Playing and Creativity
Play is such an important, yet not often talked about aspect of creativity. It became apparent to me at a crucial point in my artistic career that if there is not an aspect of play during the time that I’m involved in a piece, then it isn’t going anywhere.
Play allows for letting go and loosening the grip on the brush.
When we find ourselves playing, we tap into a rich storehouse of energy. This energy is spontaneous, filled with possibility and often, joy. We are reminded of times in the past when we were also playing, and how great that felt. When in the moment, however, there is a sense of no-time, of being truly present… and it isn’t until later, when we step back and take a breath that we realize how engaged we were.
It is the process that pulls us in and holds us gently. A drip, a splash of one colour against another are enthralling, exciting and command all of our attention. This is what I’d call ‘deep play’, to borrow the term from Diane Ackerman.
“…play is a refuge from ordinary life, a scanctuary of the mind, where on is exempt from life’s customs…” — Diane Ackeman, Deep Play
This is what I aim to do in my encaustic workshops, by creating a place where letting go is encouraged. The ‘buzz’ in the room when students are deeply in play is almost tangible. It’s magical at times.
Dancing on the natural beeswax with charcoal on my feet, a way of moving right into play! This way the dance informs the finished piece, getting me out of my ‘mind’. Love this way of working!
Give it a Whirl!
I’m offering ‘Give it a whirl!‘ at the Alton Mill, where we’ve set up our encaustic school, the hive. If you’ve always wanted to try encaustic, or to spend more time doing it, check it out!
- The Encaustic Iron: Finishing the Edges of Encaustic Panels - November 9, 2011
- Playing with Encaustic — Give it a Whirl! - April 28, 2011
- Painting in a grid: drawing the line! - March 17, 2011
- Tools for Fusing Encaustic | How to fuse with different tools - March 14, 2011
- Ironing over drips & drops | Encaustic Technique - March 12, 2011