And truth is, I have no idea. I feel like I'm getting near the end of my current series, and while I've been working a bit on my non-objective work, I really don't know what's coming. I think I might need to take a bit of down time... let my brain lie fallow, so to speak.
Over the years I've been following a few artists who are well known in the world of art journaling. I find them inspiring. If you are not familiar with art journaling, take a look at the work of Orly Avineri or Erin Faith Allen... its pretty wonderful. Or Julianna Coles... really raw and intimate. It's a different kind of art. A lot of it is stream of consciousness and a mix of images and words. And all of it is made without judgement and is extremely personal. The point is (I think...) to help the artist get to a place where their work is truly authentic. With so much art constantly available to compare ourselves to, that is no easy feat.
I've tried art journaling a few times over the years. I have filled one little 10 page book, which took over a year, and started a second, which has one page half completed. It's not that I don't enjoy doing it, it's more that I have had this overflowing store of ideas that I wanted to get out, and my studio time was extremely limited. I have what I call my little "playbooks", but they are not exactly the same thing. I pick up children's board books at my local goodwill, sand and gesso the pages, and use them for anything and everything. I try out new techniques, new tools, new combinations of media. (The other day I poured rubbing alcohol on a page that had acrylic under oil pastel, just to see what would happen. The answer? A puddle of mud. But now I know). Even that I don't really have a lot of time for. It's more of an "I only have half an hour so I'll work in my book" kind of thing.
But things are changing for me... I now have a reasonably large inventory of paintings to choose from when I find a exhibit or juried show I want to apply for. I don't have to panic that I don't have enough work to fill a booth at an art fair. As my husband regularly points out, I could sell half my inventory and we'd still have work on every wall in the house. It would seem that right now, for the next couple months anyway, I may have some time to just play.
So, I am committing to this: apart from my ongoing Legends series (for which I have set myself a schedule and a deadline), I am not going to focus on producing. I am going to try a bunch of new stuff that may or may not work. I will write about it, and I will take pictures, which may be ugly. In fact, I'm pretty sure they'll be ugly. I'll post them anyway. I'm going to try to start a journaling practice, if only to discover if it's valuable for me. I'm going to take at least one class. And I'm going to find out what's next.