How to ignore your "Critical Talking Head" when creating!
I often describe myself as a “rubix cube girl", always thinking, analyzing, questioning. Painting helps quiet that little cube for a bit, but I still find that my head has a mind of its own. When painting a critical head is important, just not so early. We need to play, play, play and play som more before we start to analysis and listen to voice.
My technique to counteract my “talking head”, is an imaginary shelf where I place all my critisicms and first judgements. You know the ones…they pop out of your mouth while you are painting, “Ugh” “that’s not right”, “Ahhh”. Some are clearly more colourful expletives, but all follow a flurry of activity to wipe all traces of that perceived mistake away.
Then there are also the positive comments, “oh, that’s good, or “do a little more of that”. I tend to listen to these and do more of what I am liking. Sometimes this positive dialogue is a good thing, at other times, it’s just plain distracting. So like a good baseball coach might say, “Just throw, don’t think”. I try to “pitch” my paint without a lot of inner dialogues. Then I give it play time, long enough to feel that I’ve had enough distance to really be discerning.
So, I invite you to create an imaginary shelf for yourself…just somewhere off to the side that you immediately capture that negative thought and place it there. You can always retrieve it should you need it... if you truly think it will help, but try this first. I think you will realize that painting without always having a running critical commentary is very freeing.
Make your shelf: picture a plain ordinary shelf, colour it, add details (wood, metal, etc)…maybe it has a container where you drop thoughts into it. Find where it rests the best in your minds eye?..to the left, the right of you, behind you? How do you transfer those thoughts? Does the thought go onto a piece of paper, a wind blows it into a jar ...Do you need a sound of a lid clamping down help to shut the thought out? Play with it a bit.
All I know is that creating without criticism allows me to paint better, for it is then that I don’t fear to make the mistakes it takes to learn something new.
"Outside the Canvas" is the bits and pieces of my eclectic musings, my work, poetry...and hopefully, some interesting discoveries I make as an artist shred along the way. I'll try to keep it short and sweet, since my son pointed out "nobody wants to reads blog novels Mom".