creative truths

Three important creative truths

Three Important Creative Truths

Three important creative truths are helping me to thrive in the studio this year, starting with my Red Playground works.

year of exploring

In this year of intentional studio play I’m on a quest for new means of expression.

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 critical

‘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.

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


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 the 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 between the work; 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 7, 8 and 9’, 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 - Finish what you started, final
Red Playground - Finish what you started, final
creative truths
Red Playground 8 and 9, finished.

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