January 18, 2010

Clear the Way

The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak", urged  Hans Hofmann,legendary art teacher painter, and catalyst of the Abstract Expressionist movement. Hans Hofmann influenced generations of artists across Europe. He knew how to draw the best out of his students and would often stress the importance of simplifying. I think there's a lot to be gleaned from this maxim that goes much farther than arranging paint on a canvas. So much of our lives could benefit from a reduction test, I believe.  I recently took on the task of cleaning out my home studio. After several months of frenzied work and shoving debris, the clutter was beginning to affect my ability to work. I felt a dullness in my thinking when I tried to create in the space and was easily distracted. I rolled up my sleeves and 3 hours later, I had conquered the evil mess.After I sorted, trashed and cleaned, I couldn't help but notice how much easier it was to focus, concentrate and create.
 I've also been thinking about the fact that in pursuing a goal or a dream,sometimes  it's helpful to de-clutter our thought life along with our surroundings. I don't know about you, but sometimes my brain sounds like 100 gibbering monkeys. I find myself with piles of thoughts that need to be sorted, put away or thrown out. It's a strange form of therapy, I know, but sometimes I purposely tackle a closet, or in this case, a studio, when I need to sort out my own thoughts. I works for me every time. There's something in the physical act of putting things in place that seems to clear my head simultaneously. ..or at least it helps get rid of a few monkeys..
  Here's a couple great sites that has organizing tips, I thought I 'd share:
Simplify Your Life Week -- OnlineOrganizing.com. Then this blog on organization is really helpful too.
 Do you have any "simplifying" tricks either for simplifying your life, surroundings or thoughts. Tell me. I'd love to know.


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