Sometimes we take ourselves and our art a little too seriously. We need to unclench and put down all of the tension that is accumulating in our neck and shoulders, setting it on the shelf right next to the need to be perfect.
One good way to open up and release is through play. You can set the stage for creativity to bloom, in your life and in your art. I'll share some of my Recreation Therapist-turned-Artist Secrets....
Here's the first one: BE SPONTANEOUS
Seek out opportunities to wander radically from your normal routine. Where can you make a little room for the unexpected and maybe even bizarre? I have followed an ice cream truck around until it stopped, just so I could get one of those kiddie popsicles...
Participated in pitching tents in random places along the southeastern coast of the US, just for an adventure.
Harrassed my husband into stopping in random unplanned spots that we've never been-like the little hole-in-the-wall antique shop on the way to Ithaca...just to change things up and have an experience we wouldn't otherwise have.
I find these things to be delicious....(especially the ice cream...)
It's the same with painting. It's about being curious. Asking yourself, "What would happen if I followed this line? What will it become?" And allowing the answer to flow from your brush.
You're creating an experience that has never existed before, until you dipped those bristles in that pile of color.
You're spontaneously bringing something into being that would never have arisen if it wasn't for you, your curiosity and your action. And it's a practice.
If you add spontaneity to your life, it will show up in your painting. If you're spontaneous in your painting, it will show up in your life. It's a beautiful- playful-universe wrapping it's arms around you-circle.
So give it up a little, follow where the brush wants to go, rather than where you think it should. Be open to the wild world of experience and possibility that's waiting for you to listen and respond.