Thursday, February 19, 2009

Engaging the Muse

I have been working on this one for quite some time, but there is still more to do. The thing is, this one is already spoken for...you just never know about these things as I have had many doubts about this one. I have several large pieces going on right now, I can't work on all of them in my tiny room at the same time. (Yes, that was a big moan you just heard.) I am trying to work on some methods to keep myself from getting into this spot again, though...trying to develop some different ways of working. We will see how it turns out.

I have been re-reading parts of Trust the Process by Shaun McNiff. I have loaned this book to some friends and they have graciously added comments and underlined parts which really is lovely (I highly recommend this if you are not distracted by notes and underlinings in your books.) I came across this statement:

When we play alone with art materials, we are enshrouded in an intimate and quiet relationship with the imagination, which acts as a silent partner.

Of course this made me think of working with the muse which has also become an important part of what I have been doing lately...really engaging with my muse through my journal. No, that was not my idea alone, read Elis Cooke's post to see what I have been doing. Andrea has been engaging with some special spirit over at her blog...could it be her muse which is making itself known by coming out of the end of her brush?

My muse sure has given me a creative punch here without a doubt. Of course she would have me go into debt, but we work things out. I have to say I have fallen in love with her and am always happy when she taps me on the shoulder or needs to be coaxed out. How about you? Do you find your muse a good resource for moving your art forward? Is your muse difficult or easy to work with?

Have a Beautifully Creative Day!

39 comments:

~Babs said...

I'll be eager to see where this painting takes you.Right now, I'm feeling an egg shape,,,new beginnings, maybe??

When the muse is present, it's full steam ahead.
Sometimes she is on sabbatical, and I have to try to understand what else it is that I'm 'supposed' to be doing at that time.
Sometimes the hard part is hearing her when she speaks,,,struggling with what we'd 'like' to do, instead of what we 'need' to do.

Michelle said...

I would say insistant, usually, when she gets a look in these days she is very patient.

I find commissioned work very confronting. I'd much rather play with things and not work to a deadline or an expectation. But then again, we need money, art supplies don't come cheap do they.

Kim said...

New Beginnings...

I am thinking that, too, Babs! I feel kind of like new stuff is on the way...good stuff!

Oh yeah! Full steam ahead right now is just how I feel, too. I can't seem to keep up with everything I want to do...what I want takes time and I feel all over the place doing lots of things. I LOVE IT!

Well, as my muse reminded me when I was journaling...she wasn't talking because she thought I needed to be a little more quiet. You just never know what she has up here sleeve! :)

I think that is the great thing about this deal of dialoguing in my journal with her...it seems easier to hear. Mmmm, what does that say? For now, I am at least glad she isn't screaming at me! Don't you hate it when that happens?

Thanks Babs! I have some more things to contemplate here...you always to that to me and I am glad!

Love,

Kim

Kim said...

Michelle,

It is amazing how the muse always seems to know what you need. Right now, it sounds like patience is just what is necessary in your life. I am glad she is there for you when you wish for her to be, though.

Commissions are brutal...I think you will meet agreement with that on this blog. I also hear you about the needs and art supplies absolutely do not come cheap!

Love,

Kim

soulbrush said...

to me it looks earthy and alive with creatures...or did i just have too much whisky for breakfast> keep on going.

sukipoet said...

Your painting seems a whirlwind of shapes and colors coming into formation. I had the Progoff book too many years ago and maybe even another of his. Interesting. Many of the bks on Ellis list i have read. I dont really think of any part of me as a muse. I'm not saying a muse isnt there, I mean i dont think about "it" in those terms. i hope you soon have a bigger space to hold all the work you want to do.

Kim said...

Hi Soul,

You just might be right...or it might be the whiskey you had for breakfast! :)

Hugs!

Kim

Kim said...

Hi Suki,

I am not surprised you have read a lot of the books on Elis' list. As a matter of fact, I bet you have read most books...at least it seems that way to me.

I completely understand you don't think in terms of a muse. I am quite sure the term began with a different meaning than we are using it. I believe it began when men painters had their favorite models...wives, lovers, etc....to encourage them along. Believe me, my muse doesn't stand in front of me for hours...LOL

As far as I can tell, that larger space is not going to be arriving any time too soon, but I appreciate your good wishes. One never really knows, though, right?

Thanks Sweet Suki!

Love,

Kim

Cynthia said...

I'm not sure I'm following all of this...I've read the Progroff Journal Workshop book...and have taken an intense journal writing three-day workshop in Del Mar, California...related to transpersonal psychology, I think. But I think I need a "muse relationship" for my dissertation project...sometimes I think a muse guides me in my blog writing "inspiration"...that probably seems strange...but who knows where creativity comes from...? Is your muse guiding you in your new painting...or since it is sort of "done on demand" (commission right?)it's hard to find the muse...I think creativity might come to you in a routine painting practice...but that's more like working until the muse arrives...maybe that is what you are doing? That's how I write...as a daily practice...sometimes creativity grabs my hand. <3

Kim said...

Hi Cynthia,

When you go to Elis' blog read the second post (she did a new one just a little bit ago) about dialoguing with your muse. For me, it has been great fun and kind of a way to document a guided meditation where I talk with her, too. Some people talk about how their muse drives them crazy, but I don't have that kind of relationship.

As a matter of fact, I just watched this:

http://www.ted.com/talks/elizabeth_gilbert_on_genius.html

which also might be helpful for you to hear. I thought she spoke of the same thing.

This painting was not done on demand...I can't work well like that (as you guessed). Someone saw it and requested it. I said it was not done, but they said it belonged to them when it was complete. My muse keeps reminding me of getting that complete.

I do several things which I feel helps me keep my creativity around...it happens, but rarely do have problems finding my creativity.

I think dissertations are a completely different animal. By the time you get to the writing part, you have done so much work and so much to try to prove yourself to others, the writing seems to be anything but pleasurable. I don't work well with my muse in that way, but you might be able to do that. Seriously, listen to Elizabeth Gilbert's talk...she might have some help for you with this. Also read that earlier post of Elis' because you might be able to combine the two and get some work done there.

I hope this helps...let me know if it does and let Elis know, too.

Love,

Kim

Cynthia said...

Thanks Kim, I'll check out the locations/information you suggested tomorrow. Thanks for the interest! Oh and I have done some dialogue with dream images...I think this muse idea is a key for me... <3

San said...

Kim, that painting looks like it might even be about the tussle with your muse. Then again, am I projecting my own give/take, love/hate relationship with my own muse onto yours?

Recently I had the experience of pulling out a painting which had been stewing in its own juices for a couple of months. I felt it was dried out. Maybe even lifeless. My anti-muse (my husband) said it was time to hang it in the gallery. Sold within a week. Go figure.

Kim said...

Hello San!

I have been wondering about you.

Maybe that is it...the painting is about conflict waiting to break through the shell of that egg Babs sees.

I have just decided today I have had 2 muses...today, after some ego tugging...I fired the second one!

It is amazing how some of those paintings we think belong in the corner of shame will fly out the door! I have had that experience, too.

It is good to have you back here, San! I have missed you!

Love,

Kim

lartedinadia.blogspot.com said...

Dear Kim,
Actually I don't know if I've got correctly all the meaning of what you write and the others have written (my English needs improving), anyway It seems to me that my muse is omnipresent near me, speaking to me even when it would be better she stopped talking ..... this leads me in an anomalous position: on the one hand, I practically never stop painting and creating; on the other hand, my hands are not so rapid as my imagination (my muse) is and this fact from time to time becomes frustrating. In any case, I love my muse!
Ciaoooooooooooo
Nadia

Cestandrea said...

Kim I have been here several times to look at this painting, but haven't left a comment yet. This painting is intriguing me very much, because of the oval shape, it looks as if you looked on a convex surface, which is very much agitated. Full of creative agitation, I'd say. It is restless and dynamic, that's what I feel when I look at it.
Oh the muse, it always lurks. Man, woman, beast, ghost? I guess, it changes, too:)
Have a great weekend,
love
Andrea

Kim said...

Hello Dear Nadia!

From where I am, your English is excellent! If I had to go with Italian, without a translator, it would not be a pretty sight. :)

I think you have this just right. It is lovely to love your muse and not constantly argue with her. Maybe you just need to ask her to slow down a little bit. I sometimes have trouble keeping up with mine, too. I suppose, in a way, that is a great position to be in.

I know what you mean about loving your muse...it shows in your beautiful work, too.

Here, I am going to put this into a translator. You can also translate my page using the little widget on the right at the top of the page....if that helps. Sometimes they translate funny.

Love,

Kim

Ciao cara Nadia!

Da dove sono, il vostro inglese è eccellente! Se dovessi andare con italiano, senza un traduttore, non sarebbe una vista graziosa. :)

Penso che abbiate questa destra giusta. È bella amare la vostra musa e discutere non costantemente con lei. Forse dovete appena chiederle di rallentare un po'. A volte ho difficoltà continuare con miei, anche. Suppongo, in un senso, che è una grande posizione da essere dentro.

Conosco che che cosa significate circa il amore della vostra musa… mostra nel vostro bello lavoro, anche.

Qui, sto andando mettere questo in un traduttore. Potete anche tradurre la mia pagina per mezzo di piccolo widget a destra alla parte superiore della pagina….se quel aiuta. A volte traducono divertente.

Amore,

Kim

Kim said...

Hi Andrea,

Agitated...that is a good word for this one. When I was painting it I was in the mood to just put paint on the canvas...I really did not care about it at that point, I just wanted to paint. Then, as I was painting, I became rather irritated that the act of painting was not helping bring on the muse. I think that is what you are seeing here. I even used a card to apply the paint. The person who wants this painting seems to love the ones I do where there is tension of some kind. He also loves the heavy clear glazing and is interested in having more on this one...so it is really smooth. So the part which is left needs to be done when I am in a contemplative mood. The good news is he is patient.

You know, I honestly do believe the muse can take on many and various forms. I think maybe even more than one at a time. What do you think? Can there be more than one at a time?

Love,

Kim

Kim said...

Cynthia,

I am glad this may be helpful to you. I do hope so, anyway!

Love,

Kim

fiona long said...

Hey Kim,

The painting is looking really good. I look forward to seeing how it develops! It's so interesting to hear you talking about your muse so poetically.

Kim said...

Hello Sweet Fiona!

Thanks, my friend. It is clearly one I have left hanging around for a while. I am eager to see how it goes, too.

Thanks Fiona...how about your muse?

Have a Great Week!

Love,

Kim

Lynette said...

Kim, your painting just really 'wowed' me, it's stunning how you achieved the depth and 3-D appearance in this! I can clearly see the shape of a globe. Speaking of muses, I noticed mine really inspires me when I'm feeling good and in a good mood.

Lynette said...

hehe, San I just read who your 'ani-muse' is and it's the same way in my house. :) I think I have to be totally alone (as in hubby asleep) before I can get in the creative energy 'zone' for my painting.

lartedinadia.blogspot.com said...

Dear Kim,
Thanks for your answer. I do prefer to strive to get the meaning of what you write just reading your English, because - to be honest - the translations into Italian made automatically sound a very good English, but a very bad, bad Italian.
I look forward to seeing how your painting will turn out when finished.
By the way, have you received my e-mail enclosing the PPS of the painters'association to which I belong ? What to you think ?
Love and ciaoooooooooooo
Nadia

Kim said...

Hi Lynette,

I think that 3-D effect comes from the layers of clear glazing between some of the painted layers. Also, the part which appears white is a powdered pearl pigment mixed with medium...which I made very heavy with pigment. I think those working together with the contrast made it look that way.

Global ...now there is an idea for me to explore. I like that. Thanks, Lynette!

My muse does a lot better when I am in a good mood, too...but I am learning to shoo out the old nagger...so maybe we can get some more collaboration in.

That is funny about the anti-muse. I do a lot better alone, too... My husband is really great about encouragement, though. He pushes me to go with things I might nix in the initial thought phase. Sometimes I think I like to work when it is quiet because I never know what I am going to sound like or do which might bring them running :)

Thanks Lynette!

Love,

Kim

Kim said...

Hello Nadia...

I am really laughing very hard here about the translation. Of course, I have no idea what the translator says in Italian. I am language sad!

I do not see an email from you Nadia... I will email you about this.

Have a Beautiful Day!

Love,

Kim

lartedinadia.blogspot.com said...

Hi Kim,
My e-mail is sala1952@tin.it. I'm curious to know your opinion on the paintings and thoughts of a dozen of semi-professional artists living so far from the States. Concerning the automatic translator, well it's not easy to make a sensible translation of a foreign language text into another language automatically. Every language in this world has its own structure and ways of saying, which become funny or stupid if they are translated word for word without thinking. In English, it's quite common to end a letter with the word "love" which in Italian corresponds to "amore", but nobody in Italy would end a letter writing "amore". And when one says that Italian, French and Spanish are quite similar languages .... well it's true but you can't imagine the nonsense one can say when an Italian tries to speak French or Spanish without knowing it, and vice versa. I still remember with shy when I was a student and I was in England. I bought a bus season ticket and instead of asking "Till when is it valid ?" I said (mentally translating a possible Italian expression)"How long can it last ?"
The answer was "If you don't through it away or if you don't tear it up, it can last even a life". So, Kim, be patient with my English.
Love (con affetto) and ciaooooooooo
Nadia

soulbrush said...

allo allo, i have given you an award on my blog, and it's all true about you! hugs.

yvette said...

hoi hoi, Kim..I'm too tired and too much in pain for reading in peace. At first sight what an interesting piece of art.
hugs yvette

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

I like my muse most days...it's just when I am paint myself into a new place...the arguing begins because the imagery is so new, untried, unseen...a new path for me is difficult. Why then am I always on a new path? ha

Kim said...

Nadia,

I love this story about the bus ticket, so much. It reminds me of a fabulous Italian gentleman we became friends with while living in England. He was a true delight and worked with my husband. Each morning, when my husband arrived at work, this generous man would ask my husband, "Can I pay you a coffee this morning?" In English, you might say, "Let me buy you a coffee." The thing is we loved hearing this so much, we now ask in our family..."please, can I pay you a coffee this morning." So this goes both ways...to me, I hold in awe anyone who so fluently speaks any other language but their native tongue. I often adapt to their way of speaking English. There is not any problem with me having patience with your English, my dear Nadia!

Thank you, so much!

Ciao,

Kim

Kim said...

Soul,

My heart is beating fast! I will head right over!

Love,

Kim

Kim said...

Oh My Dear Yvette! Please do take care of your pain...that is the first important thing to be doing!

I send you the very gentlest of hugs and tremendous healing energy!

Thank you for your kind words!

Love,

Kim

Kim said...

Mary Ann! You make me laugh so hard! I think you are always in a new place because you are always growing and becoming!

I think if your muse is not helpful, then give them a good talking to! They are your muse, right?

I am heading over to see if you have some of these new things to show me!

Love,

Kim

lartedinadia.blogspot.com said...

Dear Kim,
I've sent you the PPS by e-mail, I hope you'll receive it this time. I want to tell you another story about how difficult is to speak foreign languages even if they are similar languages like Italian and French (Then I'll close the chapter). An Italian in Paris sees an old woman willing to take a bus which is closing doors to continue its way. So he cries "Fermez, Fermez, une femme veut salir" (macaronic French translation of the Italian "Fermate, Fermate, una donna vuole salire which means "stop please, a woman wants to get in the bus"). Well, this Italian man - with his macaronic French translation - exclaimed "Close quickly please, a woman wants to dirty" (He should have said "Arretez, arretez, une femme veut monter"). As an Amstrong's song goes "What a wonderful world !".
Ciaoooooooooooo
Nadia

Kim said...

That is a good one, Nadia!

Yes, Louie is great and I love that song...

I will email you soon about the attachment.

Ciao,

Kim

Lynn said...

Is this the same piece you call a jumbled mess down below...the woven papers? I love what it is becoming...It looks so round now...your muse is a good friend, she is so talented and helpful.
I'd stay in contact a lot. ;-)

Kim said...

Hi Lynn,

No, this is a different piece. This one is a painting 40" x 30". The woven piece is still being worked!

My muse is incredible. I feel truly honored to be in coordination with her.

Thanks Lynn,

Love,

Kim

Dianne said...

Hi Kim, this posting and comments have taken ages to read!
I find it interesting that you have created an oval composition within this rectangular format. I love all the floating brush-strokes, there is a lot of movement here. I wish I could see the many glazes you describe. Wow, it must be hard to complete, knowing it is for a specific person, just like a commission, I detest commissions!
It sounds as if we have a similar workspace situation - my studio is a small bedroom, it gets quite crowded when working on three canvasses. I sometimes work in our double garage, weather permitting. At the moment the heat and humidity make this space rather uncomfortable.
Ahhh, that illusive muse! I so enjoyed reading about your experience and also how your commenters perceive what stimulates their creativity. I must have a think about mine and will then leave a comment!
Love Dianne x x

Kim said...

Hi Dianne,

I am so sorry about this taking so long. I kept thinking it is good to read these things others have done ...and I wanted them to have the kudos, too.

You know I brought this up with the person who wants this and they just want me to do what I would do without their input, so it really isn't that bad...I just don't want to mess it up :) There will not be a lot of change as they are pleased with how this is looking now. I think just a lot more glaze with a bit more of the floating colors.

We have a garage, too, however I am not about to work out there :) We absolutely need it for the cars. I am considering, though forgoing the living room and taking that over...LOL That would really go over well with everyone. I actually have a very nice daylight basement...much better light than I have upstairs. There is even a utility area and bathroom down there. Here is the rub...it is the boys playroom! :) I keep reminding myself of this term.... TEAMWORK!

Ohh, I look forward to your comment about your muse! The video is great to watch...very inspirational (see above comment to Cynthia) and do read Elis' post...very helpful, too.

So I can't wait to see what you come up with!

You have been missed Dianne...but I have been thinking of you enjoying your little one!

Love,

Kim