Creative Dry Spells

I think I can safely say I have suffered from “Creative Dry Spells” in all forms of my artistic endeavors. It is like being in a depressed mood; you know it will pass but it does not make it any the less painful. They are not fun, nor can you talk yourself out of them; the best thing to do is ignore them for a day or two and then try to work thru them or just do something else like cleaning (ugh) or cooking. Cleaning should convince you to be creative real quick and cooking can be creative also yummy if you bake or make desserts.

I read somewhere (probably another blog but I forgot to write down whose blog) some ways to get the creative juices flowing again. I have adapted them to needleart thoughts:

  1. Spend some time with your stash
  2. Finish a UFO or several
  3. Practice a stitch/technique you haven’t mastered or would like to learn
  4. Look ahead to projects you must finish:
  • Designers/teachers have deadline
  • Finishing deadlines
  • Work under pressure
  1. Just keep active.

Sometimes any of these are easier said than done depending on how “dry” you are feeling.

Sometimes spending some “me time” with a cuppa and your favorite needlework books and/or magazines can help. I love my books and looking through them may give you an idea of something to stitch, a technique to try or maybe you will just relax and look at the pictures.

Sometimes no matter what you do nothing speaks to you; then it may be time for some artistic needlework enhancement. In other words, a trip to your local needlework shopS (sometimes it takes more than one). Going to your favorite places is good for two reasons:

  1. It may spark your creative juices with something as simple as a new thread for that project you saw in your stash. You may find a new canvas that speaks to you and if all else fails…
  2. You are at least spending time with other creative people and this is good. They may remind you of a canvas you have at home that you were really dying to stitch just a few weeks ago. They may show you a new technique they are working on, a new stitch, a new thread, or maybe just give you a smile that will brighten your day.

And if you are lucky enough to have more than one shop in your area you have that many more chances to get those creative juices flowing…whatever it takes to spark those fingers. And if you are really lucky, maybe you can sit and visit with others. You don’t have to be stitching something, you can just visit. I visit a group(s) and not everyone is stitching needlepoint, some are knitting, some are stash enhancing, and others have just come by to visit.

And we learn from each other and the more diverse and wide our circle of creative friends is the more we learn…there are no limits to creative thoughts. Attending guild meetings, having stitch-ins, maybe just going for a cuppa and stitching there. Just think for a minute about threading a needle; you know people who:

  1. Thread a needle with the end going immediately through the eye of the needle
  2. Bend the thread over the needle and then thread that bend through the eye of the needle.
  3. Pinch the thread tightly between their thumb and index finger and saw the eye of the needle onto the thread
  4. Wet the end of the thread and place thread through eye of needle … or
  5. Use a needle threader.

None of these are wrong, None is better than another…it is what works for you. But if some needle artist is having trouble threading a needle just being around other needle artists may give her the idea she needs to thread her needle. I know that is pretty simplistic but you get the idea.

If you don’t want to tempt you credit card, watch a love flick, visit an art gallery, visit a park, just take a walk. Anything will do to keep you from sitting and brooding about the “dry spell”.

I have two artist friends that seem to ward off  dry spells by drawing every day; they have notebooks of their works. I am not that disciplined and that’s probably why they make a living at their art and my art just keeps my sanity.

One of my friends tries to go out and about every day to see inspiration. He will draw and paint in his notebook people and places around him. Recently at an art fair, I ask him if I could see his journal and he shared it with me. He was in a mall at an art fair, yet found the time to capture the other artists around him. Each entry has the day and date of the week (he told me it was like his day planner). Not only was there an image of his fellow artists but a small drawing of the type of art they were showing. WOW! I spent several minutes looking through his diary and it was such a privilege; I felt like he not only trusted me very much. He had let me see into his soul; it really was a special moment. I did not read his thoughts but just looking at the pictures he had drawn. I left his booth maybe not inspired but feeling sooooo uplifted.

My other artist friend is a former art professor and he lives close to his former university. You can visit him anytime he is in town and he will listen to you and then in his own magical way give you some thoughts to ponder. He never gives you “his answer” because then you would not be working through your problem. Once a week, when he is in town, he holds “tea time”; an open date to just visit with others of like mind, have tea and discuss whatever comes up, such an enlightening way to give so much insight into so many things. It is no wonder all he asks is for you to RSVP your attendance; these events are attended by friends, former students and students who have heard about him through their professors. And even though it may be a crowded place on occasion, you always come away feeling inspired and more than that hopeful, optimistic.

So, I think I will be off to look at my stash and maybe it will trigger something.  I hope you are not having a creative dry spell but if you are, join me by going through your stash and let’s see what happens.  I really hope you can just go stitch and have fun.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to stitch today.

ttfn…sue

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“Miracle of Miracles” hear the music?!

I really do have good intentions…just not enough hours in my day, OR I’m a scatterbrain, OR I suffer from ADHD in the worst way, OR I am just getting old and slow. How about a combination of all…”an old slow, tired ADHD scatterbrain”… that’s me! I can see the sculpture now… head with threads, beads & wire for hair; the body would be a computer and a box (with all sorts of projects stored inside); Scissors for one hand, paint brushes, pens, pencils, needles and a computer mouse for the other hand, I think it should have rollers for feet and a broken watch attached somewhere…oh no another project!  Can you tell I’ve been to the Art Fairs around town and the 3D mixed media art really speaks to me?  And there are so-o-o many things I want to do… needlepoint,  jewelry making, needlepoint, art journaling, needlepoint, beading, needlepoint, drawing, needlepoint, painting, needlepoint, scrapbooking, needlepoint…and that doesn’t even include reading, needlepoint, sleeping, needlepoint, eating, needlepoint, …and all the other mundane things in life.  

But I am right braining again….my goal for this morning is to post a blog so that if anyone out there in blogdom still looks at my blog they know I am alive…notice I did not say and well.

I have been productive this summer… I computed 5-6 projects for a couple needlepoint teachers. Remember, I don’t compute and tell…never know what will happen in the life of a needlepoint class. I’ve blogged about this before: https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2009/01/30/17-days-later/ and https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2010/04/28/betty-chen-louis/ .

So that said we will move tight along to what I can share with the world…

I lost a very dear friend (more about that in another blog another day), I have crocheted a blanket (will show that another day too).  I also played with art most of the summer…I bought a journal and color washed about 1/3 of the pages… https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2010/06/14/10-days-all-alone/ . Then I started art journaling as such…sort of a controlled art study. I used the book: Drawing with Children; Mona Brookes; St. Martin’s Press; New York; 1986 as my catalyst. From there I discovered Zentangles http://www.zentangle.com and more Art Journaling; which lead me to Sarah Whitmire and her website and blog: http://www.caspiana.com/ and http://sarahwhitmire.blogspot.com/

And on Sarah’s blog I learned about a new book & toy I needed: The Spiral Draw Book; Doug Stillinger; Klutz; California; 2003. Although my son’s tell me we had a cooler version of this when they were growing up call Spirograph. I don’t remember this, so I did do some research and I sort of remember this being around the house. But I may have to ask Santa to bring us another for my amusement this time.

Then I was off on a Zentangle and Art Journal tangent and have added another 20 or so blogs to my reading list. Yes I try to read all your blogs I have bookmarked at least twice a week.

And I have stitched; completed another Eagle to be framed at later date. Did some finish finishing, bought material to do some more and still have a huge pile of other unfinished completed needlepoint. Finished Sue Reed class piece and will post a picture when I get it back from friend I let borrow it since she was unable to attend class. And am doing computer work for a year long guild project…and I have even completed stitching all the areas I have on the computer (the only thing I am ahead of the pack doing). I also keep the ort box canvases handy for something to stitch on the road and when I have no other project in hand (that means I was too lazy to go to the workroom and pull a canvas or chart and threads from my stash.)

And that’s my summer in a nutshell.

Hope everyone has time to stitch today!  ttfn…sue