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  • Writer's picturecarolyn land

The Power of Play

“Ultimately, my hope is to amaze myself.  The anticipation of discovering new possibilities becomes my greatest joy”.                                                                                                                                                  Jerry Uelsmann

Never underestimate the power of play.  You never know what you will discover. It gives your imagination a chance to soar.  Yes, it is important to have a body of work. That is how you develop an identifiable style.  This is very important if you are doing out door judged festivals, or are looking for gallery representation.  It is also how you master your technique and develop proficiency. However, don’t be afraid to stray and take some time just to play.  That is how great discoveries are made and you grow.  Stagnation is bad!  Playing can lead you in a wonderful new direction, or can enhance what you have been doing.   I have found that when I try something new, I do better when I return to doing what I do best.  I see it with new eyes and I bring it new energy.

Just like in the other things in life, if you do something for too long you get tired. You sometimes start making mistakes. You start to lack the enthusiasm you had for doing the project in the first place.  If you take a break, and renew your energy, you come back with a new enthusiasm, and usually a clearer perspective.

The brain works in mysterious ways.  If you have a problem with something and go on to do something else, you sometimes return to the original problem and see the solution.  You have uncovered the answer by experimenting with something new.

“Imagination makes you see all sorts of things.”               Georgia O’Keeffe”

Some things to try:  If you are used to painting realistic try an abstract just for fun.  If you paint abstract, try your hand at contour drawing.  If you always paint, try collage.  If you do collage try adding 3 dimensional objects.  Try a different surface to work on or make a new surface using products.  Try a new medium or add one to the work you are doing.  Just keep your creativity buzzing.

“Guess how I made that head of a bull? One day, in a rubbish heap, I found an old bicycle seat, lying beside a rusted handlebar…and my mind instantly linked them together.  The idea for this Tete de Taureau came before me, before I had even realized it.  I just soldered them together…”    Pablo Picasso

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