A while ago, a thought came to me that I would like to tidy-up my drawers where I stock my papers and artworks, a big chest my husband made for me... It's been a mess from day one and I can never find what I am looking for in there. But I was being so resistant, tidying-up was gonna take precious time on my work and those new pieces I want to make. But somehow, in the midst of making work, I found myself tidying those drawers without even realising. And it was a lightbulb moment: I found so many treasures in there, old works I had completely discarded, works I had started but not finished, bits and bobs, scraps etc... If there is one thing I love, is to completely forget about an artwork in progress, put it away because it isn't "good enough" and find it again months or years later, and to be able to see it in a new light, see in it a fresh new potential I hadn't seen before.
I started to cut-up, to throw paint around, glue pieces of paper together to change the scale of a work, I used a new exciting sponge tool I made to createmarks, used a big brush (as I want to make bigger works), not caring so much about the preciousness of it all. Lately, I have been very precious about paper, not wasting it, making sure it stays clean, and I have been working smaller and smaller scale wise. Nothing wrong with that but slowly it felt my world was getting much smaller. In the past two days, I have told myself "even if I think it's rubbish, I can cut-up a part of it to use it in something else, maybe in a year's time".
And it's been so liberating, I hadn't felt this excited about making work in a long time. I have dreamed about them, and have been sad to go home in the evenings and leave them all alone in the studio... Being less precious, putting the pressures of creating art "good enough to be sold straight away" to the side has been a gift, and it needs to carry on, as that's how works develop, get refined and keep being exciting, relevant. You can get very stuck and routine-like even when your job is to be an artist. And my sketchbook has been a very precious source of inspiration indeed. I have been drawing in it lots, it's been like a visual diary for me.