I tend to have lots of journals going at once – and in those journals, lots of spreads in process. I can’t even say for sure that these ones are “complete” because sometimes they pull me in when I’m just flipping through the pages, asking for a little this or that. I have a completely different relationship with the pages of my art journals than I do with my paintings… and yet, both inform my overall process. While working with multiple journal spreads over a period of time allows me to practice spontaneity, arrange unlikely elements, and experiment freely with a sense of less attachment, it sometimes casts a shadow, too – such as feeling like I’m never getting anything “done,” overwhelm at how many are going at once, and feeling a bit scattered in my attention or in knowing where to begin again. That’s usually a sign to get a little more intimate and focused with a piece.
Which is where my contemplative paintings (and writing) come in to harmonize my creative energies – they ask of me more singular attentiveness and presence. And for this, they show me the power of slowing down, applying what I’ve discovered (in journal pages, but in life also!) with one-pointed focus, patience and restraint in the spaces, and devoting myself to seeing a relationship through in the here and now, open to a point of view that both includes and extends beyond my own immediate impulses and current understanding.
There is a dynamic to our creative rhythms, an ebb and flow, a push and pull, a paradoxical tension that is both motivating and centering. It’s the same stuff we are made of, that pumps blood through our veins and breath through the universe, and that says one day, Today, Just This, and then expands on another day to say, ALL of This.