A Strong Balance, 12"x12," Acrylic on panel, ©Lynn Goldstein, buying information here.
There is a reason that the expression, working outside your comfort zone, makes you feel challenged, and maybe a little uncomfortable. However, there are compelling reasons to take a break from what is safe in life, and also in your art-making practice. Here are simple ways to jump-start your creativity by doing something new.
1. Change it up and feel more alive. The same-old-same-old that we have all faced during this pandemic has been tough on us all. If we take the time to consider how we can alter our everyday routine, we will inevitably feel more excited, and creativity will be sparked from the experience. As an example, if you usually walk around your neighborhood, you may want to go to a local park to see something new to you. I know that when I make an alteration as simple as that, the difference in the landscape is enough to inspire and uplift me.
Here are some pics from a recent walk. Something as simple as the change of seasons can inspire.
2. Use colors that you don't usually use in your art. I tend to use a similar palette of colors frequently. It was time to shake things up a bit. So, I made the painting that you see above. I didn't even put paint colors that I usually use out on my palette. Didn't want to have any temptation to slip back into my comfort zone. It felt weird, to say the least, but I am very happy with the end result. It's so different from the colors that I ordinarily embrace, and using these colors made me think differently, and I had a great time doing it. Not an artist? Well, you could try to wear a color that you rarely would wear. Not a big commitment if it's only a scarf or gloves.
This piece, "We've Got Rhythm," by Delna Dastur is on view at the "(Not) Strictly Painting" exhibition at the McLean Project for the Arts until November 13. If you are in the Washington, DC area it's well worth a visit to the gallery to see this show!
3. Look at artwork by artists with whom you are unfamiliar. We tend to become comfortable with artists whose work we have seen repeatedly. I am thinking of work by Van Gogh and Monet as examples of artists whose work have been seen over and over again . The next time you are fortunate enough to visit a museum or gallery, take a closer look at work that is different. Jot down the name of the artist and look at more of their art online. This will enrich your life and could inform your art work in ways that surprise and delight you.
Do you challenge yourself to do different things in your life and art? I'd love to hear about it. Let me know in the comments below.