Which end is the deep end?
29 Oct 2012 -- I was restless last night, wanting something but too unfocused to actually do anything. Even a lovely doodle seemed out of reach.
I don't want to lose touch with my drawing and doodling and whatever ability I have to do "visual journaling" (aka playing with markers).
As I lounged in front of the TV, watching an old British detective series, I doodled a challenge for myself (see picture below or to the side). It amounts to this:
- must be somewhat ambitious so that I'm forced to do it quickly, without overthinking (from experience I know this can result in some nice surprises)
- must tap into my unconscious (almost like the"automatic writing," occasionally employed by surrealist artists)
- no "jejune embellishments" (what a phrase) (the visual journal pages posted on Flickr are often gorgeous but made so by sweetly drawn flowers, butterflies, etc -- prettiness is not my goal -- even if I am envious of the people with darling pages)
- constraints are good (a required routine, time limits, etc) -- important to break down the tried-and-true thought process
Oh, then I remembered a book that had a tremendous amount of influence on me: "Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity" by David Lynch. Lynch is deeply, if not disturbingly, creative with movies like Blue Velvet, Eraserhead, and Muholland Drive and his TV series Twin Peaks. If meditation was part of his program, count me in. I gave my hard copy of the book away, so I downloaded both the Kindle and Audible versions. Inspiration!
Before bed, I decided to do 15 minutes of zazen [meditation] followed by a little index card + marker art. My rule: make it fast, use the fat end of the markers, keep at it till "something happens." The card at the top here is the result (with an added zap of Photoshop drama as I'm posting this). I was putting something like cattail heads on the grassy part when I deciding to swirl up my dots (no the pen didn't move on its own). I did a couple more swirly things, then saw that it looked like a female figure rising up from the swamp in the moonlight. Done!
Do I have my "method"?
I brought my markers and index cards down to my ground floor "thinking room" and tried the technique this morning. It definitely feels like too much to write in my notebook, meditate for 15-20 minutes, then start a little drawing. Maybe I should do the meditation in the afternoon, when my mind starts being tired of working so hard...
To be continued.