January 01, 2011

Make Time to Play

Happy New Year!

I absolutely love New Year’s Day. It represents another love of mine - a blank white canvas. Eventhough I sit here typing with a rediculous head cold and a looming need for Christmas decor removal, I maintain my giddiness over what this year will hold.
With one foot stepping into 2011, New Year’s Day offers an opportunity to glance over the shoulder . Powerful “take aways” follow reflective pauses. This year my “take away” surprised me.
As a creative soul, I have now internalized the importance of “play.” Having read about the affect of play on productivity and creativity in A Whole New Mind  by Daniel Pink, I had always secretly questioned it’s importance.  Now I am convinced of it’s vital role.
In creating the Durham Dreams series and maintaining the goal of painting one “portrait” a month, by the time the ninth piece’s deadline rolled around, I found my creativity ground into dust. Taking the month of December “off” from the production of Durham Dreams, I allowed myself the freedom to paint out of my own soul. By unpacking my own creative bundles of thought, I slowly began to become rejeuvinated in ideas for the remaining painting deadlines I have for Durham Dreams.
 Holding a firm understanding of the creative process, Daniel Pink advises a delicate dance between meeting deadlines and allowing margin for “play” in order for the creatice soul to flourish. 
It has been said that “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. My addendum to that is “All deadlines and no creative play makes an artist become very stuck!” My antidote for getting unstuck has been begining a series I call “Daily Dreams”. I have been creating small (5x7) pieces of art (almost) every day. You may see a sampling in these photos. They have not only been a wonderful creative catharsis, but also have provided an opportunity to explore ideas for future large scale paintings by working out color plans and compositions. Additionally, they provide a great option for patrons to purchase and collect smaller works. 

So now I forge ahead with the  3 remaining “Dream Portraits” to be painted in the next 3 months. But, be assured, I will now make time to “play”.
I hope you too will take time to “play” as you move forward into the deadlines and tasks of 2011.


Hi Eleatta,
I love this post. I've also found that when I place expectations on what I will create, and when ... I can get stuck. Though I generally begin a project, such as your lovely "Durham Dreams" (or my writing 30 Notes in 30 Days), with a deep desire to create with loving kindness, I've learned that 'mass producing' creativity just doesn't work well for me.
Thank goodness, there are days when I can paint or write for hours, and the time just flies by!
I'm glad to visit your site, and have a peek at your beautiful work once again!
Take good care!

Thanks, Jane. Yes, the whole deadline thing is a tight rope dance, isn't it? Hey, tell me more about your "30 notes in 30 days"? It sounds really interesting!

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