on creating some enamel panels, allowing myself to "freewheel", responding purely to the pieces as they developed and came out of the kiln with unexpected results. I have wrecked a few - but that's ok, we all create duds sometimes. I like some of them but I suspect that they may not sell well at my forthcoming "Open Studio"- abstract works are not popular with my particular audience -however selling stuff is something I cannot focus on too much or the stress levels will shoot right up - it has to be "Que sera, sera". What will be, will be.
|"Stormscape" Enamel on copper, 6"x6"|
"Summer Heat" Enamel on copper 6"x6"
I recognise that agonising over NOT painting, NOT feeling inspired, NOT being creative "enough" will simply deplete what little energy I have right now. I have to trust that gradually, as things in my life change, so too will my creative life-force. In the meantime...........I will work on my craft items, they occupy me gently, in a quite different way to painting, somehow. I will do things which do not "matter" too much. It is important, I feel, to take lots of deep breaths, when the going is tough. And to spend time doing other things..... tidying up in the studio - very rewarding - fiddling, doodling, experimenting, having few expectations and allowing that to be OK.