Last week I read Taking the Leapby Cay Lang, and in the introduction she encourages you to keep a visual diary. This is a little different than just keeping a sketchbook in that it is a means for discovering your mission as an artist, the inner voice that defines what inspires and drive you to create art.
Here is her description: “every night before you go to bed, write or sketch three ideas for your art in your journal. Don’t make a big production out of this. It doesn’t have to take an hour; sometimes five minutes is all you will feel like giving to it. The ideas don’t have to be good ones, and you don’t ever have to follow through on making them. You just have to imagine them and write them down, or make a sketch if you like. The point is to bring attention to your work, and to notice the ideas that occur. Within a short time, a week or two, a pattern will begin to emerge…. Pay close attention to these ideas. This is your heart speaking.” Pg. xvii
I feel the repetitive actions of painting and posting on this blog is helping me focus as an artist. Last year I happened to take a still life painting class and really fell in love with this genre. Since then I have been mainly painting still lifes, though I would not consider myself just a still life artist, as I also enjoy plein air and figurative work as well. However this painting just came into being from a random placement a few items set on the model stand while I was trying to get to an item that was behind the jar. From the random placement, I found something interesting, I liked the way the jar reflected and dissolved in front of the purple cloth, and then the yellow lemon also caught my interest. This painting was just the result of random actions, though to me it also has the quietness I love in paintings.
As of now, I am not sure if I have found my mission as an artist, however am learning that I truly enjoy the experience of finding a quite moment with simple items and recording them.