Making Art Fun: Step 1 – Keep it Simple

interlocking_pencilsRecently, I wrote about completing my Sketchbook Project 2013. In that How to Make Art Fun blog I promised to elaborate on my list throughout the year.

Here’s Step 1: Keep it simple.

An example of this happened just the other day, as I prepared to submit my artwork to a juried exhibition. The show’s theme was “From Inside Out.” The gallery wanted work that explored the artist’s experiences, either personal, artistic or global with circumstances requiring changes from inside out. Because I followed Step 1, I didn’t create a new piece. I quickly went into my mental Pendaflex folder of past artwork. I remembered a collage, with French postage stamps of a seated nude woman hiding her head behind her arms. My own watercolors and the words, “Friends Lost” completed the artwork. It fit the theme of the show.

Last weekend, I ventured into my musty basement to find that framed piece, but on the way I immediately discovered a totally different image. The other mixed media collage was from the same time period, but was titled, “Good*Bye.” It was a photo-sensitized fabric collage of a picture of one of my old boyfriends sitting on a beach. Along with simple watercolor symbols, I had Presstyped the words “good*bye” beneath his photo. I had forgotten all about the collage! I loved it! In the composition, he was really small on the left side of the fabric, on a large field of tiny arrows pointing off the picture. It was like I was symbolically moving him out of the picture. As my relationship with the above mentioned boyfriend unraveled, I did some soul-searching. I realized I was the one who needed to say goodbye first.

Part of the magic of making art fun is all about understanding the subtleties of time. If we are present, with no anticipation of what is to come, we open ourselves to the mysteries of something better than we imagined.

Creativity and wellness message for today: The beauty of keeping it simple is that you don’t get lost in the details. You stay in the wonder of the creative moment.