Clearing the Palette

"Vessels" 5 x 9.5in Chalk Pastel on Paper
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Sometimes you have to start fresh...

I printed out a bunch of new pictures, but I wasn't in the mood to paint them. It had been several days since I started a new painting, and I was trying to figure out why. Looking around my work space, I decided that my problem came from all of the already completed work sitting around me.

I have a little ritual I complete at the end of every month: I take all of the work I completed in that time period, and carefully pack it away. This is my way of saying goodbye to it, knowing it will be safe and waiting for the time when I need it again, either for a show or a sale. Sifting through my work and organizing it this way gives me time to reflect on it, but also allows me to move on to new things. I hadn't gotten much done in April, and by the end of May, all of that work had piled up and was blocking me from starting something new.

I finally went through all of my April and May pieces, and cleared my workspace. Once that was done, I felt free to take out paper and start a new piece. I still wasn't terribly motivated, so to clear my mind I decided to go back to basics and focus on shape, value, and minimal color in the above piece. It was soothing to stick to a simple composition with simple subjects, and put me back in the frame of mind to paint again. So, not only do I need my morning ritual of coffee, I need my monthly ritual of packing away my work.


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