Art Alchemy Studio

Mixed Media Art by Chaska Peacock

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Creative Foreplay

Robert Genn's comments about the "dry spells" in which we don't produce any
art.....besides making me laugh out loud, have changed forever how I will think
of those times. I hope that if I ever get lucky in the way of another kind of
foreplay, I don't think about this!

Work zones are preceded by times of dreaming, searching, preparation and
anticipation. These periods can last for years, months, or minutes. For many
of us, the preliminaries are at least as important as the work zones that follow.

Reviewing the nature and frequency of one's own creative foreplay is a
valuable exercise. Avoidance activities and delay ploys need to be spotted and
winnowed out. Because of the gray area between work avoidance and foreplay
proper, one needs to know the main types:

Passive foreplay is relaxed--a Zen-like calm before a storm of activity. At its
core is trust. Knowing that you've done it before is exciting and allows you to be
blessed once more by the goddess.

Active foreplay is energetic to start with. It's a set-up and a priming for the
often calmer activity that follows. As well as long- and short-term considerations,
there's the idea of "something completely different," such as jogging or energetic
wandering--as opposed to "something somewhat similar," such as sketching.
Always, there's the value of thinking and contemplating--as opposed to the value
of not thinking and not contemplating. In the science of creativity, both
approaches seem to be valid. It's a wise artist who understands his preferences.

All creative foreplay serves to prepare the artist for at least a decent start. Apart
from building enthusiasm and a feeling that what you are about to do is right for
you, more than anything the effort steels resolve. In preparation, dreams somehow
mix with practical considerations and the result is a harvest that can only be called
"ideas." These ideas breed, reflect, reject and focus. This phase is a harbinger that
can be almost as good as the real thing. With proper preparation, the artist has a
better chance of getting lucky.


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