Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Doodling in Paint?

As you may know, I have been working with my non-dominant hand on a regular basis - encouraged along by Andrea and Suki. I have found it to be freeing and am wondering if it will influence work I do with my dominant (right) hand. One of the doodles I have wanted to do in the last few days has been spirals. I normally am not interested in this particular shape. As a result, this painting came out of me. It is acrylic, the off-white is really pearl. This is a 10" x 10" staple-less canvas.

I don't know if I will keep this or not. I was telling Suki how I do not really know what I am painting when I do paint. I pretty much become a part of it. Then when I stop painting, I forget to stand back and take a look at what I have done. I truly separate from what I have been doing. Does this ever happen to you? I usually have to walk back into the studio and be surprised or repelled by what I have done. Or I have to gauge your responses.

This brings me to something else I wanted to share with you today. I have a small book by Audrey Flack called "Art & Soul: Notes on Creating" and it truly is a collection of notes. I pick it up from time to time to prod me along. A few days ago, I read this:

Studio Ghosts
When you're in the studio painting, there are a lot of people in there with you. Your teachers, friends, painters from history, critics...and one by one, if you're really painting, they walk out. And if you're really painting, you walk out.
-From a talk with Philip Guston

I so get this as it perfectly expresses what happens to me when I really get into painting...everyone walks out, including me! And it happens very quickly when I do that non-dominant hand doodling.

Does this resonate with you? How does it feel when you are really into your creative work?

Have a Beautiful, Creative Day!


~Babs said...

Kim, your work always surprises me,,cause your choice of colors are always those that don't really appeal to me,,,but when I see how you've used them, worked with them,,,WHOA!
Love the comp. in this,,,and the vague,suggestive depth,,shadows, and how the lighting effects are working so well.
You use these cool colors in a way that creates excitement, and when I enlarge I see areas of small spots of warmth. I'm really lovin' this piece, and for whatever reason, I'm wanting to call it: "Quest For Truth".

Any oh! yes,,,,I can totally zone out & be absent from the body while painting. Time becomes non existant.
Super post, super keeper painting, Kim!

Andrea and Kim said...

Surprises! Well, I am glad you can come here for those, Babs! LOL They always surprise me, too, although I am not so sure I feel as positive about them as you do! :) But you always have beautiful positive words for everyone, too...we all gotta' love that!

And thank you for your lovely words which are music to my ears to be sure. Yes, our color choices are very different...but I always love your choices, too. I really love all colors and know they can all be used successfully, but I am most comfortable with a particular series of colors.

Excitement! Wow! I love it you are thinking this is a good combination for some excitement...that is a good thing, I think.

"Quest for Truth" .... well, I am always seeking that!

You have me convinced this non-dominant hand thing is working out okay! :)

Yes, being totally oblivious to what is going on...I really love that feeling.

Thanks Babs, your words mean so much!

sukipoet said...

Kim, so interesting that using your non-dominant hand led you to paint shapes that you usually arent attracted to. Sounds like doors are opening within. I like this painting very much, the colors, the purple coming forward from the grey/blue background and I do love spirals. I esp love the top left spiral.

I do remember to step back to look at my pictures as that is the only time they seem to have heft. On the other hand I forget what I have done when leaving the studio and only get reminded by looking again. There have been times I didnt even recognize something I've made (although that would be with some time passing).

I own that Audrey Flack book. It's in the storage unit. I like to peruse it now and again too.

I hear this comment re: "you" walk out as ego walks out. Self-consciousness maybe. You the painter become the painting and the paint. To me that is super evident when I'm writing, in which my self is not there, just the movie of what I'm writing. But it also happens while painting, however it is easier for me to be drawn out or distracted while painting it seems, though not always.

While drawing with my non-dom hand, i hadnt thought about it, but I think a similar things happens to what you are saying. My brain works in a different way and I am focused on the work, my self not there. I wonder if it is because I have to concentrate or maybe the reverse, I feel freer and let loose and do not feel the need to be "good."

As always, Kim you are so thought-provoking with your queries and ideas.

Andrea and Kim said...

Thank you so much, Suki! You and Andrea started this whole thing with me and it truly has opened a lot of doors. I am finding I crave that time to use my left hand as much as I crave my other studio time.

Yes! That is funny after not seeing something for a while and you wonder where that came from? Oh Suki you are amazing...does that ever happen with your writing, too?

Oh good, I am glad you like the book as well. I found it at an obscure book sale and wasn't sure if anyone else had even heard of it!

Right, I leave with my ego...I would like to leave that old guy out of all kinds of things, but it just likes to bug me all the time! And it is very interesting you can experience this very thing when you write and when you paint. Don't you think that says a great deal about how some people create? I think I can easily be drawn out of my work, but it is always startling when it happens unnaturally.

Yes, that non-dominant hand work really is really amazing. You know I think that using the non-dominant hand kind of gives us the permission to not be perfect. But I also think we often over-tax our dominant side and the freedom actually helps relax us. There is so much meditation, however for me, since there clearly is not a right or a wrong...I think that is exactly what you are saying as well.

Thanks Suki, you always ADD SO MUCH to my ramblings.

Elis Cooke said...

Hi Kim
I have a weakness for spirals and round shapes in general but I have been trying to expand my shapes lately lol! Love the colours and composition in this one... your non dominant hand seems to me to be making very fresh expressive marks!
I totally get the 'even you walking out of the room' thing... that is how I am always aspiring to paint... to get my self/ego etc out of the way, so the muse can do her thing and surprise me lol! namaste Elis.

Unknown said...

Kim, ohhhhhh! What a painting, it pulls me into it. I love spirals, and want them always around:) they look so perfect here in this purple univers, which looks magical and mystical too. Purple is a very spiritual colour, isn't it? These "turnover" experiences when using the other hand: I feel that such I can get very quickly into this level of mind where everyone left the room including myself:) How I like this description, it is so very true. At times, when all these ghosts do not leave, I really have to do something completely else.

I often turn my paintings or drawings upside down and all around, to look at it from another angle (it is a bit like drawing with the "other" hand). And step completely away from it, in another room, so that when I come back my eyes are "aniew"... Sometimes when sometimes stands too much time in a corner where I can see it, I put it away (and risk to forget it)

have a wonderful day
purple and pearl, love those

Andrea and Kim said...

Hello Elis! I had not thought of you in regards to spirals and round shapes, but it is true. If you want to see where else your muse might like to go try that non-dominant hand work!

It is funny, I have thought about how having a studio space allows me to kick out that old ego fairly easily, but when I am interrupted it sneaks back in very quickly. If I worked out where other people were constantly in and out all the time, I am quite sure my work (and I) would suffer. And you are right, that muse is a sweet girl! :)

Thanks Elis

Andrea and Kim said...

Hi Andrea,

Thanks so much! I adore purple and it is a very spiritual color, you are right. It is as thought the purple and the pearl play off each other as well as draw a tension between each other. The pearl is very classic and the purple is very spiritual, yet brazen.

I think I am addicted to the use of my left hand because of the feeling it gives me, but that feeling also calls in the muse. And when the muse comes in and kicks out the ego, then we can access our true selves...the ones we struggle to get to know.

I do that with my paintings, too. And I also purposefully do not sign them on the front so anyone hanging them will be freer to hang them the way they appeal to them...not necessarily how I painted them. You are right, they can sure create a surprise for us when we least expect it!

I hope you are feeling better very soon, Dear Andrea!

Thanks So Much!

Anonymous said...

I love spirals. Almost always I wear a little silver one around my neck. Non-dominant hand drawing/painting is something I haven't done in a long time. I should, it's a good loosen-upper.

Andrea and Kim said...

Hi Chewy,

You know I am beginning to take a longer, more interested look at spirals...

I am loving this non-dominant hand work...for me it is more than a loosener- upper. It is a meditative practice, I think!

Thanks Chewy!

sukipoet said...

Kim returning to read the wonderful comments and to answer your ? Yes, sometimes I look at things I wrote awhile ago and am totally surprised. This is why journals are so interesting. I kept journals for many many years, journals of all sorts. They seem as if written by someone else. Odd. But maybe I am someone else now who is different from the person I was before.

My college boyfriend JL is, at least on the surface, now so like the person he was in college. He does the same things, has the same interests. Yes, he got married and had children and I am sure expanded his world view, indeed did, to include lots of travel for example, but it just amazes me how alike in some ways he is to who he was before. I wonder if my college friends would think that of me? well, am off track and blathering here. bE well.

Andrea and Kim said...

Suki, you come here and talk any time. I love to hear what you call your blather.

I thought maybe you were that way with your writing. I do the same thing with my journals and also find it interesting...when I actually take the time to read them. :)

You know I believe there are people who are basically the very same throughout their life. That is not me, either. I have to learn and grow and do things which make me move forward with my life. I am probably one of the people who has made tons of changes in my life. I have explored so many paths and I think become stronger and more insightful. I also hope I have become more empathetic, loving and compassionate in all of that exploration. But you are right, it would be very interesting to know how some of those people see us. I have one person who has known me throughout the last 32 years...I am quite sure she would say I have made lots of changes and yet consistently remained true to who I am at my core.

I love talking about this kind of stuff, too!

Thanks Suki!