paint%20tray_%2357__acrylic%20on%20foam%

"For me, insanity is super sanity. The normal is psychotic. Normal means lack of imagination, lack of creativity."

- Jean Dubuffet

NICHOL'S PROCESS

"Much of my creative process starts to take shape during my evening sketch journaling.  For decades I end each day in front of a blank sheet of journal paper.  What ever feeling I have at the moment I doodle.  On days when I have no idea what to draw I try to let my feelings take over and draw whatever pops into my head.  Sometimes they are silly or socially inappropriate thoughts. I draw them anyway.  At the end of the evening when it's time to go to bed I look at my paper and see a lot of little drawings that have no rhyme or reason. They make no sense...just a smattering of fun and whimsy.  Then I'll put it away. 
 
When I explore those drawings days, weeks or even years later I sometimes see  how all those random drawings are actually connected.  There is a palpable theme that emerges that I didn't expect or understand at the time.  That's when I think I had tapped into my subconscious without realizing.  Those thoughts, words and doodles are all connected.  I'm learning to trust my instinct and give it room to take me places I may not always have the courage to in other aspects of life.  Those are the doodles that tend to inspire further exploration, ultimately turning into final works.
Other times, art wants to come out by itself.  It takes on a life of its own and forces me to work outside of my daily journal.  Things that are going on around me in person, conversation or feeling. When I get those ideas, I have to spend several days or weeks pondering how they need to manifest themselves.  Some make the light of day.  Others do not. 
 
While the creative process is still a mystery to me, in many ways, the process I tend to follow upon inspiration is usually much more methodical and organized.  There are further drawings, color studies with Prisma color pencils or paints.  Paint sample charts are worked to find the right tones.  I build all my own canvases by hand in our wood shop.  While I'm going through each of these steps, the art continues to show itself in greater detail.  Almost like a blurry dream coming into focus over time.
 
Sometimes I don't know when a painting is done.  When I like the way it looks I've learned to stop.  For me, when I ignore my gut and push through, I end up over painting and ruining the work.  Finishing a painting is like falling in love.  You just know when it's done and when it's not.  The question is are you able to be honest enough with your feelings to know what to do next."
- Nichol