Three important creative truths

three Important creative truths

Creative Truths
Red playground 8 and 9, finished.

I’m creating 52 works by May 2024. When Red Playground 8 and 9 are complete, I will have finished 3 of the my target of 52 works.

In this fifth and final session I add dimensionality to ‘Red Playground VIII’ and ‘Red Playground IX’.

Click here to see the difference adding coloured pencil made to ‘Red Playground-Finish what you started’.  It the companion work to these two.

Three important creative truths

With the finish of ‘Red Playground VIII’ and ‘Red Playground IX’, I’ve discovered three important truths that are helping me to thrive in the studio this year: 

Change is critical.

Problem solving breeds creativity.

Mistakes are vital.

Change is critical

In this year of intentional studio play I’m on a quest for new ways to express myself.

My pursuit of abstract requires me to forgo the carefully crafted philosophies, ideas, and detailed planning of my past narrative days. Making works in a quiet, pre-determined manner are on hold, for now.

The insanity of doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result looms large. (this is an idea attributed to many, including Albert Einstein.) Required is a willingness to take risks and be uncomfortable working through the new ideas and techniques in the studio.

Change is good

‘Red Playground-Finish what you started’ began in a willy-nilly manner of pretreating the papers of the diptych. I folded, soaked, dyed, dried, and stored the paper away safely until I could return.

Then I focussed on repairing my home for 10 months.

Living in the middle of the daily “rip up and replace most of the floor” chaos somehow strengthened my resolve to explore different and uncomfortable ways to create when I finally returned to the studio.

‘Red Playground-Finish what you started’  became my focus once again last summer (February 2023). Encouraged by the final results of that work, I amped up pre-treatment of the paper for ‘Red Playground VIII’ and ‘Red Playground IX’.

Problem solving breeds creativity

Problems presented by the crunchier supports of ‘Red Playground VIII’ and ‘Red Playground IX’ forced me to reconsider how I applied media. A big part of change is solving the problems encountered onto the way to success. 

Read “Creating on really rough paper: the 4 problems I solved”, by clicking here. 

Problem solving is one of the most fruitful ways to be creative. I felt well rewarded by incredible ideas birthed by solving those encountered in making ‘Red Playground VIII’ and ‘Red Playground IX’.

(Supports for the upcoming ‘Red Playground I’, ‘Red Playground II’ and ‘Red Playground III’ were treated even more ruthlessly, giving me a plethora of creative problem solving opportunities. Stay tuned for that.

You can be notified when that goes live by joining my email list for when that video and blog goes live.)

Creating Art Around Life

Please watch, “52 Abstracts in 52 weeks”


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The Inspiring works
Can Red Come Out To Play? Viii
Can red come out to play? Viii
Can Red Come Out To Play Ix, Final
Can red come out to play? Ix
The derivative works
Red Playground Viii, Final
Red playground 8
Red Playground Ix, Finished
Red playground 9
Inspiring work
Can Red Come Out To Play Vii - Original Orientation
Original orientation of 'can red come out to play, vii'
derivative work
Bold Or Confronting
Red playground - finish what you started

The interconnectedness between creativity and problem solving are my own conclusions.  Have others come to a similar deduction? I recommend checking out the following:

“All creativity is problem solving” by Joshua Carroll on the Decoding Creativity series on Brush-up by Creative Market.

“How to be creative”, from Off Book PBS Digital Studios

Mistakes are vital

I’m on a mission to complete 52 abstract works by May 2024, so there’s no time to fuss over “mistakes”. Mistakes are a vital part of playing in the studio. A big win is I’m learning to live with them. 

Differences between works

Physical mark making on the rough paper isn’t easy, but the results are actually quite pleasing. I’ve enjoyed the outcome, though I imagined the latest works would look more similar to the earlier Red Playground work.  I’m okay with the difference because this is my year of play.  They differ to a similar degree from their “Can Red Come Out to Play” forebears as well.

One of my “rules of play” this year is to use the materials and supplies in my stash. This is the biggest factor for the disparity because the papers came from different manufacturers.

The rough paper heavily influenced the way I applied media. Creating a globe-like form on them, similar to that of ‘Red Playground -Finish what you started’, was something I was unwilling to do.  It would take too much time.

Closing thoughts

The earlier works, ‘Can Red Come Out to Play VII, VIII and IX’,  served well as inspiration for all three derivative works.  I’m pleased that the older works do not dictate the outcome of the latter.  Likewise, I’m satisfied each derivative work stands on its own accord, giving an occasional nod to the others.

‘Red Playground 8 and 9’ are working titles. I’d really appreciate you giving your ideas for final names for these works by commenting below.

Which of the three Red Playground works to you like the best?  Please let me know in the comments below.

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Those on my list will receive other benefits I’m working on right now, including having first dibs to purchase works later on this year. 

Is there a better title?

‘Red Playground 8’ and ‘Red Playground 9’ are working titles. I’d appreciate your suggestions for a final title. Post them in the comments below or in the comment section on any of the videos of the series.

Red Playground - Finish What You Started, Final
Red playground - finish what you started, final
Creative Truths
Red playground 8 and 9, finished.
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