HOW DO YOU GET YOUR IDEAS?…..they are up for grabs!

HOW DO YOU GET YOUR IDEAS?…….they are up for grabs!

Recently someone came into my studio and looked up at me in wonderment, “How do you get your ideas?” he asked. I stopped to think how to answer that question…and without even taking a breath, to my own surprise, I blurted out the perfect answer….”Ideas are all just out there…floating around…when I need one, I just reach up and grab one!”  “But,” he said,” that sounds too simple.”  Well, the answer is yes and no.  “Yes,” it is too simple…. and “no,” because they don’t all work!…..But then, in that case, I just go and grab another….and another…..and yet another….until things begin to pull together and gel. Jan. 1913 055Basically, it’s about being alert and open to any possibility.  Letting ideas in.  Trusting them.  Even if they make no sense…they came from “somewhere”….and their validity will reveal itself later.  DO/ACT now and THINK later.  The thinking is the editing and the bringing of some order….but I know I must leave the channel open for any and every idea!

Usually, when I step up to a canvas, I have NO idea of what I am going to paint.  I make a mark…then another, and another….each mark responding to the previous marks.  Things begin to form and happen. The painting and the ideas begin to churn and mix.  This is scary at first…but a wonderful way to work…no expectations….except, of course, the hopes of a good painting.

Occasionally, however, I do have a somewhat concrete “idea” before I step up to the canvas or enter the print studio.  I specifically remember when I was painting “Toys Games and Puzzles,” I had already pushed the theme for a few years and I  decided that a circus would be perfect next step.  I had already used some clown imagery in some earlier work, so it seemed like a natural direction. I began to study and research the circus in some depth, hoping that by immersing myself the circus, circus imagery would just flow out of me.  I can vividly remember walking up to the huge canvas and starting by painting a large circle (ring) in the center….then I added a 2nd and 3rd ring.  Then, when I started to move through the canvas….nothing worked and nothing came together. NOTHING HAPPENED! Soon I realized that I just wasn’t comfortable with circles and almost without my knowing it, a large square got formed in the middle of the canvas…and then a grid….and then a smudge.  I stood back and wondered, “Now what is this?” Image Houdini….in a box…’s MAGIC….and so, my circus theme became a magic theme instead….which, in fact, also related to Toys Games and Puzzles.  This is an example of how a painting can have its own life and how I permitted new ideas to form and take over….even when I thought I HAD my IDEA. (of additional interest….my husband happens to be a magician!….and not a clown!!!)



no kidding…..really…….THEN!

An added observation:  While working on that painting I rejected the circle form in favor of a square.  Squares and grids had been a common and repeated element in my work.  The circle did not appear in my work until I printed my Laurie Anderson suite four years later.8 Laure Anderson - Monkey's Paw 38x30 6 Laurie Anderson - Statue of Liberty 38x30 4 Laurie Anderson - Strange Angels 38x30 3 Laurie Anderson - Ramon30x22

This entry was posted in Art, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to HOW DO YOU GET YOUR IDEAS?…..they are up for grabs!

  1. Mo says:

    Love watching the progression of how your creative ideas evolve. Absolutely fascinating. Thanks for sharing kiddo. Hugs, Mo

  2. Sue Boydston says:

    Wonderful description of idea development and flow. Thanks for putting conceptualization and process into words in such a clear and concise way. Enjoyed!!!

  3. Penny says:

    I so look forward to you blog. What a talent you are, in all ways.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s