Monday, August 1, 2016

Recollecting and Releasing

Since my house burned down
I now own a better view
of the rising moon 
 ~ Masahide 1657 - 1723 

Emptying out.  But let me backtrack a bit .... Gradually working my way through Jane Dunnewold's Creative Strength Training workbook, I arrived at the "Power of Limitations" section, which is about freeing ourselves and artwork through self imposed limits.  I don't know about you, but too many options can stifle the forward momentum of my creative drive.  I have applied the idea to limit parameters before, as in my Sonata series which uses minimal color palette and simple imagery.

Looking at accumulating versus using you have is included in this section on limitations.  Jane has these rules for her studio:
1- Something comes in, something goes out.
2- Use what is here. 
I like this, and will come up with my own wording in time. These rules are not intended to be rigid.  We can bring our own flexibility to this.  For me it is OK to buy something specific needed for a project.

Now, I am pretty consistent with cycling things out.  I had made the commitment several years ago to use what I already had for my work.  However the closet in my studio was packed, requiring items to be shifted around in order to access to something else, and it was becoming annoying.  So, arriving at the exercise in CST to clean out was timely.

The first area to be addressed was old (art school) artwork.  It had been thinned out over the years, and it was time for more serious thinning.  Finding not only my own drawings, prints and photos, but also friends' artwork (we printmakers traded with each other) has brought back memories from 40 years ago, here and in England.  I have cleared out much of my student work, saving the pieces that still feel relevant and work on their own.  (I admit I did photograph some of  the work before letting it go!)  Amazing how many old mat boards went into the recycling bin.

From artwork I moved to closets. And from the studio I have moved on to other closets in the house. Bags have been donated, and more will be getting bags of stuff.  I clearly realized that I no longer wanted to carry all this stuff along.  It feels freeing to lighten up.  Great to put things back into circulation for others to use. 

Sharing some of the art I found with you.  Enjoy the journey back in time.

 Drawing 1973 by Linda A. Miller
Self Portrait, pencil 1973

 Drawing 1974 by Linda A. Miller
Self Portrait, pencil and newsprint 1974

These prints were studies for larger pieces that came later.

 torso study1 1978 by Linda A. Miller
Torso Study 1, etching 1978

 torso study2 1978 by Linda A. Miller
 Torso Study 2, etching  1978

 torso study3 1978 by Linda A. Miller
Torso Study 3, etching  1978

This process has been releasing.  I am also filled with gratitude for the journey so far, with all the lessons learned, experiences felt and wonderful friends made along the way.  As a side note, one friend's print sparked my curiosity which eventually led to seeking and contacting them.  Old friends found!

Thanks to Jane Dunnewold for the reminder of Masahide's haiku at the top of this post.

Linking to Off the Wall Fridays.  Stop by for a visit.


  1. Letting go of things is not easy. I applaud you! Now maybe, just maybe, you will inspire me to let go of my old drawings. At least I will think about it. :-)

  2. Wow! This is what I need right now! I get overwhelmed with my options. I have too many ideas and too much stuff. I need to simplify. Thank you for sharing this!

  3. I feel exactly the same way...I've been working on lightening up for awhile now. It will probably take me to the end of my life...and such is life. Thanks for the thoughtful post! best, nadia


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