Process and Playing

21 Apr

When I am working on preparing for classes, I do a lot of experimenting and practicing and making a big mess. I’m sure that most instructors work the same way. You spend hours and hours trying to develop a class, sometimes hours and hours to find out that it just isn’t going to work. I work through the processes, but  really I am playing, which allows the processes to do their thing.

I thought I would share a little peek at the process that I usually go through. First I drag out all kinds of things that I think I want to try. Usually I end up thinking of other things along the way, and dragging out more stuff to play with. Of course some of that is tempered by the fact that I have part of my art supplies at my home studio and part of my art supplies at the store studio. So, I don’t always have everything I need right at hand. But that gives me an opportunity to improvise and think of new ideas just using what I do have on hand (or hauling stuff back and forth to play with works too!).

This is how I do it at the store studio, since there is a lot more room to spread out there. I get out whatever products I am wanting to work with and line them up. I make sure I have plenty of whatever sub-strata I am using and line that up as well.

Then I make sure there are plenty of misc tools I can use. And I go to work.

I try something different at each station and I write notes about it next to it on the paper (later I can go back and transfer those notes to the backs of each of the samples). The notes might include info about colors or techniques or timing. Whatever I am experimenting with that I think might be important to know. Sometimes the results are that nothing happens or that it doesn’t work (that is good info to know as well).

As I work through the various processes I learn more about the product and what it will do and won’t do. I also get great insight into how I can mix and match various techniques and other products and then I start brainstorming even more things to play with. There are endless possibilities!

It is a great process to help with class development and it is just one of the factors that goes into how teachers create and construct classes to share.

Here are a couple of photos of my much smaller home studio space and what it usually looks like when I am playing and experimenting at home. It is much messier but I love it.

What does your space look like? And do you do these experiments too? Do you like the process part of art? Do you like to just play with no end result in mind?


Let Your Inner Artist Out to Play

Blue Twig Studio – 5039 N Academy Blvd – Colorado Springs, CO 80918 – USA – 719-266-1866


4 Responses to “Process and Playing”

  1. Sonja Milojevic April 26, 2014 at 5:43 pm #

    It’s nice to see how you do this. Inspiring process. And I always love the colors you use in your art work!


  2. Melanie McNeil December 16, 2014 at 4:03 pm #

    I am product-oriented by nature, a finisher, so I like to do things I’m pretty sure will get me to “successful” output. Over the last couple of years I’ve been much more deliberate in trying things without (as much) expectation of outcome. Exploring and experimenting, I’ve tried a lot of things I wouldn’t have in the past. The upshot, of course, is my work has gotten so much richer, and I am so much more powerful. I think the more we talk about the power of trying, rather than of “success,” the more we can encourage others to play, too. Thanks for showing your process here. Definitely productive play time!


    • Deb Prewitt December 16, 2014 at 7:04 pm #

      You are right that playing and experimenting more makes our art so much better. We learn so much about ourselves when we start playing. 🙂


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