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  • Writer's picturecarolyn land

Creative Spirit Blog May 31, 2023 Where Does the Magic Happen?

"Dream Catcher" Mixed Media

“I have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day, a fresh try, one more start, with perhaps a bit of magic waiting somewhere behind the morning.” J.B. Priestley

The phase "Where the Magic Happens” is often applied to the Studio. It’s an expression we use to advertise our studio or place we work. But the fact is, it is not where the magic happens.

The magic happens when something deep inside us comes out. It happens at odd times and in various places. It usually comes during the process of doing, most likely when we are so involved, we don’t know it is happening. The truth is, the best things happen when we are not planning them out, not obsessing about them, and we are just letting the creative juices flow.

You know that moment when a couple of drops of paint accidently fall from your brush, flow onto a wet surface, mix of their own accord, and disperse? You look at it and think, “Wow that’s beautiful”! Or you look at your palette at the end of a session and think, “Great little painting!” That is magic happening. It just happened without being planned.

What we all need to learn to do, is to let our creativity drop onto the surface and work its magic without planning each and every move.

So much of our lives revolves around planning, scheduling, and setting goals that it becomes a habit…” I must have a plan!” We have been schooled in the idea that planning is good, and truthfully sometimes it is necessary. However, sometimes not having a plan brings about wonderful surprises and experiences.

There are also times we just don’t know what we want. Sometimes in life and in our art life we just feel stuck. That’s ok. In life we may just need some time “to stop and smell the roses”. Take a break and reboot. In art we may just need to do some mindless mark making.

The only way to get unstuck in the creative process is to start making moves. No goal or plan needed! Any motion whatsoever beats inertia because inspiration will come from action and any action is better than no action! If you make a mistake, you learn a lesson. More tools in your toolbox. I must say that lately I have acquired several new tools from unsuccessful experiments and overthinking.

“A lot of good things don’t get made because of too much thinking.” Agnes Martin.

When we overthink and plan each move, we become stressed and focus on the negative. We usually disappoint ourselves, setting up a cycle of personal...what was I thinking syndrome! When you are busy planning and worrying, magic can’t happen.

When we get lost in our work, enjoy the process, and let inspiration take over without trying to control it, that is when magic happens. Yes, the studio, classroom, or corner of our kitchen may be where magic takes place. But it happens when the artist allows inspiration to take precedence over the thought process.

“Not all those who wander are lost”. J.R.R. Tolkien

1 Comment

Jun 02, 2023

Your love for art is so measurable, colorful, interesting an comes from your heart. I think of you often an so happy our live have crossed. Love an Light

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