Saturday, August 19, 2023

Could you repeat that please?

I've been painting flowers lately. Lots and lots of flowers. They're stylized and not particularly interesting, but here's what I've discovered--the more I paint them, the more I want to paint them. It's kind of hypnotic.

There's power to images repeated over and over again. The whole becomes worth more than the sum of its parts.

Think Yayoi Kusama and her dots. Marimekko's flowers. Think Andy Warhol's silk screens. Georgia O'Keefe and her flowers. Think Michael Snow's Walking Woman repeated over and over again. Imagine Keith Haring's babies crawling across the subway walls. And then there's Twyla Tharp's Jelly Rolls, Jimi Hendrix guitar riffs. Sylvia Plath's poem, Daddy: you do not do, you do not do/Anymore black shoe /In which I have lived like a foot.

Here's the thing--you won't discover your own unique genius, unless you allow yourself to do the same thing over and over again.

Instead of thinking of this repetition as laziness or resting on your laurels, or doing what's safe and familiar, think of it as exploration. You are finding our signature. And from here, you can spool out into your creative journey. But through repetition, you will always have a home base that you can return to where you can find solace, truth, comfort and familiarity--whether it be flowers or babies or dots or some crazy deeply mysterious mixed up thing that belongs to you and you alone.

Creative Friends--your assignment for this week is to look at something you do a lot. Don’t ask yourself why. Just do it. Do it again and again. Rest and repeat.

And, have fun.



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