Monday, May 24, 2010

Until you try ...

... you don't know what you can't do!

Ha! I've always taken that statement by Mr Henry James in a very positive light. It says to me 'how do you know it's not possible if you if you don't try?!' 

Now, it's not that I've reached my limits or anything (heaven forbid!!),  but it's definitely been a week where every, single attempt I have made at finishing a piece of art has gone completely and utterly haywire. For a whole week's work, I  have nothing finished or even tangible to show. If that ain't TRYING I don't know what is ;-) Not ONE finished piece to show ...YOU that is. Yet that is what I had set my sights on doing. Seemed realistic enough at the time: kids at school, sunny, light-filled days, house clean enough to allow myself completely guilt-free painting time. Then ...

Complete paralysis! Artist's block

Yup! Not NO ideas - but rather so many that I just plain got snagged in the infinite realm of sheer possibility! I now have no less than 15 different projects scattered around my atelier dining room all in various stages of completion, or lack thereof. You see, the possibilities for any one canvas (or decent sized piece of wood in my case) are so infinite that I could spend an hour or two just looking at each one and imagining it this way, then that way, in monochrome or colour, with ornate calligraphy and a simple background, with simple calligraphy and an intricately worked background ... Then which type of lettering? Ink or gouache or acrylic or a mix of all? You get the picture? Not yet - I haven't finished one hahaha.

To compound the paralysis, when I don't finish something regularly I get panicky. Trying to fit everything in around the household routine (and MY GOD I HAVEN'T STARTED HOMESCHOOLING YET) means that I get frustrated with myself if I'm not efficient. Ridiculous I know - but I am a teeny weeny bit like that. Every minute must be accounted for in my head. Business man Beaker, who thinks I am the most inefficient person in the world would take issue with this of course... This sort of attitude I realise is obviously NOT commensurate with creating anything at all - except maybe a yummy dinner, which Beaker is more than happy for me to spend time on as long as it arrives on the table before 9.30pm. 

So today, with the sun shining brightly, and Train desperately trying to compete with me singing Hey Soul Sister at the top of my lungs - I resolved to give up trying to finish any of my pieces and allow myself to merely play around with no other objective or hidden agenda in mind than experimenting. To HECK with it! No Expectations!!

La Rivière is surrounded by roses at the moment so I abandoned my customary blues in favour of, dare I say it?  Delicate, gentle, feminine, soft PINK - with a hint of yellow!! It's not Moi - but I've let my sensibilities be influenced a little by my surroundings ...

Here's a wee glimpse of one piece but remember it's still only 'trying,'  for the pure pleasure of enjoying mixing inks with my fingers - much like what I used to love doing with my grandmother's lipsticks when I would play on her sunporch as a wee messmonster myself ;-)

Hope to be around a bit more often this week,  but the sun has a gentle pull that the Mac is having a hard time competing with. 

What would you choose??


  1. that rose photo is GORGEOUS - but yeah I choose the sun every time xxxx

  2. sun! sun! sun! if we don't get some soon, I will be choosing to come over and enjoy it with you!
    I hope you had a marvelous weekend - it sounds like you did.
    gross bisous mon amie,

  3. oh I agree! finally the sun and I am a bit sun burned, so you know the choice I made!! just let all that panic go!! art is supposed to be FUN !

  4. I am loving the pink Ange!!! That pink rose is gorgeous...Yay for pink!

    Best wishes,

  5. Ooph! I often feel the same re: finishing things regularly (in writing, for me). But then I try to remember - and I do believe - that all that mulling-over and incubating and building anticipation is integral to future long as these activities eventually result in action!

  6. Look at that beautiful rose Ange.. gee I wish I had a garden!! Well I think you have created some rose art for us.. don't you think???

    Well you know I learnt some time back that that is my creative process. Especially with my work [IT analysis that it] .. To be all over the place for a while... and thinking I have not achieved anything tangible...and that my butt is going to get kicked very soon.. but it is just that initial phase and eventually everything falls into place.. sometimes all at once!!! Have a lovely week Ange and dance and sing in that sunshine.. it is dark cold and raining here..!! xxx Julie

  7. Always sun, unless it is a scorcher!

  8. You have to go with the flow on this one Ange. You know I can relate to every Virgo moment but after seeing that photo and your board I would say you are on to something. Might be 50 more projects but no doubt they will all be inspirational. Sun, bike ride, read, garden and have a clean house, go for it! I am going to give my place a big clean have inspired me:)

    Jeanne :)x

  9. It's been raining for days here, still the roses in my little patch of front yard came out. They are beautiful, although not as breathtaking as yours.

  10. today I choose sun, clouds, live music, dancing, a sunday drive over my mac, but if I had my mac, well it would have been turned on before I left.. :-}
    Though some things i did this week went smoothly step after step, one big project stumped me every time I attempted to work on it... I love all the things you showed us, shared with us. Go for the sun!

  11. Well your artist's block is certainly creating some very beautiful photographs. That's art too isn't it? They've certainly given me a lot of pleasure, although I know it's not what you're really after :)

  12. oh we are kindred spirtits you and i...always so much on the go...always so much to balance...& so much of it the creative type...which should never verge on anything but pleasure! your photos are gorgeous- if you asked me my favourite colour under oath, i would profess blue each and every time...but i always seem to embrace the warmth of pinks...ahhh....
    the computer just cannot compete with that sunshine can it hon!!
    have a great week...
    melissa x
    i loooove that yellow piece you finished with- is that what you made from all your thinking and multi tasking- it made me smile...its just lovely

  13. Love the rose and your master piece is gorgeous.

    Just go with the flow Budgie, it will all work itself out in the end or that it what I keep telling myself daily :-)

    Bisous budgie, L x

  14. Kerry is right - this is very creative artist's block. And how could that beautiful blousey rose not inspire. I bet it smells as gorgeous as it looks! And I'm sure all these ideas and musing over things is just the preamble to the action that is yet to come. Everything you turn your hand to is inspirational. Just remember that.

  15. the pink and the yellow is so lovely...would really love to see how that turns out
    and choose the sun...
    it will inspire more sunny pieces!

  16. Geee- I want your kind of artist-block! I love these photos and the color in the last one... I do wish I could take long-distance calligraphy classes with you! I've been looking forever here-and there is nothing available. You are inspirational!

  17. Now this is cruel. Through posting pinks, you're keeping fellow bloggers who are known to be obsessed with pink (most of us) from their own sun. That pink and yellow piece of yours is beautiful, the final image, and if it's work in progress may it remain forever in progress. In fact, maybe it only needs 'To be completed' written on it in French, in your most elegant calligraphy, to be forever in an expectant lull.

  18. I'D choose SUNSHINE and ROSES and FRESH AIR ....being in the moment.....that's when ideas come fluttering down softly and landing in my brain. Then I grab a notebook and start jotting down ideas like crazy!!! Even a 15 minute walk without the normal household distractions can be as replenishing as anything. Good luck and enjoy the idea-gathering process! xx P&H

  19. ....but, Ange, you are an artist and such is the life of an artist ! Creative juices flowing, piece after piece being created but not quite finished....that's the norm for an artist, isn't it ? Before you know it, they will all be finished and you will feel great, knowing that you have completed some fine creations.
    I think that, tomorrow morning a leisurley breakfast, a lie in the sun, coffee in hand, allowing inspiration to flow back into that wonderfully creative mind of yours and....Bob's your uncle....all will be well.
    I am so NOT a pink girl but, pink from Mother Nature is ALWAY'S beautiful. I think that it is a great departure from blue...just for a while !! XXXX

  20. Looks so pretty! I always believe that if something doesn't work out I wouldn't have known that if I hadn't tried! Thus, nothing is ever a waste of time!


  21. i love the "pretty in pink "
    and, love that song...hey soul sister. its so darn catchy!
    i choose sunshine
    ~laura x

  22. That's a mighty beautiful combination you have going there. Being surrounded by roses sounds like a very efficient day to me! ~Lili

  23. Stumbled into your little piece of blog heaven. I am a Londoner who now also lives in France; we seem to have alot in common; I am an artist/Brocanteuse and sooo relate to your creative dilemma. Why is it when you have no 'art' time you are bursting with ideas and yet when you are free to create you clam up? My favorite inspirational quote, which I recently shared via my blog is:
    'Paint as you like and die happy'
    Henry Miller
    PS the photos are great as the others say! Linda

  24. ~ange...even in your sense of disarray all that you say and do comes out wonderful! let those minutes sneak seems your tinkering is leading to such beautiful bits for us to see...a warm romantic feel from the words written on that delicate gorgeous paper to the full bloomed roses that are a soft sweet hue...much l♥ve and light to you and brightest blessings~

  25. I would choose to do the playing, experimenting,and loosing yourself in the wonderfullness of it all. I know exactly how you feel about trying to cram everything in. I find myself in the same situation. I am about to let the blogging go, as there are other things that are calling with a stronger voice. PLEASE dont make this choice yourself, there are so many of us you inspire, and I so look forward to hearing what you're up to. Moving on to the homeschooling topic, our newpaper has had letters to the editor on this subject recently, and I'm amazed how many families are taking this option, and by all accounts are finding it a very rewarding and successful solution. It will be a huge committment for you, and all the more reason you should loose yourself in some delicious playtime pleasures whenever you get a moment. xx

  26. I love this post! To feed my creative side, I make earrings. But there are those times when I just don't seem to get anything done. Like you, I have a ton of ideas in my head but ... they play and mingle in my mind and the result is ... nothing. So thank you for sharing what you decided to do about it ... I'm going to try that!

    Have a great, creative day!

  27. Oh my, I read this post with the deepest of empathy. I have been struggling to revise two teensy chapters of my book all week--and to no avail!

    Meanwhile, the sun has been shining, and I have been singing off-key, as is my way, and avoiding the internet. It's good to take these breaks and then come back refreshed . . .

    . . . and YES to risk and to pink and to homeschooling! You never cease to inspire, sweet Ange!

    Sending love across the miles and the ocean and the virtual world, too.

    xoxo Gigi

  28. How lovely,

    Just wanted to pop on over and let you know I now have a new blog address.

    Please pop on over and connect with me again, dont want to lose any of my lovely followers.

    I have also added you to my new blog roll

    Hope your having a nice week

    Louise @ Illume Design Invites

  29. you inspire! I love the quote and I can soooooo relate to your issue with sheer possibility paralysis - I get this all the time too . . just soo much to do and by the time I have decided it's time to do the school run! ;0

    Thanks for being the inspiring, sharing, story-telling person that you are!

    I yelled back on twitter the other day, but you must have gone again! :)


  30. The journey is part of the process and sometimes the biggest part don’t you are planning, thinking, dreaming of what it is you want to say in your work. That is what a true artist does...Good stuff doesn’t come easy or quick...leave that to the amateurs. its not a race...I behave the exact same way...stuff all over the place. Give yourself a little peace....a little will come and it will be worth it...warm regards, Cynthia

  31. Deep breaths & focus girl - you can do it. Maybe you can visualize that a multi- trillionaire has commisioned these pieces for a lot of moolah & is coming to pick them up tomorrow. That would get this materialistic girl moving big time!!
    Millie ^_^

  32. Of course the sun always wins over the mac. Its great to know that someone else has to many ideas, and a variety of project in the works. Thanks for the inspiration, and amusing post.

  33. a beautiful garden filled with sunshine OR your magical artwork beckoning to you to create...really hard choices here my friend!! I will be checking back to see what the outcome is


Can't think of a famous quote that says 'communication makes the world go round' so you 'll just have to get my clumsy way of putting it instead ;-) Your comments are precious. Thanks for dropping by!