How I Make Creative Decisions

Sometimes it is hard to pick a project, or say no to an opportunity.
April is arriving, and I have two art projects on my board in addition to
making a living (conserving antiquities —
this is what I am working on in our restoration business):

Then there is a challenge I’ve found fun in past which is full of deadlines, daily commitments, etc.  I thought I’d do it, but then this nagging feeling began.

At first I assumed it was because of an unfortunate experience I’d had with
the creator of the challenge: you know how a fixed idea is hardest to change?
X had made an assumption about something that had
no relationship to anything I felt or thought, and from there, ran with it.
Literally pulled it out of the air, as i had responded to an email from her.
No matter how many times I said, “I don’t feel that, never did feel that,
am perfectly happy with you and your class structure, etc.,”
X had made up her mind and no new information could penetrate.
Of course, had to give up on X, and so no longer happy with her class structures.

Well, I’d have to interact a LOT with X on this opportunity.

Creativity should be fun, dammit!

But then I felt into it a bit more and decided it had little to do with that aspect.

Sometimes I have to go through each layer to see what is going on….

Finally I realized the only way I’d know is to move forward
on the challenge and
see how it felt as I was doing it.
So I “broke the rules,” which are always meant to be broken if this is your challenge
and your process — it is not a law, just an art challenge —
and this is part of the problem X has with me.
I began early, to see how it felt.
Sure enough, I felt sluggish, sleepy, bored, and then, tell-tale sign,
I got a STOMACH ACHE.  Seriously, these are all telltale signs for me,
and they do NOT happen when I am painting.  EVER, (unless I am really sick.)

So I am passing on the challenge this year.
I need to honor my feelings though I have no idea
the reasons behind them and move on, working my projects,
enjoying a couple of classes run by friends, and making money in our business.

This is the results of my sleepy effort yesterday, and the paint and experience still stands.

Blackfriar Pub in London

Moving from sketch to ink layers (grisaille) to underpainting
(using Tracey‘s tips to brighten) to final coats.

Unfortunately, sometimes when you are integrating a new tip, it doesn’t quite work out.
In this sketch of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, I followed the same basic steps.
The under-painting was too strong for the rest of the image, which had muted tones.
The red for the double-decker bus was a new paint by M.Graham,
a bit too deep and opaque, though it was supposed to be transparent.  Ooop1
The greens became overpowering and brilliant as well.  The overall effect was not to my liking.  I decided to give a go at removing some paint, also a Tracey tip.  This helped considerably, and balance was struck when I deepened the street greys.
That helped to “ground” the sketch.

St. Paul’s Cathedral in London


©D. Katie Powell.
My images/blog posts may be reposted; please link back  to dkatiepowellart.

About dkatiepowellart

hollywood baby turned beach gurl turned steel&glass city gurl turned cowgurl turned herb gurl turned green city gurl. . . artist writer photographer. . . cat lover but misses our big dogs, gone to heaven. . . buddhist and interested in the study of spiritual traditions. . . foodie, organic, lover of all things mik, partner in conservation business mpfconservation, consummate blogger, making a dream happen, insomniac who is either reading buddhist teachings or not-so-bloody mysteries or autobio journal thangs early in the morning when i can't sleep
This entry was posted in architecture, art journal, challenge, creativity, drawing, journal, painting, pen & ink, sketchbook, virtual sketching, watercolor and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to How I Make Creative Decisions

  1. Dan Antion says:

    Creativity should be fun! I had a similarly bad experience with a writing challenge. By the time all the rules and regs, dos and donts had been exchanged, I backed out. Something that I do for personal entertainment shouldn’t feel like school work where I am destined to receive s bad grade.

    I love your artwork. It’s foreign to me, but I enjoy reading about the things you do, the tools and paints that you use and why you use them. There are analogous decisions in woodworking and, I’m sure, other creative endeavors. Enjoy!


    • Yesh!
      I like to read about bridge building and barn restoration, and I doubt I ever restore a bridge. I think when we are creatives in any endeavor there are crossovers. I also belong to an insane fountain pen collecting FB group — I mean, I want functional and they spend thousands on this or that pen. Eye candy!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. joreimer says:

    Glue a small envelop inside the back cover after adhering you own elastic (hairband?) in place.


  3. I fight it when I am locked into anything. That is when I loose the fun factor. I want to be free to create. Your sketches of the buildings are so good. I enjoy looking at your pen strokes. and your colors are good. A nice degree of saturation. I will have to check out the Fabriano sketckbook!


    • It is why I love classes by Tracey Fletcher King (taught the saturation) or Marc Holmes…. I don’t have to lock step or hide what I am doing!
      Thank you for the compliment; at some point I am going to try a video on how I do my architectural sketches. There is a point to seeing and understanding before I begin which I think will be helpful.
      I am going to do a little write up on my favorite books soon….
      In Portland, at Columbia Art & drafting supply they are having a two for one sale on several books — Fabriano is one, and a lovely square-shaped Pro-Art which I have not tried yet. So I bought two A4 Fabrianos for $39. They don’t advertise their sales. Old school.


  4. Linda K says:

    your architectural sketches are brilliant Kate!!


  5. Rasz says:

    Yes creativity should be FUN!!! And I would pass on anything that was creative but no fun. Your buildings look fun! Have a great weekend. Hugs, Rasz


  6. Faye says:

    You are so good at buildings, Katie; these are all great.


I love hearing from visitors!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.