The Power of the Container

The Power of the Container

I love this

This is taken from the ‘new’ book, The Encaustic Studio: a wax workshop in mixed-media art, by Daniella Woolf – that I just got the other day.

She says…

“I have been gifted with a wildly fertile, actively creative mind.  I look at an object, a pattern, a tree, whatever, and my mind goes to town and morphs, morphs, and morphs.  I love to be in that creative place; maybe it’s similar to the experience of meditation for some.  However, if I don’t put a harness on it, it can run away with me or paralyze me.  I have learned to limit my options, perhaps by color, pen, or medium, but there must be some parameters for my work.

I call this having a container.  In some ways, it doesn’t really matter what those parameters are, but simply that they exist.  If I give myself free reign and infinite options with which to create, I can’t move.  The world is too big.  But if I give myself a few limits, I am golden.  I can soar and fly and go completely wild within this container.

(I used to) pick a project or give myself an assignment for the month, with limitations that would force me to explore new territory.  For example, one December I put these parameters in place: I would work only with black pens, white paper, and two paper shredders.  With these simple implements, I developed a new vocabulary for myself.  My handwriting and mark-making looked different with just a change of the gauge of the pen or the scale of the work.

Challenge yourself to work with limits.  Whether you restrict your selections of materials, colors, or themes, see how far you can go in your art with fewer inputs.  Limits create a container for your work that will allow you to explore ideas in depth and go beyond what you think you know about the things you have at hand.

I don’t know about everyone else but this is so true for me.  (I have the same problem when I’m standing in front of my closet and haven’t already decided what I will wear that day).

I plan to put this process to work this weekend – I’m expecting an order of supplies tomorrow (hopefully) …so we’ll see!

I’ll let you know how it turns out!

Image of my (glass) desk top taken with my cell phone and the ‘roidizer’ app.

 

The Saturday Blues

Spent most of the afternoon working in the encaustic studio (i.e. playing with molten wax) and decided I would limit my palette to only 3 colors.

I chose azure blue, titanium white and just a touch of iridescent pearl.

There was no method to my madness today …I just played.

I did break out the torch though!  I’ve been hesitant…but glad I finally did it.  I think it is my new favorite tool!

The above image is the same one – rotated for four different views.

Sometimes just looking at our work from a different perspective makes all the difference.

I am especially drawn to the last view.

I call it “Fairy of the Blue Winds

Surrounded by Friends

I’ve got another creative weekend planned for this weekend!

I got the books in that I ordered…Encaustic Mixed Media, Flavor for Mixed Media, Steel Wire Jewelry, Cloth Paper Scissors, and one I bought the other day – Somerset Workshop – Autumn 2011 sitting right here next to me as I write this.  Its like having friends here with me!

There’s a wonderful article by Bridgette (Guerzon Mills) in Somerset Workshop, Trish Baldwin’s Encaustic Mixed Media is fantastic and Mary Beth Shaw’s book, Flavor for Mixed Media went to work with me today.  The Steel Wire Jewelry book was bought to remind me (and inspire me hopefully) of Crystal Neubauer’s technique that I learned at EncaustiCamp this past July.

I am super excited!

And I never say super excited!  I might say I am REALLY excited or I am really excited, but never super excited.

So I am SUPER excited!!

Yay!

The only problem is…what to do first!!

Oh, and if you read my post yesterday…’Orange you Glad’ – you’ll be very glad to know all is not lost with the world… there is hope!

Check out what I found on the counter in the break room this morning!  🙂