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Rituals for Art Making

December 16, 2008
haiku-61-smHaiku 61
Acrylic on Cradled Panel
8 x 8 x 2″

Not much to show today except another finished Haiku piece.

The new series now has a name:  “Rituals.”

It’s appropriate, because it takes many rituals to get me started painting, or at least to get me in the groove.

Here are some of my rituals:

  • Drink lots of coffee
  • Walk outside with the dogs
  • Think
  • Think some more
  • Read something inspiring
  • Line up paint bottles and jars of mediums
  • Assemble brushes, knives, brayers, and squeegees
  • Turn on some music
  • Light a green candle

Do you have rituals for starting your creative process?

16 Comments leave one →
  1. December 16, 2008 6:24 pm

    I’ve heard many people poo-poo the need for using rituals to begin the painting process, but I like them. I often use music and a candle or incense. Sometimes I prefer silence. Most importantly I begin by taking some time to visualize the painting, the colors, textures, composition to gain focus. Often the painting takes on a life of its own but I find the time spent visualizing at the outset provides fertile ground to work out of.

  2. December 16, 2008 7:09 pm

    Jan, this is a really good way to start. Even if the end is something unexpected.

  3. candiedfabrics permalink
    December 16, 2008 10:58 pm

    If I’m not under a deadline, and sometimes even then, I clean up my studio. Clutter gets in my way, mentally & physically. Then I pull some fabrics out and if I need some inspiration, I flip through my digital scrapbook that I fill with pix that have given me an AH! moment when I saw them. As I’m usually working upstairs while keeping an ear on my 2 sons, I usually work without music, so I can hear when things need my attention.

  4. December 16, 2008 11:22 pm

    If nothing else works I put on some upbeat music and dance around the studio for a while.

  5. December 17, 2008 12:50 am

    Somebody used to call the ritual their “pub”.

    Love your Haikus, Martha. Your WordPress blog is looking great.

  6. December 17, 2008 3:13 am

    So far, my only consistent ritual is clearing clutter to carve out a space to set up the paint box… which is to say, that as I’m not a full-time artist, I don’t have good habits (yet).

    I remember in school that I did a lot of pacing and pulling on my hair — but I think that’s nervous energy, not ritual…?

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