The artist’s version of writer’s block?

I say I am in a creative lull, but really I am not.  I have written nearly every day for several months, either by blog or by journal.  I have finished a painting that has sat in my studio for 10 years, I painted several other paintings this summer.  I dabbled with watercolor and sold 2 of the 3 paintings.  I have knit several things in the last few weeks.  I have dressed as a pirate and play acted at festivals.  But I have not sewn any dolls, though their spirits whisper in my ear, bring us to life.  I have done a few doodles, but I am bored with them.  Then I discovered someone decided to call the process ZEN Tangles, and I find myself going “doh I coulda done that”.  But I didn’t.  Its all good to me, someone at The Syracuse Peace Council’s Plowshares Arts and Crafts Festival apologized, sorry you are not making art.  But I am.  And for me it is not up to what I want, it is not matching the vision in my artist’s mind.  I fumble, I struggle, I throw things away, I tear things out, I write stuff and then delete it.  This is all good to me.  It is part of being an artist.

But I did by a book that encourages one to envision the life they want through art.  And since then I have been attempting the first task, which is to spend 15 minutes a day doing what gives me joy.  Today I started knitting a mitten using Ukrainian patterns, and the colors of the Ukrainian flag, bright blue and yellow.  Yesterday I looked for my pattern book and gave up, today I found it.  When I say pattern book, I don’t mean for the mitten itself but rather for the color work that is truly the joy of knitting for me.

And while I was at Plowshares I spoke to several artisans, felt inspired, looked at what other people are doing, and came home feeling okay that I didn’t apply this year.  It just wasn’t right for me.  I have this thing brewing, or else I am closing off a door, I don’t know which, I just feel as though there is potential energy and I just have not tapped it yet.  And I am all good with it.

I know other artists struggle with creative lulls, what are some ways that they overcome this, and figure out a way to bring all that stuff back up to the surface?

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New socks for an old friend

Socks

I love knitting color patterns into socks.  I use these lovely size 3 bamboo needles from the Clover company.  The variegated yarn is from Hot Socks Sockenwolle, and the other yarn, I have no idea but it is good quality yarn store sock yarn.   I used a pattern book from Philosopher’s Wool to create some of the patterns but the checkerboard pattern is one I love to incorporate into my designs, whether they are are wool or if it is just printed fabric in my animals.  I personally cannot stand “check” designs in clothing but love to see it added to a pattern.  I just discovered a remaining ball of green that I though I had had when making these socks, but couldn’t find.  It was of course right on top of the other yarns in the sock yarn drawer.  Alas the socks are happy being purple with that accent of yellow, white and the variegated.  I have another pair of these socks and they are warm and comfy.  One thing I do with all of my wool socks is double knit the toe.  I do this by knitting two yarns at the same time, knitting alternating stitches which carries the yarn between each stitch thus creating a smooth inner surface and this striped outer pattern.  I knit it for one inch before beginning my decreases which makes for a good long toe surface.  I think it looks pretty, but in the end, in snow country it is all about the warmth.