I keep an old Whitman’s chocolate box in a corner on my tiny art desk. Inside that box are cut pieces of paper that I have kept after cutting up unused sketches, color swatches and just blank pieces of paper I couldn’t bare to throw away and waste. This once tiny stack has grown and instead of tossing paper I cut it and pile it inside the box. Why? What is the purpose of collecting scraps of paper in a chocolate box?
This simple and a bit raggedy little box has become an important part of my end of day routine. This chocolate box has freed me to embrace my curiosity, let go of expectations, mute the noise I’ve absorbed during the day and just have fun. Especially after a long drive home or a stressful day.
I sit down and begin to move my hand WITHOUT any expectations, desired outcomes or questions about the usefulness of these scribbles.
At the beginning I felt stuck, uninspired, scared of making mistakes yet by the end I just feel at peace. Once I feel satisfied I put the stack of layered scribbles inside the box until another day.
Head over to a grocery store or health food store and pick up the March/April 2018 issue of Spirituality & Health Magazine. One of my watercolor and gouache paintings is featured with a very interesting article about protecting our ‘Flow’ by AllanHamiltonMD.
Protecting the flow is an ever important aspect of the creative journey. Specially in our social media times where attention vampires are everywhere trying to drain every second of our focus and addict us to multitasking. In fact, halfway through writing this I got up to do the dishes and clean the bathroom before I realized I had lost my focus for the writing. Multitasking is a habit I’m trying to wean myself away from as much as is realistically possible in my daily life, and definitely in my studio time and art making process.
Many of you know that creative practices take a lot of work and energy, hours upon hours. It’s not magic. Sometimes I have to uninstall Apps for a while to focus on the work that I love and have been doing since I was a kid simply because it filled my soul back up with joy after a long day or a difficult time. As well as to regain the clarity that living on this Earth is a one-of-a-kind opportunity.
The first drawing memory I have is of the mountains of Honduras I did in color pencil when I was about 5 or 6. I vividly remember the array of greens and yellows that decorated my paper. I loved the land beneath my feet, sprouting out of the ground like magic beans and I still feel most at home outside within the trees.
2017 was a year full of new habits such as devoting more of my free time to big goals, like improving my writing skills, reading more, painting everyday whenever and surrounding myself with positive friends and artists that love making things.
Here’s a few pieces I finished during this busy 2017 year.
• This creates opportunities for new experiences that will influence the work in unexpected ways
2. Exploring a new place/more closely observing a familiar place
• Experiencing something new opens up space for new ideas and noticing something new in a familiar place strengthens observation skills that will develop a refined eye for things such as, seeing how light falls on a tree or how grass is made up of infinitely different greens.
3. Physical labor that benefits someone other than myself
• This tires the body and slows down a spinning wheel of thoughts and worries by putting them into perspective and in relation to the bigger picture of life and others’ lives.
A new painting I recently completed. I did experiential-research for this, so I exposed myself to the type of environment I was trying to illustrate and spent a lot of time sitting and walking through nature and staring at trees. Some of my inspiration is below.