The cursor sits and blinks and every good idea, bad idea, any idea at all for anything vanishes



Beginning, for me, is easiest when I have NO IDEA what I will write or paint or do or say… when the blank slate, the blank canvas, is truly blank. So many times I approach a project with a preconceived notion, an idea, a pesky VISION of what I want it to be.

And I always, always, always fall short of whatever that myth is, the mythological painting, prose, posture.

I wonder about the pressure of our own preconceptions, our own expectations, our own inner imaginings–

I hold a notebook to catch the shadow  of my daughter’s cheek and imagine capturing it with a quick stroke of the pen. Instead, my pen catches, my hand does not obey my eye, and a squiggle emerges quite unlike the profile I cherish. What went wrong? The attempt at capturing? The hand? The brain? The expectation? It seemed so simple.

Other days, I sit down to play and make art I love. No expectation, no vision, just layers that emerge, blend, change. I layer, I rub away, I blot, glob, feather…

and suddenly, something I never could have imagined is on the canvas.


Now that I’ve written this, I wonder, if for me, it is about allowing, about emergence, rather than anything else.

Getting out of the way.

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2 thoughts on “beginning

  1. Oh, Kate, do I agree with you. I think of myself as a very creative person but not on command. I have to get out of the way as well. I do that just the way I make Swedish Pancakes: I do all the proper steps of preparation, then after warming the pan, or pans, I lovingly butter them and toss in the batter. After some hovering I lift an edge hoping for the best. I finally attempt to flip them. Disaster. Off to the compost bin. The next one is much better but it may require one more visit to the bin before “wow, these are good” happens.
    I’m a product designer, painter and a bit of a story teller. I’m always filling the compost bin as I create and so comfortable with it that it’s not really failure but first pancakes that seldom turn out well. I love my process, savor the digressions, frustrations, the long pause before “it” happens and am surprisingly egoless when the creation presents itself. It’s mine but not Mine. I love creating and have very little attachment to the creation. Get out of my way the next one is coming.

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