Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Trust the Process (The Sequel)

Ornamentals: #8
(available through my web site)

"In order to realize our creative powers, we have to believe that we have the ability to make something significant."
Shaun McNiff

In my last post, I wrote about the book I've been reading, "Trust the Process: An Artist's Guide to Letting Go," by Shaun McNiff, and his discussion of the practice which he calls "emanation: a process of one thing emerging from another."  He offers this exercise as a means of enabling an artist's style to emerge.

Dr. McNiff suggests making a series of images on small cards, trying to maintain connections from one image to the next and watching how ideas for a new picture emerge from previous pictures.  We are, in effect, working in a series, and doing it in a small format that should fit into the context of our busy lives.  The cards are highly portable, and a sketch can be done in a matter of moments while waiting in a doctor's office or during the seventh inning stretch at a baseball game.

What a great idea for someone like me, since I'm trying to pull myself away from my lengthy left-brained preparation tactics.  The underlying theme in this exercise is to concentrate on a whole body of little works and to not become overly involved in one picture.  This will take practice on my part; my epitaph will likely include the words "overly involved."  But I'm ready to go -- I've got my cards and my favorite pen, and I can feel the muse knocking on the door.

Do you have a favorite technique for igniting the creativity in your work?  Please share!


Marilyn Rock said...

Diane; great post and, once again, another beautiful fabric piece. Lately, I'm getting into taking more pictures to spark my creativity. I am not very good at drawing so I recently started taking my camera with me when I walk or go for a drive. The freedom of using my own photos has helped a lot. With collage, I sometimes feel restricted with copyright issues so having photos, of my own, releases me.

Karoda said...

oh, i'm thinking i should read this book...trusting the process is something i learned 20some odd years ago but the process of trusting the process is ever on-going as it should be.

your piece is emanating well! :)

Pat Spillane said...

You've been busy my friend. Your links are evident and the outcomes stunning.
This sounds like a good book.

For me, a theme seems to work best, bringing forth bursts of unexpected ideas as I think on one.
Art seems to be an expression of freedom -- letting go of rules and boundaries.

Diane J. Evans said...

What terrific ideas, all! Having a theme is a wonderful impetus, and I just bought a new camera (much more portable than the old one) so taking pictures should become easier. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts -- I love reading them!



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